I just read the following: Islamic Community Forms Own Government, In the USA. Seems a bit sensationalist, and further searches about this Hancock, NY compound bring up lots of similar articles, such as:

I have a hard time taking any of these articles seriously with their exclamations of terror this, terror that, and unsupported assertions of all the terrorism that's going on in there and alleged ties to more terrorism. One article even makes them sound like any old cult ("residents of the MOA believe that their top leader, Sheikh Gilani, is able to travel through space and time" and he will "turn them into a monkey").

Of course, the wikipedia page, and especially this article paint an entirely different picture, of a compound for Muslims escaping poverty, reformed criminals, or folks just looking for community.

It's hard see some of those first articles as anything more than people using the specter of "terrorism" as a thin front to their own racist xenophobia, but I also find it hard to trust the word of compound leaders. Is there actually any real evidence of any wrongdoing, or is it just more islamophobia?

  • 1
    Obviously if they could be proven to be terrorist training camps, they would have been cracked down upon by one of DoHS agencies.
    – vartec
    Nov 19 '12 at 10:28
  • 2
    The subject had me imagining an urban legend of an iceberg-bound terrorist HQ, ostensibly led by some evil mastermind. Kind of disappointed. Nov 19 '12 at 13:06
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    @vartec: that's pretty much my initial reaction. The FBI is so gung-ho about plots they themselves invented, so you'd think they'd really jump on something real if they could. Nov 19 '12 at 15:10
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    @Ryathal: which gets as back to what I've said "if they could be proven to be terrorist"... Of course if all of DoHS can't come up with proof, how would one expect a proof on Skeptics.SE :-P
    – vartec
    Nov 21 '12 at 13:43
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    Traditionally isn't it white christian militias that start their own governments in the USA?
    – Shadur
    Feb 5 '16 at 9:12

According to a declassified, but heavily redacted, FBI document from 2007:

By way of background, [redacted] the MUSLIMS OF THE AMERICAS (MOA) , a.k.a. FUQRA [redacted] the MOA is a North American international radical fundamentalist group...The MOA is now an autonomous organization which possesses an infrastructure capable of planning and mounting terrorist campaigns overseas and within the U.S.

Houston knows that, based upon information uncovered by Albany Division in their investigation [redacted] MOA members have participated in 10 murders; one disappearance; three firebombings and one attempted firebombing and; two explosive bombings with one attempted bombing.


the leadership of MOA extols its membership to pursue a policy of jihad or holy war against individuals or groups it considers enemies of Islam, which includes the U.S. government.


The larger MOA communities are referred to as Islamic villages

So, yes the FBI seriously evaluated that the communities associated with Sheikh Gilani (who is specifically mentioned in the document) were part of a terrorist network.

Shortly after the OP question was asked, the MOA was dissolved as explained in The Muslims of America, Inc. v. Mawyer et al.:

The Supreme Court of the State New York, Delaware County, signed an Order dissolving MOA on March 15, 2013

Delaware County, New York is where Islamberg is located.

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    The Southern Poverty Law Center classifies The Clarion Project as anti-Muslim group, not exactly an unbiased source. How are we to know that the FBI document they posted on their website is genuine?
    – ventsyv
    Dec 6 '16 at 20:23
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    @ventsyv The FBI document was part of the court case. The court said the MOA could not sue defendants for saying MOA was a terrorist organization, because the MOA no longer existed, but the defendants had the FBI document ready to defend themselves. I'll try to find another source though.
    – DavePhD
    Dec 6 '16 at 20:26
  • @ventsyv is this source ok? theblaze.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/…
    – DavePhD
    Dec 6 '16 at 20:29
  • Glen Beck is no stranger to conspiracy theories either, but I suppose better than Clarion.
    – ventsyv
    Dec 6 '16 at 20:36
  • @ventsyv If you look at entry 53 in the case record, it lists "# 4 Exhibit(s) 2 FBI Report on MOA/Fuqra" plainsite.org/dockets/t5nartrl/new-york-northern-district-court/…
    – DavePhD
    Dec 6 '16 at 20:44

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