The self-proclaimed leader of the Rise of the Moors allegedly bragged about his arsenal of guns on YouTube a month before he and 10 other “heavily armed” members of the fringe militia group were arrested in Massachusetts Saturday.
Jahmal Latimer and his comrades were charged with multiple firearms offenses following an intense and bizarre standoff with law enforcement on I-95 in Wakefield — which lasted nine hours.
Just a month earlier, a video posted on the Rise of the Moors Youtube account — which has over 16,000 followers — reportedly showed Latimer posing with a gun and boasting that he had three of them.
The clip, obtained by WBZ-TV, appears to have since been deleted from the group’s page.
In the video, the group also “identified police and anybody who wanted to place them under arrest as terrorists,” the station reported.
The Rise of the Moors is an anti-government, sovereign citizen movement that does not recognize US laws, according to the Southern Poverty Law Centre.
The group also believes they are the ancestral “aboriginal people” of the United States, according to WBZ-TV.
Latimer and 10 other suspects were 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 following the standoff Saturday.
The incident just after 1:30 a.m. when Massachusetts state troopers spotted two cars refueling in a breakdown lane on the highway near mile marker 57.
When cops stopped to assist them, they noticed the occupants of the vehicle were dressed in military-style tactical gear. Some had long rifles, others side pistols, according to reports.
The men told cops they were traveling from Rhode Island to Maine “for training,” police told reporters.
The standoff was then live-streamed by Latimer and other Rise of the Moors members on Facebook and YouTube — showing the members of the group dressed in military getup and holding a Moroccan flag.
“Our nation, represented by our flag right here, has a treaty with your government,” the man in the video, posted by Brandon Davis El, said.
“I would also like to reassure you that we were being extra careful as to not break the federal laws of the United States.”
State Police Colonel Christopher Mason said authorities didn’t know about the group, however, groups like that aren’t “uncommon.”
“I didn’t have any knowledge about this specific group… for the state police it is not uncommon for us to encounter people that have sovereign citizen ideologies,” Mason said during a briefing.
The 11 suspects arrested are expected to appear in court as soon as Tuesday, Attorney Marian Ryan said Saturday at the briefing.
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