On their website ‘Moorish American Armed Group’ or ‘Rise of Moors’ say, “Moorish Americans dedicated to educating new Moors and influencing our Elders.” In YouTube videos of the incident, they claimed they were only trying to travel peacefully to their “private land” to camp and “train”. Members of this militia group were headed from Rhode Island to Maine.
The Daily Beast quoting Massachusetts State Police said, MSP trooper saw two cars on the side of the I-95 at about 1:30 am on Saturday, just hours before the Independence Day of the United States of America; 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.
Now counterterrorism experts are asking, whether Moorish American Armed Group poses threat to the national security of the US. Others are asking – why this sudden rise of American Moorish Armed Group.
In a livestream video on the group’s YouTube page, a member of the group, dressed in camo gear, said they were traveling with gas tanks to refuel their cars so they could avoid “making any unnecessary stops” that might “alert or alarm the public”.
He claimed they had not violated any laws because they were legally allowed to own guns in the state from which they traveled.
“We do not intend to be hostile, we do not intend to be aggressive,” he said, adding that they are not “anti-police” or “Black-identity extremists”.
“Our nation has a treaty with your government,” the man said, gesturing to another man standing on the highway, holding what looked to be a Moroccan flag. He said they were immune to state laws.
“We’re not anti-government, we’re not anti-police and we’re willing to give them any information they need so that way we can continue with our peaceful journey,” he continued.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, several organizations and individuals have identified with the Moorish sovereign citizen movement in the United States 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”.
Lois Beckett, Senior Reporter of The Guardian in her verified Twitter handle said: “These guys have hijacked social media and mainstream media in Massachusetts, to get their word out,” former Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis said of “Moorish American Arms” roadside incident.
While mainstream and social media is flooded with information centering Saturday’s standoff and sudden showdown of the Moorish American Arms Group, it is unclear what these African-Americans who claim themselves to be “elite class” within the American society was really trying to do. Were they just looking for massive media coverage, or they had a sort of message for the Americans about the possible rise of lawlessness of this heavily armed militia group? The incident deserves better surveillance because of many reasons. Particularly because the US currently is facing huge challenges posed by COVID and country’s entire population greatly divided into political polarization. Hopefully in the nearest future, we shall have a much clearer picture of this matter. But of course, the Saturday’s incident and the activities of ‘Moorish American Armed Group’ or ‘Rise of Moors’ should not be ignored anymore. It needs to come under the radar of the intelligence agencies.