The name 'Rise of the Moors' seems to have been taken from the Angelina Jolie movie Maleficent where a dark fairy ruled the magical kingdom of Moors.
But why is it trending on Google lately? Well, the reason is that a gang that calls itself 'Rise of the Moors' was arrested by police in Massachusetts following an hours-long standoff in the middle of a highway Saturday morning bringing traffic to a halt on Interstate-95 in Wakefield.
As many as 11 heavily armed people were involved in the gang. Police arrested two men from the group after in the morning and nine others were taken into custody a little later. The incident forced residents to take shelter in place.
Who are the gang members of 'Rise of the Moors'?
According to reports, the gang members have identified themselves on social media as members of "Rise of the Moors." The gang describes itself as a group of Moorish sovereign Americans who define themselves as aboriginal people of North America, according to their website. The arrested group of 11 armed men of the gang included one 17-year-old juvenile while others were between the age of 21 and 40.
The gang members who were due in court Tuesday to face numerous charges, hails from Rhode Island, New York and Michigan, according to Massachusetts police.
"Rise of the Moors" Gang Members Who Have Been Identified Are:
- Quinn Cumberlander, 40, from Pawtucket, Rhode Island
- Lamar Dow, 34, from Bronx New York
- Jamhal Tavon Sanders Latimer aka Jamhal Talib Abdullah Bey, 29, from Providence, Rhode Island
- Aaron Lamont Johnson (also known as Tarrif Sharif Bey), 29, from Detroit, Michigan
- Conrad Pierre, 29, from Baldwin from New York
- Alban El Curraugh, 27, from Bronx, New York
- Wilfredo Hernandez aka Will Musa, 23, from the Bronx, New York
- Robert Rodriguez, 21, of the Bronx, New York
What's Moorish Sovereignty Move?
The Moorish sovereign-citizen movement started in the mid-1990s. The movement is linked with the Moorish Science Temple, which is a religious sect that dates from 1913. According to Mark Pitcavage, a historian, analyst of far-right-wing groups and a supporter of the Anti-Defamation League's Center on Extremism, Moorish sovereign groups believe African Americans had special rights because of a 1780s treaty with Morocco. They also believe African Americans were descended from African 'Moors' and that African Americans were indigenous people to the Americas."
According to the "Rise of the Moors" gang "sovereignty and nationality can be considered synonymous." On Saturday, one of the members of the gang disputed the sovereign-citizen moniker and said, "We are not anti-government. We are not anti-police, we are not sovereign citizens, we're not Black identity extremists," according to reports.
Charges Against "Rise of the Moors"
Each of the "Rise of the Moors" gang members is facing charges of unlawful possession of arms and ammunition. The members have been charged with unlawful possession of a firearm (eight counts), unlawful possession of ammunition, possession of a high capacity magazine, use of body armor in the commission of a crime, storage of firearms in a vehicle and conspiring criminal activities.
According to the police, three AR-15 rifles, a shotgun, a bolt-action rifle, two pistols and a short-barrel rifle have been recovered from the gang's possession.
Meanwhile, the father of the "Rise of the Moors" gang leader told the media that his son is not a violent person at all. "No one can ever say that he's done anything wrong to them, no one," he said.