Read the 94 page Government report here: http://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/209520.pdf
FROM : York County (WLTX) -- Is terror closer than you think?
About an hour north of Columbia, a small community goes about its daily business. But their neighborhood is like no other in our state. They have no elected leaders; instead, they answer to a man who lives in Pakistan. A recent law enforcement report says he is a terrorist.
The community is called Islamville. York County Sheriff Bruce Bryant says Islamville "is not a location we just sit back and ignore."The 34 acre site is a self-contained Islamic community. All of the residents at Islamville accept Sheikh Mubarek Ali Gilani as their leader.
A 2006 law enforcement report produced by the Regional Organized Crime Information Center has plenty to say about Sheikh Gilani and Islamville. The center is funded by the U.S. Justice Department. The report says Gilani is known as an international terrorist and is the leader of the terrorist group called Jamaat ul-Fuqra.The report says Gilani is also the leader of seven covert paramilitary training compounds in the United States, and York County is one of them.
Sheriff Bryant says, "I know there are a lot of people who have great concerns about the compound but the Constitution of the United States certainly protects them and their right to be there. We have to abide by that."
The classified report says Gilani has at least 28 other suspected communes in the U.S. all operating under the name Muslims of America. The report says they have more than 3,000 members spread out across the country. It adds that at least a dozen members have been convicted of terrorist activities including conspiracy to commit murder, firebombings, and gun smuggling.
Martin Mawyer is president of the Christian Action Network. His organization has been investigating Gilani for the past three years.
"I think that most of the people that are part of Sheikh Gilani's total structure are not aware of the very intense terrorist connections that Muslim of America has had in the United States for the past quarter century," Mawyer says.During his research, Mawyer obtained a videotape called the Soldiers of Allah video. On it, Gilani says Muslims must learn to defend themselves.
Gilani says on the tape, "Life is becoming more hard for Muslims; therefore, every Muslim man or woman should learn to defend himself or herself. We are establishing training camps. You can reach us in South Carolina or Pakistan, wherever we are."It's not known for sure where or when the tape was made, but it does show someone teaching guerilla warfare including weapons training. Sheriff Bryant says neighbors often report hearing gunfire coming from the York County compound.
At least once a month anywhere from 500 to 1,000 Muslims converge on Islamville. The sheriff says his office is always told in advance and there's few if any problems. Nevertheless, his deputies patrol the area on a regular basis.
Ali Rashid an Islamville elder. He was recruited by Gilani 25 years ago in Pakistan. He told us that Islamville is "an open community and we don't hide anything."After seeing our camera, Rashid said, "I'm sure you just photographed and what you just photographed is all there is."
When we asked Rashid for an interview, he declined saying the Muslims of America leaders didn't want him talking with the media. He says they told him "well look, anyone who gives a news interview, make sure you're not saying things that would seem like we're a hidden group. We don't want to give that impression."
He did agree to call his home office to see if he could talk. A few moments later he returned, and again the answer was no. But when J.R. Berry asked Ali Rashid about possible terrorist ties with Sheikh Gilani, he said, "We're not listed as terrorist, Sheikh Gilani is not a terrorist, so we don't have a problem."
He then took J.R.'s name and number and promised somebody would get in touch. We were then escorted from the property, and no one ever called.
"Law enforcement has been concerned about Islamville since it opened," says Sheriff Bryant. "These people drive our school buses in this county and they work in our hospitals."
But the sheriff's biggest worry has to do with where Islamville is located. According to the 2006 law enforcement report, Gilani opened his compounds near significant infrastructure targets. Islamville is less than five miles away from the Catawba Nuclear Station.When asked if that was a concern, Sheriff Bryant said, "Absolutely. Those are the types of things...the reason that we have these folks on our radar and why we try to keep up with what's going on out there."
Three hours after leaving Islamville we went back, this time staying outside the compound. Within seconds we were approached by Gilani followers. One young man told us that, "we live just like our neighbors live. We don't bother anyone. We're very friendly people. We go out to work and make an honest living and we just believe in our beliefs."
"If it's true what we hear about the Muslim beliefs and the Jihadists and terrorists who intend to harm our country, I would be foolish to sit here and say it didn't concern me," Bryant says. "But you know I can't act on a concern. I need something to take action. There are people who want us to go out there and shut them down. But somebody tell me how. What right do we have to do that?"
Despite the 2006 law enforcement report that says Sheikh Gilani is known as an international terrorist, he's not on any current terror watch list here in America. Neither are the compounds that he controls--the Muslims of America.However, at one time Sheikh Gilani and some of his followers did appear on the U.S. State department's list of terrorist organizations. They were removed from that list nine years ago.
The FBI is very aware of Sheikh Gilani and the York County compound, but they would not talk to us for our story.
As far as who's living at Islamville, more than 100 people stayed at the site two years ago, but that number is now down to around 50.
As you can see from the US Government report, and the excellent reporting from WLTX York County these compounds are very suspicious and need to be closely monitered. Youtube is full of video's that were recorded on or around these compounds. Here is one from SouthCarolina: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bMgkJya5DQ
The Internet is full of articles on these compounds, here are links to some of the best: