First, I have reprinted a description of the Fuqra organization coming from an obscure report on paramilitary organizations - Militant 2000: World Handbook on Non-Government Militarized Structures, Center for Low-Intensity Conflict Studies, Baku: 2000. [This report, claimed to have been compiled using open sources, was cited as one of the sources for the US DoD's own Military Guide to Terrorism in the 21st Century].
Here is the excerpt (underlining added):
LEAGUE OF THE IMPOVERISHED (JAMI’AT ul-FUKARA). Other names: (Jihad Council for North America); Soldiers of Allah.As I said, there were several items here that I have not seen anywhere else. One is a reference to someone named "Imtiyaz" aka "Brigadier". He is listed as part of the leadership in Pakistan. Interestingly, someone named "Brigadier Imtiyaz" is quoted in this BBC article from 2002 re: Pakistani border tensions. Perhaps they are the same individual?
Transnational paramilitary Islamic sect. Formed in 1980 in Brooklyn based on elements of one of the factions of the Black Muslims organization. In the initial stage, assumed anti-Soviet positions in connection with the invasion of Afghanistan. Later on went over to sharply anti-western and anti-Indian positions. Also oriented toward Muslims supporting the sacred path of development. The group is listed in the registry of terrorist organizations of the U.S. Department of State.
Spiritual leaders – Sheik Mubarek Ali Gilani, Hussein Abdallah, Imtiyaz (“Brigadier”). Leadership in Pakistan (Lahore).
Numerical strength as of early 90s, up to 300 fighters in the nucleus and 3000 active supporters (ethnic Pakistanis, North African Arabs, Afro-Americans who have accepted Islam). Most of the cells are on the territory of the U.S. and Canada (most active in isolated communities in rural areas).
Operational zones – U.S. (New York, Colorado, Arizona, Pennsylvania), Canada, states of the Caribbean basin, India.
Operational parameters of the 80s and 90s, acts of physical terror and incendiary bombing of installations belonging to Hindus, Krishnaites, Jews and followers of heretical sects of Islam.
External contacts - special services of Pakistan and Iran; Kashmiri, Palestinian, and Philippine paramilitary religious-political organizations; Peoples Islamic Front of Sudan.
Finance channels – basically internal sources and voluntary donations.
A note regarding numerical strength - the number of supporters is listed as 3000, but my research indicates that this is low. Most estimates have put the number of supporters in the US alone between 3000-5000. It is unclear how large his support is within Pakistan. We do know that there are additional supporters in the Caribbean, Canada, and the UK. Via private communication, Fuqra Hater has told me the support base is somewhere around 9000 worldwide, at least. [30% income-tribute from 9000 followers is a pretty good funding base, hm?] FH says that there are villages in Mexico as well, just like the ones in the US. He has even met some of the followers from there.
Additional noteworthy information here are the other international contacts. We, of course, know about connections with Pakistan's ISI and groups involved in Kashmir. Palestinian organizations are also mentioned. Gilani has been reported to have had ties with Hamas & Hezbollah. A Philipine connection? Have not seen that before either. Notice it mentions the "special services of...Iran". Given Gilani's connections in Pakistan and Afghanistan, this is not too surprising, but is certainly not comforting.
Finally, it mentions a specific group, the Peoples Islamic Front of Sudan. Fuqra Hater tells me that there are many supporters of Gilani in Sudan. I will have more information on Gilani's Sudanese connections in a future post. You won't want to miss it.