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PostWatch: An irregular correction to the Washington Post


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PostWatch
 

Monday, July 01, 2002
 
5:34 PM

Other stories that don't run in the Post... The Washington Times understands that reporters can look for bad guys even if they're militant Muslims:

RED HOUSE, Va. — Militant American Muslims operating out of rural communes in California and other Western states have targeted this rural Virginia community for an influx of members who have ties to Middle Eastern terrorists Law-enforcement authorities said the Muslims — mostly converts — are expected to join with radical Muslims living on 45 acres in this small Charlotte County community, 25 acres near Meherrin in neighboring Prince Edward County and on other parcels of land owned by the group's members and supporters. Muslims in the Red House area have been negotiating to purchase an additional 100-acre site in neighboring Campbell County, authorities said, adding that a number of the radical group's members also have purchased smaller lots in the region.

Local law enforcement expects an influx after a similar compound in California shut down.

The California group numbers between 200 and 400 people, and members lived on a 1,000-acre tract in the Sierra Mountain foothills. Guarded by an armed post at the entrance, the encampment — known as Baladullah, or "City of God" — was the site of the International Quranic Open University, founded by Sheik Mubarik Ali Shah Gilani as an educational arm of Muslims of America, a group he founded. The community drew the attention of local law-enforcement agencies last summer after a man studying at the university, Ramadan Abdullah, was arrested and charged in the slaying of a Fresno County sheriff's deputy. Trial in the case is pending.

The Red House and Meherrin Muslims, who number between 200 and 300 people, including women and children, have been linked to various money-laundering operations and weapons violations, and are believed to have aided and abetted various terrorist groups, authorities said. Annual Holy Days gatherings at the Red House site, operated by Muslims of America, have drawn between 400 and 500 people from around the region. Law-enforcement authorities said they believe radical Muslims are seeking to create a patchwork of "hide-outs" in rural southern Virginia for would-be terrorists and other extremists. They said the sanctuaries have been established to follow the teachings of Sheik Gilani. Sheik Gilani is a Pakistani cleric who founded the tax-exempt Muslims of America in 1980, which is linked to Jamaat al-Fuqra, a terrorist group committed to waging jihad, or holy war, against the United States. In addition to providing safe harbor for an unknown number of American Muslims faithful to Sheik Gilani, authorities believe members of Jamaat al-Fuqra are involved in laundering money bound for Pakistan.

This is definitely not Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood:

"We know these places have become hide-outs for some of the organization's most violent members," said one law-enforcement official. "The faces of those we have seen in the communities are continually changing. It's unclear who's there at any given time and what they're doing." Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl was on the way to meet Sheik Gilani in Pakistan when he was kidnapped and later killed. Mr. Pearl was investigating accusations that shoe-bomb suspect Richard C. Reid was one of Sheik Gilani's followers. Sheik Gilani was not charged in Mr. Pearl's death

The Muslims of America say they are nonviolent.

What gets to me is that major media including the Post don't seem to be lifting a finger to investigate these communities, which are isolationist at best and planning to kill us at worst.

Sheik Gilani's followers have set up rural encampments throughout the United States and Canada that federal authorities believe are linked to murders, bombings and other felonies. It is not clear to authorities where the organization gets its funding, other than a few local odd jobs by group members

Kudos to reporters Jerry Seper and Steve Miller.



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