Muslim Commune Eyed By Authorities
A remote Muslim commune nestled in the Catskill Mountains has come under the scrutiny of state and federal authorities for possible ties to terrorism, according to law-enforcement sources.
Officials say Islamberg - a wooded, 70-acre encampment in upstate Tompkins, about three hours north of the city - acts as the headquarters for an outfit called Muslims of the Americas, widely believed to be a front for Jamaat al-Fuqra, founded by radical Pakistani cleric Mubarak Ali Gilani.
Reports of gunfire and military-style physical training at the camp have led some investigators to believe that the group's members are preparing for homegrown jihad.
According to one account, a neighbor said he has seen commune members dressed in Port Authority uniforms.
Al-Fuqra members have been suspects in assassinations and firebombings in the United States, authorities said, and an associate of the group, Rodney Hampton-el, was jailed in 1996 for plotting to bomb New York bridges and tunnels.
Those spoken with by the reporters claim there is nothing illegal going on in Islamberg, and while they do have firearms there, they are American citizens with a legal right to own them. I am sure they do though I wonder whether or not the have the proper licenses for them. Regardless, this is not the first time that al-Fuqra has come under scrutiny. In 1983 an al-Fuqra member, Stephen Paul Paster, was involved in the Hotel Rajneesh bombing in Oregon.
I am wondering why the feds are suddenly interested in al-Fuqra. I am actually wondering if the feds believe that there may be a link to the JFK plot and al-Fuqra. There is certainly some questions about whether or not they are fostering homegrown jihadists. The piece does state that the feds have connected a few members of the group to the terrorist training camps created by al-Fuqra leader, Sheikh Gitani. The people at the compound deny that, as well.
An interesting story, to be sure, and one that should catch people's scrutiny.
(Hat-Tip: Mark Steyn @ NRO's Corner