Fuqra leader Pakistani Sheikh Gilani
Clarion Project, by Ryan Mauro, May, 16, 2018:
A member of Muslims of the Americas (MOA), an Islamist hate group that cultishly follows a jihadist cleric in Pakistan, is running for Congress in Alaska. He is the second member of MOA to announce a congressional run this year, following Tahirah Amatul-Wadud in Massachusetts.
In 2016, Gregory “Shoaib” Jones was a delegate for Senator Bernie Sanders at the Democratic National Convention and ran for the Alaska state House in District 8. His deep involvement with MOA was exposed by the Clarion Project at the time, triggering a statewide controversy.
Now, Jones is running for Congress and styling himself as a progressive interfaith leader. If Jones wins the Democratic primary for the at-large congressional district, he will face Republican Rep. Don Young in the general election.
The group that Greg Jones belongs to is led by a terror-linked cleric in Pakistan named Sheikh Mubarak Ali Gilani. It claims to have 22 “Islamic villages” in America, including its “Islamberg” headquarters.
The group has been continually under investigation because of its criminal and terrorist activity since the 1970s, including a raid on its guerilla training camp in Colorado in 1992.
In October 2017, a letter from the Justice Department to the Clarion Project confirmed that an investigation into Jones’ group is ongoing. And newly-declassified FBI reports from 2009 to 2011 show that FBI offices still view MOA as an extremist threat.
MOA’s extremist and anti-Semitic ideology is thoroughly documented, as is its history of paramilitary-type activity. Today, it is openly urging Muslims to support the Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist group in Kashmir and Pakistan.
The Clarion Project has an entire comprehensive website about the group and its state-by-state activity here.
Despite all of this documentation and Greg Jones’ admitted membership in MOA and trips to Pakistan, the media turned Anchorage Assemblywoman and radio host Amy Demboski into the state’s biggest villain when she merely mentioned the issue.
Demboski even had Jones on her radio show to tell his side of the story. On her show, he confirmed that he is a member of MOA. When asked whether he’s gone to Pakistan, he initially avoided answering and then admitted he had gone there and has met Sheikh Gilani. Jones further confirmed that Gilani continues to lead the group to which he belongs.
Jones said that Demboski had put him and his family in danger. He wrote an op-ed calling on her to “apologize or step down.” When Jones and his wife publicly confronted Demboski, they got a standing ovation in the assembly.
The Alaskan Democrats published a press release on December 7, 2016, titled, “Democrats Stand With Greg Jones.” State Party Chair Casey Steinau said she was “saddened and outraged” by the “anti-Muslim rhetoric” of Demboski.
The Alaska Democratic Party did not explain how MOA’s radical ideology is compatible with its progressive values.
Demobski, for merely mentioning a candidate’s admitted membership in a hate group, faced a pile-on in the media. Heavily biased and often inaccurate reporting making Demboski look like a nonsensical bigot appeared in KTUU, Anchorage Press, Alaska Commons, KTVA, Alaska Public Media, Talking Points Memo, Midnight Sun and Anchorage Daily News (in fairness, at least Anchorage Daily News published an op-ed by Demboski defending herself).
“I was the focus of a robust public campaign to vilify my character and intimidate me to back down; I received threats against my person and property, as well as harassing phone calls. But in the end, like many Alaskans, I don’t back down when truth is on my side,” Demboski told the Clarion Project.
Demboski provided us with just a sampling of the harassment she experienced, though she emphasized she doesn’t consider herself to be a victim. The vile messages included numerous wishes for her to die, expressions of hate and graphic insults that cannot be repeated here. One pledged to burn American flags in front of her home.
Now, the issue is resurfacing, but this time, Demboski is vindicated by the Clarion Project’s release of documents from a FBI counter-terrorism investigation into MOA in Alaska from 2009 to 2010, with additional FBI reports from 2011.
The documents indicate that MOA figures in the state—perhaps including Greg Jones himself—were placed under surveillance.
2009: MOA Announces its Expansion into Alaska
In June 2009, MOA’s Islamic Post newspaper announced that Gregory and Maleika Jones, using the names of “Shuaib and Malika Ahmed,” had arrived in Alaska “to establish an independent, self-sufficient, purely Islamic village.” It says this was “initiated” by their Pakistan-based leader, Sheikh Mubarak Ali Gilani.
In other words, Sheikh Gilani dispatched Greg Jones and his wife to lead MOA’s expansion in Alaska.
Right from the start, MOA’s Alaska operation was tasked with emphasizing their interest in interfaith dialogue. A Facebook photo shows him and his wife manning a table for the United Muslim Christian Forum, the interfaith front group for MOA that supports prosecuting “hate speech” against Islam. The Forum’s website and activity were filled with anti-Semitism, including teaching that Jews orchestrated the 9/11 attacks.
MOA is often secretive and deceptive about its “villages” or “communities” (they use both terms). However, MOA has confirmed their intentions in Alaska, even though Jones does not mention MOA on his campaign website and MOA’s official outlets are not bringing attention to his candidacy.
In 2014, MOA’s chief executive Hussein Adams, the son of a convicted terrorist, mentioned in 2014 that MOA has a “community” near Anchorage. Adams stated that such a “community” like MOA’s other “Islamic villages” existed in Alaska but, two years later, Jones said it was still a work in progress.
In December 2016, Jones boasted about MOA’s “Holy Islamville” commune in South Carolina and expressed his desire to follow the model in Alaska.
“Jones does not dispute that his family’s dream is to buy land and establish a small enclave like the one in South Carolina, where they could establish a school and place of worship. They have not done so yet, and are currently living in an apartment in the Valley,” reported the Anchorage Daily News in an article heavily biased in favor of MOA.
FBI Files Reveal Counter-Terrorism Investigation into MOA in Alaska
According to newly-obtained FBI documents, the Anchorage field office’s investigation began in November 2009 after a FBI agent found a copy of MOA’s newspaper in a coffee shop in Anchorage. This is the same newspaper that announced that MOA was starting of a “purely Islamic village” in Alaska.
In a FBI report dated November 27, 2009, the bureau labeled MOA as “armed and dangerous.” It begins by summarizing the group’s consistent history of extremism, terrorism and crime:
“Jamaat ul-Fuqra, aka Muslims of the Americas (MOA), have a history of violence and/or violent acts. Use extreme caution when dealing with confirmed members or individuals who are believed to be associated with this group.”
Another FBI document from December 2010 explicitly refers to “the Muslims of the Americas terrorist organization” and states:
“The MOA is composed primarily of black American Muslim converts, many who converted to Islam while in prison. Many MOA members reside in rural communities (jamaats) to live and worship free from non-Muslim influence.
“The MOA jamaats are located on land that has been privately owned or rented by members. Each jamaat usually has numerous trailers where members reside, a mosque, and a guard post, some with armed guards, at the entrance to the properties. These communities, similar to commune type facilities, have women and children residing in them with the children being homeschooled.
“Organized training is also conducted to include weapons training, tactics, hand-to-hand combat, rappelling, and live-fire exercises.”
The FBI investigation was focused on at least one male who is leading MOA in Alaska, whose name is redacted in the released files.
The investigation mentioned that FBI surveillance on the suspect revealed he had “established Alaska as his permanent residence” base in 2009.
The FBI said that the suspect holds a title and “this position is one which is typically appointed by Gilani himself.”
The documents indicate the Alaskan MOA has been involved with a MOA front in South Carolina named the Islamic Political Party of America. This entity is more openly extreme and inflammatory than MOA’s “moderate” presentation.
The MOA newspaper said that Jones was born in Washington, D.C. and spent most of his life in South Carolina. He also says he lived in North Carolina.
The FBI’s investigation into this leader of MOA in Alaska was closed in December 2010 because, “although captioned subject has several ties to the Muslims of the Americas terrorist organization, authorized investigative techniques did not show a definitive link to criminal or terrorist activity.”
In other words, the FBI is privately saying that MOA is an extremist group and is a threat to take seriously. However, specific evidence of illegal and/or violent activity by the individual suspect must be obtained to justify continuing the investigation, regardless of the extremist-but-legal activity that raises the concerns.
The FBI report clearly states that the investigation into this MOA figure in Alaska will be reopened if new evidence is obtained. For all we know, that may have already happened. After all, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms confirmed in October 2017 that its investigation into MOA is ongoing.
Only days after the closure of the investigation, the FBI in Alaska was in communication with colleagues across the country about a MOA suspect in the area of Clarksburg, West Virginia. The details are censored, but somehow it was connected to MOA in Alaska, as the documents refer to having a local ATF agent “obtain a copy of the subject’s application.”
The most recent declassified FBI document regarding MOA in Alaska is from April 2011. It is entirely redacted except for the reference to MOA and a certain subject’s contacts. Regardless of whether the investigation was technically reopened or not, it is apparent that the FBI in Alaska is significantly concerned about MOA’s operations in the state.
Meanwhile, Jones’ campaign boasts that he was a liaison with the Anchorage Police and Fire Chaplains Association in 2015 and graduated from the Anchorage Citizens Police Academy in 2016. During his last campaign, he said he recently worked as a Security and Investigations Professional with ADT Fire & Security.
Earlier MOA Investigation Involved Greg Jones’ Father
Other documents obtained by the Clarion Project show that Greg Jones’ father was also mentioned in the context of a national security investigation, one of many law enforcement investigations and prosecutions of MOA.
The documents show that the Maryland State Police Criminal Intelligence Division began an investigation of MOA in the state in January 1993 after the Colorado state government raided a MOA “village” being used as a guerilla training camp and hideout and prosecuted leaders of MOA’s terrorist and criminal plots.
The investigation in Colorado led to the Maryland State Police’s investigation of a MOA (also known as “Fuqra”) community at Walker’s Trailer Park in Marydel, located in Caroline County.
According to the report, MOA members from the trailer park were believed to have committed a robbery in Marydel on August 19, 1994. The police visited the MOA dwelling and, although they did not locate the stolen property, they did find a Uzi 9mm semi-automatic gun hidden inside an abandoned washing machine.
Key subjects of the investigation into MOA in Maryland, partially because of their connections to a Colorado-based MOA terrorist named James D. Williams, had the Jones surname.
One, Gregory I. Jones of Waldorf, Maryland and Washington D.C., is the presumed father of the Alaskan congressional candidate of the same name. In a radio interview, Jones refers to his father and uncle being long-time MOA members who converted to Islam in 1971 when he was five years old.
When MOA terrorist and Gilani-confidante James D. Williams was convicted, another MOA member named Herbert Ector pledged his home as collateral for Williams’ bail. Ector listed Gregory I. Jones as a personal reference on the application. This enabled Williams to fail to appear at his sentencing and to become a fugitive until 2000.
The investigators saw Gregory I. Jones’ car at the home of Ector, the MOA member who secured Williams’ bail.
When they went to Gregory I. Jones’ residence in Waldorf, they found that there were two men, three women and three children. They saw a vehicle there was registered to Jones using a Nashville address. The registration was expired, as was the Tennessee driver’s license associated with the vehicle. The report also mentioned that a fire broke out at Jones’ Waldorf residence in late April 1994.
No further information about the elder Jones was provided in the report except for an explicit mention of the FBI investigating him at the time.
Links to MOA’s Massachusetts Congressional Candidate
In December 2017, the Clarion Project exposed how a congressional candidate in Massachusetts, Tahirah Amatul-Wadud, had unadvertised links to MOA. She just qualified for the ballot, clearing a hurdle for her primary challenge to Democratic Rep. Richard Neal (voting is on September 4).
One of her concerning actions was promoting an anti-Semitic article by Sheikh Gilani that criticized the U.S. for fighting Hitler and drew moral equivalence between the Nazis and their Jewish victims.
Amatul-Wadud is also on the board of the state chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), another Islamist group hostile to progressive Muslims that oppose the Islamist ideology.
The U.S. Justice Department, as well as reams of publicly-available information, prove that CAIR was created as an entity of the Muslim Brotherhood as part of a pro-Hamas operation. CAIR was designated an “unindicted co-conspirator” in the Hamas-fundraising trial of the Holy Land Foundation.
The connection between Greg Jones in Alaska and Tahirah Amatul-Wadud in Massachusetts is stronger than just having a long-term membership in the same fringe Islamist cult. They also arrange events together for MOA.
In 2016, the University of Alaska-Anchorage’s Multicultural Center had an event called “Debuking Myths of Islam” with Amatul-Wadud as the speaker. One advertisement for the event explicitly identified it as being done “in collaboration” with MOA and facilitated by Greg and Malika Jones of MOA.
Americans’ jaws should drop at the prospect of having a public figure with any ties to MOA and the hateful ideology of its beloved leader. Yet, now we have two congressional candidates who actually endorse Sheikh Gilani and MOA’s ideology and willingly belong to the subversive group.