Consisting mostly of black Muslims who reside in North America and the Caribbean, The Muslims Of America (MOA) is a Sufi Islamic group whose stated mission is to work toward “establishing and maintaining Islamic principles … while fulfilling and embracing obligations as American citizens.” MOA grew out of the Pakistan-based organization Jamaat ul-Fuqr (JF), which carried out numerous terrorist attacks – including at least 10 assassinations and 17 firebombings – on U.S. soil in the 1980s and '90s. JF's largest (albeit unsuccessful) terrorist plot was hatched in 1991, when a number of its operatives, hoping to kill upwards of 4,500 people, conspired to bomb a Hindu temple and an Indian cinema in the Toronto area during the Hindu Festival of Lights.
A secret Canadian intelligence report in the early 2000s described JF as a “militant” organization that saw itself as “God’s chosen instrument to defeat the enemies of Islam” and derail their “Satanic Zionist conspiracy.” Similarly, a 1998 U.S. State Department report characterized JF as an “Islamic sect that seeks to purify Islam through violence.” Among JF's most prominent terrorist members was Clement Rodney Hampton, who was involved in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and also conspired in a separate plot to blow up several additional targets in New York City. JF likewise had ties to al-Qaeda and its allies, including the late Omar Abdel-Rahman, commonly known as the “Blind Sheikh.”
JF was established in 1980 by Shaykh Mubarik Ali Gilani, who continues to lead the organization (as well as MOA) from his home base in Pakistan. In December 1993, Gilani reportedly took part in a conference of terrorist leaders in Khartoum, Sudan, where the attendees also included representatives of Hamas, Hezbollah, and Egyptian Islamic Jihad (and possibly al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden, whom Gilani described as a “Saudi activist”). Classified as “an international terrorist” in a 2006 report for law-enforcement, Gilani has derided the U.S. not only as a nation that nourishes the “roots” of the “evil” that jihadists are “fighting to destroy,” but also as “a pawn of hidden hands that use America’s wealth and the innocent blood of their sons and daughters to wage their wars against Muslims.” With similar contempt, Gilani describes Jews as “human Satans,” adding: “I have never seen, in the whole of my life or even in the past thousand years, a Jew who will tell the truth.”
A 2004 report funded by the U.S. Justice Department stated that JF, whose recruitment efforts have long targeted people with criminal backgrounds, has raised a great deal of money by “defrauding a variety of social service programs, including worker’s compensation, public health care, welfare, and food stamps programs.” “Other crimes committed by Fuqra members,” said the report, “include the creation and use of false identification cards, birth certificates, and other forged documents.”
MOA is similarly tied to all manner of criminal activities, including scams to raise funds by means of insurance fraud, credit card fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering. The organization has also engaged illegally in straw purchases of weapons, and in conversions of semi-automatic firearms into fully-automatic guns. Moreover, the Clarion Project reports that “seized MOA documents show a concerted effort to infiltrate law enforcement and establish security companies as fronts,” and that at least two longtime MOA members managed to infiltrate Naval Air Station LeMoore and the Fort Irwin National Training Center, both in California.
MOA today consists of approximately 1,000 to 3,000 members who reside on an estimated 20 to 30 private, isolated, “Islamic villages” or compounds (known as jama`ats), primarily in rural areas of the northeastern, mid-Atlantic, and southeastern United States. The residents of these compounds live communally and insulate themselves from what they view as the corrupting influences of non-Muslim culture. One noteworthy law-enforcement report states that MOA is set up like “classically structured terrorist cells,” and that at least seven of its communes are used for paramilitary training. This assessment is consistent with the contents of a 1980s videotape in which Mubarik Ali Gilani boasted of having developed “one of the most advanced training courses in Islamic military warfare,” and invited Muslims to contact MOA's offices in Pakistan or the United States and join the cause.
MOA's North American headquarters are situated in “Islamberg,” a 70-acre commune in Hancock, New York. Other key MOA villages include “Ahmadabad West” (in Red House, Virginia); “Ahmadabad East” (in Meherrin, Virginia); “Islamville” (in York County, South Carolina); and “Hasanville” (in Ontario, Canada).
In October 1992, law-enforcement authorities shut down a 101-acre MOA/JF commune in Buena Vista, Colorado, which, according to the Clarion Project, “was essentially a terrorist training camp financed through crime.” Investigators at the site found, among other things, a poem paying homage to Gilani and vowing that “the kafir’s [infidel's] blood will not be spared.”
FBI documents from 2003 show that MOA, which portrayed the 9/11 terrorist attacks as part of a Satanic-Zionist conspiracy to wage war on Islam, was linked to al-Qaeda in Pakistan. Further, MOA has long been allied with, and supportive of, Hizbul Mujahideen, an Islamic terrorist group based in Pakistan and Kashmir.
In November 2016, MOA interpreted Donald Trump's victory in the U.S. presidential election as the fulfillment of apocalyptic Islamic prophecies centered around the inevitability of a final and decisive jihad against non-believers.