Alleged terrorist runs a quiet Muslim-only town outside New YorkMarch 24th, 2009 - 1:19 pm ICT by ANI
Hancock (New York), Mar.24 (ANI): If you didn”t know where to look, you”d probably never find Islamberg, a private Muslim community in the woods of the western Catskills, 150 miles northwest of New York City.
This town, sitting on a quiet dirt road past a gate marked with No Trespassing signs, is home to an estimated 100 residents.
Sheikh Syed Mubarik Ali Shah Gilani, a Pakistani cleric who purchased a 70-acre plot and invited followers, founded Islamberg in 1980. It consists mostly Muslim converts.
Federal authorities say Gilani was also one of the founders of Jamaat al-Fuqra, a terrorist organization believed responsible for dozens of bombings and murders across the U.S. and abroad. The group was linked to the planning of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, and 10 years earlier a member was arrested and later convicted for bombing a hotel in Portland, Oregon.
Islamberg has its own mosque, grocery store and schoolhouse. It also reportedly has a firing range where residents take regular target practice.
Gilani has established similar rural enclaves across the country at least six, including the Red House community in southern Virginia though some believe there are dozens of them, all operating under the umbrella of the “Muslims of the Americas” group founded by Gilani.
FOX News attempted to visit Islamberg after earlier efforts to set up on-camera interviews were rebuffed.
A spokesman said by phone that residents typically shy away from interviews since they worry their words will be manipulated and turned against them. (ANI)
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