Fox News aired a longer news story this evening on the Jamaat ul-Fuqra compound in Red House. This time it was on Special Report, with Jim Angle filling in for Brit Hume.
I still don’t have any video for these reports, but D.K. Shideler has made another transcript for us of tonight’s story:
|Anchor:||…A peaceful existence at their compound in southwest Virginia, but federal authorities tell Fox News that the group is on their radar after a major counterfeiting bust earlier this year. National Correspondent Catherine Herridge paid a visit to the compound, and filed this story.|
|Catherine Herridge:||About 12 miles south of Appomattox, where General Lee surrendered to General Grant in 1865, lies the town of Red House, Virginia. It’s a small place by any standard, just over 300 people, not a traffic light for miles, its also home to this 44 acre compound run by the Muslims of America.|
|Thomas Jones:||The land was purchased, and they said they thought it was a good area for them to come into. They liked the area, it was secluded.|
|Catherine Herridge:||For more than 2 decades Thomas Jones has been Sheriff of Charlotte County, which includes Red House. He has known the group since the early 90s.|
|Thomas Jones:||We’ve had domestic disputes, and a some civil processes and all. They’ve always complied with our needs. The gate is always open, you know, we drive in. You know [Garbled]…|
|Catherine Herridge:||This federal law enforcement fact sheet obtained by Fox News links the Muslims of America with a group called Jamaat ul-Fuqra. The document states that its leader, Sheikh Gilani, who lives in Pakistan, began preaching against the west back in 1981, at a mosque in Brooklyn.
Jamaat ul-Fuqra, the fact sheet states, has more than 35 suspected communes, and more than 3000 members spread across the United States, all in support of one goal, the purification of Islam through violence. The document states that shoe bomber Richard Reed, DC Sniper John Allen Muhammad may be linked to the group.
In 2002, Jamaat ul-Fuqra got a lot of attention after the murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, who was apparently trying to see Gilani. Gilani denied in Pearl’s kidnapping.
When Fox News went to the compound we were met by [unclear] Wasi, who says he’s the mayor of the community.
|Wasi:||A lot of people come here, a lot of people have questions, about what is your philosophy. Our philosophy is that we’re Muslim.|
|Catherine Herridge:||Wasi would not give Fox a formal interview, but off camera he claimed that the group is non-violent and that there is no link to Jamaat ul-Fuqra. Wasi took Fox on a tour of the compound but would not allow cameras.
The living conditions appeared to be Spartan and run down. Fox was told that most of the Muslims who live here are African Americans, others come from Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Europe.
|Thomas Jones:||They stay awhile, and its kind of a wayside for some of them. Traveling through from, I guess, one Muslim compound, or village, to the other.|
|Catherine Herridge:||In March, 8 men were arrested in 4 states, part of a federal investigation into a multi-million dollar counterfeit goods ring. Federal law enforcement sources say there was a link to Muslims of America.
Wasi confirmed at least one of the suspects once lived at the compound, but he claimed that the man was asked to leave for quote, “anti-social behavior”. Wasi also said they had guns, quote, “it’s America, its perfectly legal.”
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|Thomas Jones:||Well if they use them to hunt, I don’t know. But they’ve admitted they use them for target practicing. And they are semi-automatic.|
|Catherine Herridge:||Fox News went to the compound a second time, to shoot more video from the public highway. The reception was less welcoming.|
|Video:||Who are you guys? You live up on the compound?|
|Catherine Herridge:||At one point the truck tailed our camera crew until Fox left Red House. Wasi apologized for the incident, saying he didn’t know if the men lived in the compound, or in town. In Red House, Virginia, Catherine Herridge, Fox News.|
Update: Thanks to commenter iknitifrogiknitagain, we have corrected the spelling of the Fox correspondent’s last name. That’s what we get for relying on audio!