Rise of the Moors highway standoff: Where the cases stand now


BOSTON – It has been just about a year since an armed militia group called the Rise of the Moors held an hours long standoff with police on Route 95 in Wakefield. Prosecutors charged nearly a dozen men with weapons violations. The I-Team dug into the case to find out where the men are now and where the court cases stand.

Leaders of the group streamed the standoff live on YouTube. The heavily armed men wearing tactical gear and body armor took over the highway. The Rise of the Moors said they were travelling from Rhode Island and stopped on the side of Route 95 in the middle of the night to refuel one of their trucks. It was July 4th weekend, and that stop caught the attention of a state trooper patrolling the road. 

Police say the men had no permits for the guns and refused to surrender. That led to a nine-hour negotiation and a shutdown of part of the highway. In the end, the men gave up. Police say they recovered pistols, AR-15’s and rifles. In all 11 were arrested. 

The self-proclaimed leader of the Rise of the Moors Jamal Latimer also known as Jamal Talib Abdullah Bey told the judge the court had no jurisdiction over them. 

Eight of the men have now been indicted. The I-Team has learned two are still being held in jail. Latimer is in custody in Middlesex Court. All of the cases are pending. 

Southern Poverty Law Center says The Rise of the Moors believes they are sovereign Moorish citizens under a treaty with the U.S. and Morocco and are not subject to state or federal laws.

In the live streamed video, the men waving a Moroccan flag claimed to be peaceful and said they were on their way to private land in Maine to train. All of the members of the group arrested, including a 17-year-old, have court hearings this month with trials scheduled to start in August.



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