The cracked, narrow road to Islamberg winds through the rolling green hills of upstate New York, hugging the Pennsylvania border about a three hour drive northwest of New York City. Islamberg, near the town of Hancock, is a 70 acre compound buried deep in the woods, a property littered with unkempt structures, abandoned trailers and school buses, storage units, a shooting range, and an tent city. The compound also sits on the Cannonsville reservoir, which provides 50 per cent of New York City’s drinking water and where the residents are said to practice underwater military training exercises.
Established in the 70s, Islamberg is home to over 200 people, many of them convicted felons who converted to Islam while in prison. About a dozen homes sit on the property as well as a mosque, where residents worship, and the children who live there are homeschooled. It is among 22 similar, functional properties in the U.S. that were founded by a Pakistani Sufi cleric named Mubarak Ali Gilani. Gilani is believed to be the head of Jamaat ul-Fuqra, a deadly terror network based in Pakistan. Several researchers and national security experts believe they have found evidence that Islamberg is an active terror cell training people to be guerrilla fighters, keeps stockpiled weapons, and has shady connections to overseas terror organizations.
Gilani believes he can fly and claims to teleport to heaven to hang out with Jesus. While many in the media are quick to label those who question Gilani as “Nazis,” the cleric is a proud Holocaust denier and on the record making disparaging comments about Jews. He also has a soft spot for Hitler. His life’s work has been training guerrilla fighters and, in typical cult-fashion, his followers send him a portion of their income. In 1992 one of his compounds in Colorado was raided by agents and shut down.
If these are misconceptions about Gilani, journalists ought to be able to get to the bottom of it. There’s just one snag. The last American to attempt to speak with the Islamic leader in Pakistan was Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in 2002. Pearl didn’t get many answers because on the way to the interview he was kidnapped and decapitated by Jamaat ul-Fuqra militants. A 2007 FBI investigation was inconclusive about the Islamberg landlord’s direct involvement, and Gilani denies giving the order that murdered Pearl, however the dubious warlord did confirm on his own website that he believed Pearl was a CIA assassin on his way to kill him.
Enter, the freedom riders. The Islamberg Ride for Homeland Security in an annual event organized by Rami “Ram” Lubranicki of the American Bikers United Against Jihad.The objective of the ride is to draw attention to this isolated compound living under sharia where residents honor a militant extremist. They also believe Gilani is a direct descendant of Mohammed. In its three years of existence, organizers have stressed that the event is peaceful. According to the bikers, vulgarity or harassment of any kind is not permitted, and has yet to be an issue.
Both the Daily Beast and Outline have desperately attempted to connect the annual ride to the case of Robert Doggart, a 65-year-old Tennessee man and former congressional candidate, who was arrested in 2015 after an FBI wiretap on his phone revealed he planned to travel to Islamberg and attack the compound with Molotov cocktails and other explosive devices. He’s been sentenced to 20 years in prison. The bikers have staunchly denied any association with Doggart.
An American ‘no-go zone’
The first time I joined the ride was last year. I didn’t believe a place like Islamberg existed and had to see it with my own eyes. The ride is coordinated with state and local police. Uniformed officers in flak jackets line parts of the isolated dirt road leading to the compound, with police vehicles stationed at the entrance and exit. Police stand in front of the road that leads directly into the compound’s residential area, where the bikers are not permitted to enter and, we’re told, is sometimes patrolled by armed Islamic guards.
As Europe and the U.K. remain in the grip of a migrant crisis, societies within societies are rapidly forming there, bringing with them the horrible baggage of cultures struggling to assimilate, namely grooming gangs, sharia, a lockdown on free speech, and the constant threat of terror attacks. But it is also happening here, and not just in immigrant communities in the suburbs of Detroit. The Islambergs of America almost exclusively prey on African Americans who converted to Islam while incarcerated in the prison system. Last year, a man connected with the Islamberg compound named Ramadan Abdullah, was arrested with a stockpile weapons about a month before the ride took place.It was reported the weapons may have been intended for use against the riders. This year, nearly 60 police officers were stationed along the ride, about one officer for every two participants.
Lubranicki started the ride with help from a mother and former Democrat named Lisa Joseph, who brandished a sign reading “Stop Protesting Homeland Security and Join Us,” at this year’s event. The organizers say they were not protesting Islam, or Muslim people, but bringing awareness to terrorism.
At the meeting place in Deposit, N.Y. young men with beards and wearing combat fatigues awaited our arrival, where they snapped photos of the party and participants’ vehicles. Some rally-goers confronted them, and the men confirmed they were from the compound. The same men were waiting for us at the end of the ride, still taking photos. The ride itself is about a ten minute drive up winding dirt roads into the isolated, wooded area. As the ride began, Harley Davidsons, Jeeps, pick-up trucks, and soccer moms in American flag-plastered minivans entered the road as police stood watchful on all sides. During last year’s ride, air-raid sirens blasted from the compound as we approached. This year, a eerie silence prevailed.
The first year, Muslims of America organized a counter-protest. Perhaps realizing meeting the joyriders at the gates drew more attention to the compound, in addition to being filmed, they’ve since remained mostly in the shadows. Muslims of America is believed to be the American front organization for Jamaat ul-Fuqra, in the same way the Council on American Islamic Relations, or CAIR, is believed to be connected to HAMAS. Muslims of America has denied the association while also refusing to renounce Gilani.
This year, it’s the Southern Poverty Law Center’s turn. That Don Quixote of bloated NGOs, fighting windmills they believe are racist dragons, launched a hit piece about the ride, conflating questions surrounding Islamberg’s existence with racism. The piece gives a profile of Doggart as well, with an implication that anyone who has questions about a wooded compound with terror-ties sitting on the edge of a reservoir must be Doggart’s kin. Perhaps running out of inventive ways to malign a textbook peaceful and brief demonstration, the SPLC revealed to its readers the smoking gun, the worst crime of all: after their hate-haul, the riders held a barbecue where pork was served.
“…event participants will form a motor vehicle caravan and ride past the outskirts of Islamberg before heading to a local state park where they will have a ‘pig roast,’ presumably an act intended to insult the Muslim residents of Islamberg,” the SPLC reported.
Guilty. Although at least one participate who didn’t partake in feasting on the other white meat was the kosher Lubranicki. The 61-year-old (not 55, as the SPLC reported) addressed what he has gone through in recent years, saying, “I’m Jewish. I’m Israeli born. I’m a legal immigrant. I’m a son of Holocaust survivors; my mother survived Auschwitz and half my family were murdered by the Nazis. I’m a patriot. I’m an American and I have a racially mixed family.”
“I live the life of what they call diversity. I don’t talk about it, I just live it. And I’m being called a Nazi almost every week, all because I support our president,” he said. He promised the Ride for Homeland Security will continue, with the annual event happening the second Saturday after the Fourth of July.
And even if he can’t enjoy it personally, they will continue to serve pork at the post-caravan ‘cue, not to insult Islam, but because pork is delicious.
http://officialproudboys.com/ On July 15th Proud Boys Magazine went along on a Ride for National Security organized by Everything Patriot. The ride was through Isalmberg, a camp ground in Handcock NY with ties to a a terror organization called Jamaat al Fuqura.
Pawl Bazile is Patriotism Correspondent for DANGEROUS and Production Director for Proud Boy Magazine. He tweets at @PawlBazile.