WAKEFIELD (CBS) — Members of a relatively unknown group were part of a standoff that closed Interstate 95 in Wakefield Saturday morning. The men claim to be part of a group called “The Rise of The Moors – The Moorish American Arms.”
“This is not a well-known group. They’re not on the radar of law enforcement agencies widely across the country, but they are now,” WBZ security expert and former Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis said.READ MORE: Woman Killed In Shooting Near Roslindale Pharmacy
The standoff ended around 10:30 with a total of 11 people taken into custody, as Davis anticipated. You can’t have a major highway like the shutdown the holiday weekend for an indefinite period of time,” he said.
The men could be up against a slew of charges, including firearms charges, disturbing the peace, and disorderly conduct.
“These are very dangerous individuals. These are not guys who are going to go up to Maine to go camping. They’re bringing camping gear. They’re not going to go hunting up there. Why are they heavily armed?”
On Saturday, the group claimed they were peaceful and weren’t anti-government but according to Davis, that contradicts their published rhetoric.
“If you look at what they published a month ago on Youtube, which I have had a chance to look at, it’s anything but peaceful. They’ve identified the democratic two-party system as their enemy. They’ve 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,” said Davis.READ MORE: Are Masks Back In Massachusetts? Officials Weigh A Mandate Following CDC Guidance
The self-professed leader was live-streaming on social media while stopped on I-95.
Davis said it’s unusual for a group to be able to take over the narrative during a standoff. “It’s very unusual – unless the group has a plan; unless the group has been thoughtful about merging on the public scene. If that was their plan today, they’re achieving that goal.”
“Bear in mind that this is theater right now,” Davis said in the midst of the standoff. “The question is how long do you let this go on?”
He applauded State Police for keeping initial interactions with the group peaceful.
“[The trooper] is driving down the street, he sees a motorist that appears to be in need of assistance, and the trooper gets out to deal with what he thinks is a routine gas or motor vehicle problem, and comes up against this armed militia. It’s amazing that nothing bad happened at that initial encounter. A real tribute to the to the officer involved,” Davis said.MORE NEWS: Car Crashes Into Richardson's Ice Cream Shop In Middleton
The highway has since reopened.