This past Saturday morning, Massachusetts State Police finally managed to take into custody a group of 11 individuals after a multi-hour standoff. The arrested group consisted of heavily armed men decked out in tactical gear and they managed to shut down Interstate 95 in Wakefield, which caused the issuing of a shelter-in-place order and caused chaos during the Fourth of July holiday commutes.
The arrested suspects reportedly stated that they were part of an organization entitled “The Rise of The Moors.” The group has been described as “Moorish Americans dedicated to educating new Moors and influencing our Elders.” The group “claimed to be American nationals but not US citizens” and carried out this event sporting “a Moroccan flag,” reported a CBS News affiliate from our of Boston.
The whole ordeal came to an end at around 10:15 a.m. and resulted in no shots fired or any injuries for either party. police said in a statement that the entire group of men surrendered with no incidents taking place.
The local police authorities stated that the event started at around 2 in the morning when a state trooper reported seeing two vehicles pulled off to the side of the road in the breakdown lane alongside I-95. A few of the men were dressed in full military-style uniforms and armed to the teeth with long rifles and sidearm pistols. Christopher Mason, a Mass State Police Col., stated, reportedly, that they were moving from Rhode Island to Maine for “training,” and that their vehicles were packed to the brim with camping gear.
“You can imagine 11 armed individuals standing with long guns slung on an interstate highway at 2 in the morning certainly raises concerns and is not consistent with the firearms laws that we have in Massachusetts,” stated Mason.
The armed individuals did not provide any sort of identification, nor did they have any licenses for the firearms they possessed.
“I attribute the successful resolution of this to both patience, professionalism, and partnership,” continued Mason. “At the end of the day, we have the desired outcome, which is a safe resolution.”
The Associated Press stated:
The men refused to put down their weapons or comply with authorities’ orders, claiming to be from a group “that does not recognize our laws” before taking off into a wooded area, police said.
Police and prosecutors are working to determine what charges the members of the group will face.
The suspects were expected to appear in court in Woburn on Tuesday, Middlesex County District Attorney Marian Ryan said.
Mason said the “self-professed leader” of the group wanted it to be known that they are not antigovernment.
“I think the investigation that follows from this interaction will provide us more insight into what their motivation, what their ideology is,” Mason said.
As reported by the AP, there was a video posted to social media that Saturday morning and shows an unidentified man who “said he was from a group called Rise of the Moors broadcast from Interstate 95 in Wakefield near exit 57.”
The person in the video claimed his group was similar to a “militia,” making claims that they were wearing a body camera, and stating that they had pulled over in order to refuel their vehicles. He stated that they had transported their own “gas tanks full of fuel” so that their militant presence would not alarm anyone at any gas stations.
“We are not anti-government. We are not anti-police, we are not sovereign citizens, we’re not Black identity extremists,” the man stated. “As specified multiple times to the police that we are abiding by the peaceful journey laws of the United States.”