Declassified FBI documents confirm the existence of an Islamic jihadist enclave in Texas that is part of a network in the U.S. identified by the Department of Homeland Security as a terrorist organization.
The enclave belongs to the network of Muslims of the Americas, which is linked to the Pakistani-based militant group Jamaat al-Fuqra, according to an investigation by the Clarion Project and ACT! For America Houston.
Jamaat al-Fuqra was founded in New York in 1980 by Sheik Mubarak Ali Gilani, an Islamic cleric in Pakistan who at one time was in Pakistani custody in connection with the abduction of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl.
Muslims in America says it has a network of 22 “villages” around the U.S., with headquarters at an encampment in the Catskill Mountains near Hancock, N.Y., called Holy Islamberg, as WND reported in 2006. An investigative report at the time found neighbors of Islamberg were deeply concerned about military-style training taking place there and frustrated by an apparent lack of attention from federal authorities.
WND also reported in 2006 that Jamaat al-Fuqra has collaborated with major terrorist organizations, including Hezbollah and al-Qaida.
The FBI describes the compound in Texas, called Mahmoudberg, as an “enclave” and “communal living site.” Located in Brazoria County along County Road 3 near Sweeny, Texas, it was discovered by the FBI through a tip from an informant in New York, according to the Clairon Project.
The Texas commune, in a heavily wooded area, is estimated by a local resident who spoke to ACT researchers to encompass about 25 acres. It dates back to the late 1980s, the resident said, which is confirmed by the FBI documents.
The FBI reported in 2007 that one commune resident formerly was a leader at the Muslims of America compound in Badger, Calif., called Baladullah.
In March 2001, a Baladullah member was arrested for transporting guns between New York and South Carolina. Another was charged with murdering a police deputy that caught him breaking and entering a home.