Posted on July 6, 2021

Heavily Armed Militia Group Shut Down Massachusetts Highway in Bizarre Standoff

Andrew Boryga, Daily Beast, July 3, 2021

A cadre of armed men from a militia group called the Rise of the Moors shut down a highway outside of Boston for more than nine hours on Saturday morning after allegedly refusing to comply with police orders and taking off into the woods with guns.

The group says on their website that they’re “Moorish Americans dedicated to educating new Moors and influencing our Elders” and, in YouTube videos of the incident, they claimed they were only trying to travel peacefully to their “private land” to camp and “train” on Saturday. CBS Boston reported that they were headed from Rhode Island to Maine.

According to Massachusetts State Police, a trooper saw two cars on the side of the highway at about 2 a.m. with hazard lights on, attempting to add gas to their tanks.

When the officer stopped to assist, they noticed the men were wearing military gear and had a lot of guns. The trooper asked for driver’s licenses and gun licenses but the men allegedly refused to provide any, and refused to put down their weapons. The trooper called for backup but some of the men fled, police said.


The Southern Poverty Law Center says that several organizations and individuals have identified with the Moorish sovereign citizen movement in the U.S. since the 1990s. The movement is associated with the anti-government sovereign citizens movement, and some Moorish sovereigns have come into conflict with government agencies over their refusal to obey laws. They believe that African Americans “constitute an elite class within American society with special rights,” SPLC writes.

“Their self-professed leader wanted very much known their ideology is not anti-government,” State Police Col. Christopher Mason said {snip}

A section of I-95 was closed in both directions and a shelter in place order was issued for residents in Wakefield and Reading. {snip}


“You can imagine, 11 armed individuals standing with long guns slung on an interstate highway certainly raises concerns {snip},” he said.

He said the men did not have gun licenses on them. Either way, he said, Massachusetts does not allow for the carrying of an unloaded or loaded gun on an interstate highway.