The Pakistani terrorist group Jamaat ul Fuqra is using Islamic schools in the United States as training facilities, confirms a joint investigative report by an intelligence think tank and an independent reporter.
A covert visit to an encampment in the Catskill Mountains near Hancock, N.Y., called Islamberg found neighboring residents deeply concerned about military-style training taking place there but frustrated by the lack of attention from federal authorities, said the report by the Northeast Intelligence Network, which worked with an Internet blogger, CP, to publish an interim report.
The neighbors interviewed, who asked not to be identified, said they feared retaliation if they were to make a report to law enforcement officials.
We see childrensmall children run around over there when they should be in school, one neighbor said. We hear bursts of gunfire all of the time, and we know that there is military-like training going on there. Those people are armed and dangerous.
The resident said his household gets nothing but menacing looks from the people who go in and out of the camp, and sometimes they yell at us to mind our own business when we are just driving by.
We dont even dare to slow down when we drive by, the resident said. They own this mountain and they know it, and there is nothing we can do about it but move, and we cant even do that. Who wants to buy property next to that?
Jamaat ul-Fuqra, or community of the impoverished, was formed by Pakistani cleric Sheikh Mubarak Ali Gilani in New York in 1980. Gilani, who refers to himself as the sixth Sultan Ul Faqr, has stated his objective is to purify Islam through violence.
Gilani also is the founder of a village in South Carolina called Holy Islamville.
The encampment in Hancock, N.Y., is run by a front for Jamaat ul-Fuqra called Muslims of the Americas Inc., which operates a school known as the International Quranic Open University Inc.
Though primarily based in Lahore, Pakistan, Jamaat ul-Fuqra has operational headquarters in the U.S.
The group seeks to counter excessive Western influence on Islam through any means necessary, publicly embracing the ideology that violence is a significant part of its quest to purify Islam. The enemies of Islam, the group says, are all non-Muslims and any Muslim who does not follow the tenets of fundamentalist Islam as detailed in the Quran.
Jamaat ul-Fuqra openly recruits through various social service organizations in the U.S., including the prison system. Members live in compounds where they agree to abide by the laws of Jamaat ul-Fuqra, which are considered to be above local, state and federal authority.
According to the report, there appear to be more than two dozen Jamaats, or private communities, loosely connected and scattered throughout the U.S. with an estimated 5,000 members.
An investigation of the group by the Colorado Attorney Generals office in the early 1980s found several of the communities operate covert paramilitary training compounds, including one in a mountainous area near Buena Vista, Colo.
Douglas J. Hagmann, director of the Northeast Intelligence Network and multi-state licensed private investigator, and others conducted their covert field investigation Feb. 8 and 9 at the Hancock encampment connected to the terrorist group.
Primary access to the compound is an unmarked roadlabeled on county and state maps as Moslem Road
Two structures with capacities of up to 100 each appear to be used for religious training, education and meeting purposes, according to local sources. Investigators found a weapons firing range that is not visible from the road or any other publicly accessible vantage position. It appeared to have been recently used.