WAKEFIELD (CBS) — I-Team sources say Jahmal Latimer, also known as Talib Abdulla Bey, is the self-proclaimed head of “Rise Of The Moors”, a group of the heavily-armed men who were arrested on Route 95 in Wakefield.
He and 10 other suspects have been charged with unlawful possession of a firearm, unlawful possession of ammunition, use of body armor in crime, possession of a high capacity magazine, and improper firearm storage in a vehicle.
Latimer posted a YouTube video last month showing him racking a gun and bragging that he had three.
WBZ-TV security analyst and former Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis says the group “identified police and anybody who wanted to place them under arrest as terrorists, and they talked about tactically attacking police officers who were attempting to do their duty.”
Latimer live-streamed the standoff with the State Police, and online says he is the Moorish American Consular Post Head, part of the Moorish American Arms, and co-founder of Rise Of The Moors, which the website says is a non-profit educational group in Rhode Island.
He also says he is the grand chief of the territory most people know as Rhode Island and says he and his followers are not citizens, but are American nationals. The group flies the Moroccan flag and told police they were going to training camp in Maine.
“You can just attribute to rhetoric. What they are saying after they get caught is simply an attempt to position themselves publicly as poor, unfortunate people that are just exercising their constitutional rights. This is a thin veil over what they’re really doing, which is training as terrorists,” Davis said.
The Southern Poverty Law Center says followers of the Moorish Sovereign Citizens movement believe they are independent of the authority of state and federal government.
“If you look at what happened last night, and you add to that video I just saw from a month ago, these are dangerous guys and have to be taken very seriously,” Davis tells the I-Team.
Latimer was also arrested by Rhode Island State Police in early 2020 for obstructing an officer, disorderly conduct, and resisting arrest.
Court records show the case is still pending.
Rhode Island Police tell WBZ-TV that they say they are well aware of the group and, along with Maine officials, are in communications with the Massachusetts State Police.