Jamaat Al-Fukra (Community of the Impoverished) was formed in 1980 by the radical Pakistani cleric Sheikh Mubarak Ali Gilani, when he came to America and began preaching in Brooklyn Al Farook Mosque. The organization was especially active among the Pakistani community and among the margin of the society where they managed to convert many to Islam.
Between 1980 and 1990, Jamaat Al-Fukra members have been either convicted or suspected in 13 assassinations and 17 firebombings.
A 1989 raid on a Jamaat Al-Fukra storage facility in Colorado yielded handguns, semi-automatic firearms, more than 30 pounds of explosives, pipe bombs, and bomb components. Additionally, police recovered blank birth certificates, Social Security cards, several sets of Colorado driver’s licenses bearing identical photos but various names and a large picture of Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman.
However, the most alarming find was “targeting packets” on potential targets and victims (including a moderate Muslim leader who was assassinated shortly after), maps of oil and gas fields, electrical facilities, cell phone sites and military installations. Military-style manuals on “Guerrilla Warfare,” “Counter Guerrilla Operations,” “Understanding Amateur Radio,” “Fair Weather Flying,” and “Basic Blueprint Reading” were also recovered.
One of its members in USA was the covert Clement Rodney Hampton, Who was convicted, along with another member Earl Grant, for the “Day of Terror” plot, in 10/1995.
The Red House, Virginia, compound, related to Jamaat Al-Fukra, was under surveillance by law enforcement prior to The 9/11 attacks for stockpiling weapons. Three members of the compound, including leader Vincente Pierre and his wife Tracy Upshur, were later arrested for illegal arms purchases.
Convicted shoe-bomber Richard Reid and the African 08/07/1998 embassy bomber Wadih el Hage have also been connected with Jamaat Al-Fukra.
Despite Jamaat Al-Fukra’s continuous history of criminal activity and close association with international terrorist organizations, the group has been able to avoid officially being classified by the USA government as a Foreign Terrorist Organization. Pakistan, unlike the United States, has banned the organization after The 9/11.
In 2002 Security officials estimated the number of Jamaat Al-Fukra active followers of two to three hundred members located in Red House, Va., Tulare County, Cal., Commerce, Ga., York, S.C., Dover, Tenn., and Combermere, Canada. The upstate New York town of Hancock serves as the American headquarters for al Jamaat Al-Fukra. The total membership in Jamaat Al-Fukra was believed to be between one and three thousand, with smaller jamaats being reported in over 25 locations throughout the USA, Canada, and the Caribbean.
Additionally, Jamaat Al-Fukra owns two private security companies in Brooklyn, N.Y. that not only provide armed protection for the jamaats, but also compete for government and private security contracts.
In 06/2007, 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 New York – acts as the headquarters for an outfit called Muslims of the Americas, widely believed to be a front for Jamaat al-Fuqra.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.
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