By Martin Mawyer
“They are asleep. They are a bomb. Here is the scariest part … Anything can happen with MOA at any time.”
Those are the words of a young Muslim man named Ali Aziz. Who is he? And what is this dangerous “MOA” that he refers to?
The existence of dozens of Islamic guerrilla warfare training camps located in rural neighborhoods throughout America, and the serious crimes they have already committed—and are planning to commit—should be of concern to all law enforcement officers.
The group known as Muslims of the Americas (MOA), which itself is a front group for a radical terrorist group called Jamaat Al Fuqra (Arabic for “community of the impoverished”), has established dozens of training camps throughout the United States. The group is led by a Muslim cleric in Pakistan, Sheikh Mubarik Gilani.
Aziz told his story exclusively to me, revealing that he worked as an undercover informant for eight years for the New York Police Department (NYPD). During that time, he lived on MOA camps and worked closely with MOA leadership, all the time supplying the NYPD with information about illegal activity on the camps—including guerilla combat training to prepare members for terrorist attacks against the United States.
How are our local police and sheriff departments across the nation supposed to respond when they learn that an MOA camp is located in the backyards of the rural neighborhoods that they protect? Every law enforcement officer in America needs to know the risks posed by these groups.
Despite the existence of MOA in America going back three decades, most Americans have never heard of the group, and many have no idea if one of the camps is located nearby. For the most part, these Muslims live quietly, usually in rundown trailer homes, and keep to themselves. They give the appearance of being a secluded Muslim sect that only wants to practice their religion in their own neighborhoods—until the sound of rapid gunfire punctuates the silence and gives evidence of ongoing weapons training that is essential to be a “Soldier of Allah.”
Although the group is not well known, most people have heard of Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reporter who was kidnapped, beheaded and dismembered in 2002 in Pakistan. MOA and its parent jihadist group, Al Fuqra, had all but disappeared from law enforcement’s radar until Pearl began to follow a terrorist trail. The trail began with the so-called “Shoe bomber,” Richard Reid, and ended at the doorstep of MOA leader Sheikh Gilani in Pakistan.
Sheikh Gilani, the founder and leader of MOA, is certainly a mysterious and complicated figure in the network of known terrorist organizations. In the late 1970s, Sheikh Gilani first traveled to the United States from his native Pakistan and began to establish his power within the Muslim community of Brooklyn, NY. He claims to be omnipresent, able to travel between time and space. As outlandish as this may sound, his followers in America believe it. Aziz, who lived among them, says that if a raccoon would appear in the woods, MOA members might actually believe it was Sheikh Gilani watching their every move. Fear of their Sheikh keeps the members in control, Aziz says. And it motivates them to follow his commands to train for jihad.
“They are ready to strike (America) at one word” from Sheikh Gilani, says Aziz.
Gilani formed Al Fuqra, and later its front group MOA, in order to establish guerilla training camps in rural areas of the country. “You can easily reach us, you know, and we are establishing training camps, at present, in other countries,” Gilani states in one of his earlier recruitment videos. “You can reach us … in upstate New York, or in Canada, or in Michigan, or in South Carolina, or in Pakistan … wherever we are, you can reach us.”
Gilani preaches to his followers that jihad, holy war, against America was the only path to Islamic purification. “We are fighting to destroy the enemy,” he said. “We are dealing with evil at its roots, and its roots are America.”
Gilani’s disciples began their American terrorist attacks in the early 1980s. A campaign of ethnic and religious cleansing was launched against those who opposed the teachings of Gilani. Indian and Hindu sects were targeted, bombings were carried out against rival Islamic factions and one of them against the Muslim mosque leader in Tucson, Arizona.
Members of Al Fuqra—which was once listed as a sponsor of terror by the State Department—have been charged with murder, conspiracy to commit murder, firebombing, gun smuggling, workers’ compensation fraud and other crimes. Their terrorist network encompasses the United States, Canada, the Middle East and the Caribbean, which is increasingly becoming a hotbed of Islamic terrorist activity.
Although most of the nation’s local law enforcement personnel know little or nothing about this group, it has been well known for several decades by the FBI and federal law enforcement officials. A heroic investigator in Colorado was the first to expose the scope of this criminal terrorist empire after a lengthy probe into worker’s compensation fraud linked to an MOA compound in Buena Vista, CO.
The investigator, Susan Fenger, worked as a forensics expert for the Colorado State Department of Labor and Employment. In 1990 she was asked by the FBI to investigate worker’s compensation claims from members of the Islamic compound that had raised some suspicions. After an exhaustive job of cross matching names and Social Security numbers, Fenger found numerous names that turned out to match the names of jihadist Al Fuqra members provided by the FBI. But the FBI suddenly pulled out of the investigation, Fenger said, leaving her to continue on her own with the support of then-Governor Roy Romer.
After two more years of research and following the money trails, Fenger determined that five members of Al Fuqra in Colorado illegally collected and cashed $355,000 in checks from the Colorado worker’s compensation insurance fund. Indictments were handed down, and Fenger led a raid on a 101-acre MOA/Al Fuqra compound in Colorado. Shocking evidence of terrorist activity was found, including a large cache of weapons, 5,000 rounds of Chinese ammunition, rifles, knives, bows and arrows, and more.
Investigators also found buried in a man-made cave assault weapons, 40,000 rounds of ammunition and survival gear. In a storage locker that was rented by this group in Colorado Springs, investigators found books on commando training, firearms training, gun magazines and applications for “Soldiers of Allah,” another name used by Jamaat Al Fuqra, from American citizens across the United States wanting to join the terrorist group.
Fenger’s research resulted in the discovery of what she calls the “four faces” of Al Fuqra. First, there is the militant lifestyle they lead on the compounds. They raise families in a communal setting, teach their children at home, garden and raise their own food and live in contented isolation from the rest of the world.
Then there is the second face, which focuses on their income. The common sources of income from all the Jamaat Al Fuqra compounds are food stamps, welfare, worker’s compensation, student loans and subcontracting as construction workers. Al Fuqra Muslims living at compounds throughout the nation have devised multiple other sources since then, including drug and arms trafficking. In almost all the cases, there are no income-tax reports filed and no taxes paid on the income.
The third face is the establishment of front organizations like security-related firms that appear to operate as legitimate companies. They are used to gain access to sensitive targets in the United States and to gain firearm permits. Al Fuqra members use phony security firms to launder money to Sheikh Gilani in Pakistan.
The fourth face is terrorism. It includes the covert activities that have been carried out at the many Al Fuqra compounds across the nation, such as combat and jihad training, stockpiling weapons, making explosives and surveilling targets. Once trained, the “soldiers” carry out undercover commando assignments against their targets: Hindus, Jews, Christians, other Muslims, and anyone who disagrees with them. Every terrorist act conceivable has been committed, including murder.
Because of the overwhelming evidence, the Colorado camp was shut down. In 2002, another MOA/Al Fuqra camp was shut down after a resident of the Baladullah, California, compound was charged with first-degree murder in the shooting of a deputy sheriff. Another member was charged with gun smuggling. The state of California launched an investigation into the whereabouts of more than a million dollars in public funds given to a charter school run by Fuqra leaders, eventually prosecuting an Al Fuqra/MOA member in 2006 in connection with the scam in California.
Law enforcement officers need to know about the complexity of MOA/Al Fuqra white collar crime, their overt terrorist training activity, and what plans they are hatching to unleash terror on American citizens.
The group was also involved in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, the thwarted “Day of Terror” assault planned for multiple targets in New York City, and other terrorist attacks in the United States.
MOA thrives on the perceived ignorance of law enforcement officials. They plant their camps in isolated areas just outside rural towns, especially towns with small police departments. They are hidden among trees, mountains, hills, valleys and any other terrain that make it nearly impossible to conduct surveillance. Neighbors, who know them, fear them. They abide by no other law inside these camps other than their own.
The warning from Ali, who survived eight tortuous years inside MOA and has provided the NYPD with “enough information to shut them down,” should be a warning to all law enforcement officials. “They are bomb,” he said, in words that bear repeating. “Anything can happen at any time with MOA.”
Martin Mawyer is the Founder and President of Christian Action Network, a non-profit public advocacy and education group based in Lynchburg, Virginia. He began his career as a freelance journalist and has authored several books, including “Silent Shame,” “The Pro-Family Contract With America,” “Pathways to Success,” and his most recent, “Twilight in America: The Untold Story of Islamic Terrorist Training Camps Inside America.” He has produced a number of documentary films, including Homegrown Jihad, Islam Rising, Sacrificed Survivors and America’s Islamic Threat. Mawyer has appeared on The O’Reilly Factor, Hannity, Larry King Live, Pat Robertson’s 700 Club, NBC’s Today Show, Entertainment Tonight and Fox and Friends. His latest book, “Twilight in America,” co-authored by Patti A. Pierucci, details the activities of Islamic terrorist training camps scattered throughout the United States. It can be purchased at TwilightInAmerica.com or Amazon.com in book or Kindle version