Heavily-armed individuals claiming to be associated with a racial separatist group were arrested following a standoff with the police that temporarily shutdown I-95 near Wakefield, Massachusetts.
The situation started around 1:30 am, when the Massachusetts State Police (MSP) spotted two vehicles in the breakdown lane with hazard lights on near Exit 57, according to WCVB.
When a state trooper approached the cars to offer help, military-style tactical gear and weapons were seen on some of the individuals. The group claimed to have run out of fuel on their “training” trip from Rhode Island to Maine and failed to show identification or firearm licenses to the trooper, after which more back-up was called, according to WCVB. (RELATED: REPORT: Armed Standoff, Police Raid Ends With Arrest Of Former Deputy)
We have several armed persons accounted for at this scene on Rt 95. They are refusing to comply with orders to provide their information and put down their weapons. We are asking residents of Wakefield and Reading to shelter in place at this time. https://t.co/DTPA6QEsC8
— Mass State Police (@MassStatePolice) July 3, 2021
The group refused to comply with orders from the police to put down their arms, although no active threats were made At some point during the standoff, several of the group descended into the wooded area near the Interstate highway, Massachusetts State Police Col. Christopher Mason said, according to WCTI 12.
Shelter-in-place orders were in place in the nearby towns of Wakefield and Reading until 11:30 am, after the MSP Special Tactical Operations Team detained 11 armed individuals of the group.
Brandishing a Moroccan flag, the armed individuals who caused the blockade self-identified as part of “Rise of the Moors,” a Moorish sovereign citizens group based in Rhode Island, whose main webpage claims that the 14th Amendment is a “tool of usurpation.”
The leader of the standoff has been identified as Jahmal Latimer, also known as Talib Abdulla Bey, according to CBS Boston. Latimer claims that his followers are not American citizens and that he is the “grand chief” of the territory of “Rhode Island.”
MASSACHUSETTS – Armed standoff near Boston resulted in arrest of 9 members of a militia group called ‘Rise of the Moors’. pic.twitter.com/uDqOa8pEwF
— ShatteredWorldMedia ???? (@MediaShattered) July 3, 2021
Moorish sovereign citizen groups such as Rise of the Moors believe that African Americans, as descendants of the historical Moors, make up an elite class within American society that are immune to Federal or State authority, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. They have been known to engage in both political violence and “paper terrorism,” acting against the American government through financial means.