Fuqra/MOA is known to have an office in Venezuela and a leader based in Senegal. MOA-affiliated sources say that MOA has a “village” in Mexico.
MOA said it had a village and Quranic Open University “campus” in South America in a 1994 book. The text talked about its Muslim-American members enforcing Sharia Law in such villages and showed a picture of a man in the South American village sitting in a chair as he was about to be lashed.[i]
A 2011 issue of the Fuqra/MOA newspaper states that two “correspondents” are based in an unidentified South American country. It mentions that one travelled from South America to Muree, Pakistan as a representative of the Islamic Post newspaper and the Quranic Open University.[ii]
The other identified South American “correspondent” is named as Khidr B. Abdul-Muqit. The same name appears in a Fuqra/MOA log of paramilitary training by its youth that was captured by law enforcement during raids in 1992. A document from 1990 identifying welfare recipients mentions a mother with a son by that name.
MOA is known to have a presence in Venezuela. A 2015 MOA press release lists an office in Caracas.[iii] MOA-affiliated sources said the presence in Venezuela was kept a tight secret, even from its own members, until it leaked out.
The address matches a building that was owned by an insurance company led by Pedro Torres Ciliberto, who has been a fugitive since 2009. He is wanted on charges of money laundering and bank fraud and is accused of assisting international criminals in hiding money in offshore accounts. He was a strong supporter of the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez[iv] and was a close friend of the former Vice President’s.[v]
Ali Abdel-Aziz, a former MOA member who served as an informant for the NYPD for eight years including two years living at Islamberg, says that Sheikh Gilani is making a concerted effort to develop MOA communities in countries outside the U.S. He described Venezuela as the most promising one.
Ali said he was sent by MOA to Venezuela and that major MOA officials are traveling back and forth between the U.S. and the country. He said that even Sheikh Gilani had visited Venezuela and may move there from Pakistan.
One source says that Ali visited the country twice between 2006 and 2009. One trip in 2008 was for scouting land for beginning a new “jamaat,” or a community of believers living in one location. The source said one of the purposes of the new site was to serve as an alternative location for the Trinidad MOA if necessary, including convicted terrorist Barry Adams (also known as Tyrone Cole). Sheikh Gilani married Adams’ daughter and his son, Hussain, is chief executive of MOA.
Ali said the Muslim community in Venezuela is “paranoid” about any American presence and was supportive of the Chavez regime, making it an attractive spot for MOA expansion.[vi] MOA newspaper coverage of events in Venezuela has been gently in favor of Chavez and his successor, President Nicolas Maduro.
A MOA-linked militant group in Trinidad named Jamaat Al-Muslimeen does extensive black market business in Venezuela and engages in drug and firearms trafficking with the Colombian narco-terrorist group FARC, according to an intelligence source with experience in Trinidad. The Venezuelan government is known to collaborate with the FARC.
A Muslim journalist in Canada wrote in 2010, “My own personal investigation has uncovered a trail of blood left by Gilani’s dervishes that stretched from Trinidad, Guyana, the United States and Canada.”[vii]
A 1983 issue of the Islamic Chronicle, the name of the Fuqra/MOA newspaper then, identifies a correspondent based in Georgetown, Guyana named Hasan Muhammad Siddiq.
A MOA-affiliated source reports that the group has a quickly growing “jamaat” in Mexico. The location is unknown. A handful of MOA members distributed an online link in 2016 that was about a known Sufi Muslim community in Chiapas, but it has no publicly documented links to MOA.
A 2003 file from the DEA’s El Paso Intelligence Center shows it was distributed to its Regional Office in Guadaljaro, the capital of the state of Jalisco in western Mexico. This indicates a link between MOA’s Texas activity and that part of Mexico. A separate DEA investigation into MOA in Virginia in 2004 stated that MOA drug traffickers were dealing with Mexican cocaine dealers.
Sources inside MOA have confirmed that MOA has one of its “Islamic villages” in Mexico and that it is expanding. A source inside the group said in 2017 that it is led by a MOA elder named Khalifa Muhammad Khalil.
[i] Target Islam: Exposing the Malicious Conspiracy of the Zionists Against the World of Islam and Prominent Muslim Leaders. (1994). Quranic Open University and Pakistan Foundation for Strategic Studies.
[ii] Shadzia, Umm. (2011). North American Muslim Journalists Travel Abroad. Islamic Post.
[iii] “American Taliban (Private Militia) Besiege Islamberg.” (2015). The Muslims of America. http://www.tmoamerica.org/pdf/TMOA-Press-Release-Doggart_American_Taliban.pdf
[iv] Olivares, Francisco. (2012). “Loose Ends.” El Universal. Retrieved from: http://www.eluniversal.com/economia/120211/loose-ends
[v] Fall of the Boligarchs. (2009). The Economist: http://www.economist.com/node/15066082
[vi] Mawyer, Martin. Twilight in America. (2011). http://www.christianaction.org/shop/twilight-in-america
[vii] Baksh, Nazim. (2010). When Conversion Goes Awry: The Strange Case of Umar Lee. Nazim’s Blog. http://www.nazimbaksh.ca/?p=46