Members of the militant New Black Panther Party have been arrested and charged with making straw purchases of two handguns and are believed to have conspired to detonate pipe bombs during protests in Ferguson, Missouri, according to several reports.
Brandon Baldwin, who goes by the name Brandon Muhammad, and Olajuwon Davis, who goes by Olajuwon Ali, were indicted on Wednesday for making false statements in order to purchase two .45 ACP pistols at a Cabela’s in Hazelwood, just outside of Ferguson, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
Ali is the chairman of the St. Louis chapter of the New Black Panther Party.
NBC News reported that Ali and Muhammad are also suspected of trying to acquire pipe bombs that they planned to detonate in the event of a St. Louis County grand jury’s decision to refuse to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michel Brown.
According to NBC, two sources said that federal investigators caught wind of Ali’s and Muhammad’s plan and put them under surveillance.
“We wanted to see where this might go,” an official told NBC.
The gun charge is the only one pending against the pair of Panthers, though NBC reported that other charges are pending.
The Daily Caller’s requests for additional information from the U.S. Attorney’s Office were not returned.
An indictment unsealed Friday alleges that Ali and Muhammad made the straw purchases between Nov. 1 and Nov. 13.
As chairman of the New Black Panther Party’s St. Louis chapter, Ali has protested Brown’s shooting death with a number of public notices which are published online.
In one, Ali blamed the media for circulating “false propaganda” and claimed that the black militant group was interested in peaceful protests.
Chawn Kweli, the national chief of staff for the New Black Panther Party, posted on his blog about the arrest, blaming it on “COINTELPRO,” or Counter Intelligence Program, another term for government infiltration.
“The wicked enemies of black people use lies and deceit to confuse the masses and misdirect the legitimate aspirations of the black power movement,” Kweli wrote.
“As seen, in St. Louis, Mo, with the arrest of Chairman Olajawon Ali, and other activist ahead of the decision no whether to indict Officer Darren Wilson for killing Mike Brown – or not!”
On his Facebook page, Ali alluded to law enforcement’s interest in his activities.
“Family and Friends, everyday I got Caucasians following me in SUV trucks,” he wrote on Wednesday. “Please be advised that if you show any signs of noncompliance with this Devil they will try to assasinate [sic] you.”
In another post, Ali posted a link to a web article calling on people to avoid shopping on Black Friday in honor of Brown.
The St. Louis grand jury that will decide Wilson’s fate reportedly met for the last time on Friday. An announcement is imminent.
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