Eleven people were detained Saturday after an hours-long standoff with police early Saturday morning outside Boston.
During police negotiations, members of the group reached out to the public on social media, saying that their group was called “The Rise of the Moroccans”.
The heavily armed men were said to be on their way from Rhode Island to Maine for “training”.
The accident began around 1:30 a.m., when state police noticed two cars parked on the side of I-95 near Wakefield, Massachusetts, appearing to run out of fuel. Massachusetts State Police Colonel Christopher Mason told reporters that when soldiers stopped to help, they noticed that some individuals near the cars had “military-style” equipment, and were carrying long rifles and pistols.
“You can imagine 11 individuals armed with long, dangling rifles standing on an interstate highway at 2 a.m. which certainly raises concerns and is not in accordance with the firearms laws we have in Massachusetts,” Mason said.
The police called for support, and thus the standoff, which lasted several hours, began. Police said the men refused to take down their weapons, saying they “do not recognize our laws”. Police said some of the gunmen fled to a nearby wooded area, and part of I-95 was closed for several hours.
The confrontation was broadcast on social media
At about 4 a.m., a man appeared Boston Globe Jamal Talib Abdullah Bey said he was broadcasting live from I-95 and said he told the police they had nothing to fear.
“I reassure them that we are not sovereign citizens,” said a man who looked like Bai. Live video. “I reassured them we weren’t black extremists. I reassured them we weren’t against the police. I reassured them we weren’t anti-government. I reassured them that these guys here wouldn’t point weapons at them. He reassured them that we were trying to find a peaceful solution.”
Showing a car he said contained camping gear, he said, “We’re going to our own private grounds to practice, which is our 2nd Amendment right.”
When the tactical police teams brought in armored vehicles to cordon off the area, and negotiators interacted with the men, they eventually surrendered. Middlesex County District Attorney Marian Ryan told reporters that the suspects are expected to appear in court on Tuesday morning.
The State Police “doesn’t have any knowledge of this particular group” but as State Police, it’s not surprising that we meet people who have sovereign citizenship ideologies — I’m not saying this group has — but we do have those, Mason said at a Saturday morning news briefing.
“We rehearse those encounters,” Mason continued, “We understand a lot about the philosophy behind this mindset. And we train our officers, in fact, at the academy, in these interactions and how to de-escalate those situations, how to deal with people who have that philosophy and mindset and determination Those attitudes in a peaceful manner.”
The group calls themselves “Rise of the Moors.”
The same man who seemed to be Bai said later Video: “They keep portraying us as anti-government, but we are not anti-government at all.”
The group’s website lists Bey as a leader of the “Republic of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.” According to the site, Bey served in the army for four years, some or all of that time in the Marines, after which he began studying “Moorish sciences.”
this site , “The rise of the MoroccansMoroccans are not “sovereign citizens” because “sovereignty does not stand alone”, but can be considered synonymous with “nationality”.
The FAQ says: “The record shows that the Moors are the organic or original kings of this land – America.” “When we declare our citizenship as Maghreb Americans, we are restoring the status of the indigenous peoples of the land, to which sovereign power is vested.”
The Bay group may be related to the Maghreb Sovereign Citizens Movement, which the Southern Poverty Law Center describes as an offshoot of the anti-government Sovereign Citizens Movement. Maghreb kings “entered into conflict with federal and state authorities due to their refusal to comply with government laws and regulations,” SPLC Writes.
“The Moroccan sovereign movement is a rapidly growing group of people who believe they belong to a sovereign country that has a treaty with the United States but operates outside the purview of federal and state laws,” said J.J. McNab, fellow at George Washington University’s Program on Extremism, explained on Twitter.
“They draw on an alternative history that borrows from the Moorish Science Temple, black Hebrew Israel, the Nation of Islam, UFO theories, pseudo Native American tribes, and pseudo-legal arguments crafted by white supremacist ‘national’ groups in the 1970s,” MacNab said.