9 people arrested by Moorish American Arms group after confrontation with Massachusetts police


WAKEFIELD, Mass. – Police arrested nine members of an armed group of men claiming to “disregard our laws” after a standoff with Massachusetts police who closed a major highway over the busy holiday weekend and prompted shelter-in-place orders.

The bizarre incident occurred on Saturday morning after a state soldier saw a group of eight to 10 men in military-style uniforms refuel their vehicles on the 1-95 side at around 1:30 a.m. in Wakefield, about 10 miles north of Boston.

The men – who wore tactical gear like body cameras and helmets and had long guns slung over their shoulders – told the soldier they were heading to Maine from Rhode Island to “train.”

During the roadside check, two arrests were made. The rest of the group, identifying themselves as “Moorish American weapons”, fled into a wooded area. All were arrested at 10:45 am local time, police said.

The dead end closed part of I-95 in Wakefield in both directions, causing heavy traffic as people hit the road for the July 4th weekend. It remains partially closed.

Residents of nearby Wakefield and Reading have been urged to lock their doors and shelter in place. Wakefield Police said in their statement that no threats had been made but the men were considered armed and dangerous. No injuries or gunshots were reported.

Massachusetts officials said the group claimed it “does not recognize our laws.” ABC News is asking federal officials whether or not this group is known to be extremist.

Southern Poverty Law Center identifies sovereign Moorish citizen movement as “a collection of independent organizations and isolated individuals” who “espouse an interpretation of the sovereign doctrine that African Americans constitute an elite class within American society with special rights and privileges which are theirs. confer sovereign immunity placing them beyond federal and state authority ”.

It is not known whether the group at Wakefield’s dead end is following this doctrine.

Members of the Moorish rulers, called Moors, have come into conflict with federal and state authorities for their refusal to obey government laws and regulations. Recently, sovereign Moorish citizens have engaged in violent clashes with the forces of the ‘order,’ according to the SPLC.

Last month, a Los Angeles man who identified himself as a Moorish ruler was arrested in Newark, New Jersey, after locking himself in a woman’s house and declaring it her ancestral property.

This is a developing story, please check for updates.

The Associated Press and ABC News contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2021 KGO-TV. All rights reserved.


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