25. The Story Continues

Ali Abdelaziz has refused to talk about the story ever since speaking with Mawyer. He has refused all interview requests from us since then and will not answer questions about it from MMA reporters. 

It is probable that he is concerned about the impact his criminal and extremist history could have on his lucrative career as the biggest manager in the UFC. He is likely also concerned that further breaking the confidentiality he agreed to with the NYPD and FBI could have legal consequences, such as a renewed effort to deport him.

The story got almost no notice until UFC star Conor McGregor brought attention to it on September 20, 2018.

McGregor was due to fight Khabib Nurmagomedov, who is managed by Abdelaziz. At a press conference promoting the event, McGregor shouted towards Abdelaziz, calling him a “terrorist snitch.”

Tensions between the two camps escalated. At the final press conference before the fight, McGregor raised the topic again. He mentioned that Abdelaziz was booked for a flight from Cairo to New York City on September 11, 2001, and that he was arrested with five passports.

He essentially called for Abdelaziz’s deportation, saying that he doesn’t understand how he could be allowed to reside in America with his background.

Abdelaziz, Nurmagomedov and their circle are now being scrutinized by some in the Mixed Martial Arts media for their connections to extremists and criminals other than MOA. In particular, their ties to the Russian-backed, Islamist dictator of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, are being examined.

Bloody Elbow observed:

“Abdelaziz also represents a handful of Chechen and Dagestani fighters who are linked to Kadyrov through his Akhmat MMA gyms (facilities funded by Kadyrov’s regime)…It should be noted that Abdelaziz does not represent any Chechen fighters not linked to Kadyrov, despite the long list of talented fighters from the region.”

Abdelaziz and his fighters are publicly supportive of Kadyrov. When asked about Kadyrov’s widely-reported persecution of homosexuals, he brushed it off.

“A lot of people say a lot of shit. Right? I don’t know what this man in Chechnya thinks about gay, not gay. But the whole thing is, I don’t know nothing about it, because I don’t believe anything the media says. I don’t see it with my eyes, I don’t believe it,” he said.

As for MOA, more and more incriminating information is coming out, from declassified documents to defector testimony.

In November 2017, the ATF confirmed that MOA was under active investigation. Declassified documents from a 2015 U.S. Army review and a FBI investigation into MOA in Alaska in 2011 show that serious concerns about the threat posed by the group remain.

About a dozen North American Muslim groups have joined Ryan Mauro and the Clarion Project in asking the State Department to review the Jammat ul-Fuqra/MOA organization for designation as a Foreign Terrorist Organization.

Hizbul Mujahideen, an Al-Qaeda-linked group that MOA is openly supportive of and tied to, was designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization in August 2017.

Sheikh Gilani and his entities in Pakistan, such as his International Quranic Open University, should also be reviewed by the Treasury Department for designations as Specially Designated Global Terrorists and/or Transnational Criminal Organizations.

This section of the Fuqra Files website about the story of Ali Abdelaziz and MOA will be updated as more information becomes available.