A closer look at this secretive militant group reveals an organization that operates less like an insurgent group and more like La Cosa Nostra.
Meet the Godfather
"You have here a man whom many follow, many fear and many refuse to cross no matter what. He has body guards , many different homes and collects money from many people. Always thinking someone is watching him , always thinking that federal agents are going to bring down his empire , and in great fear of being attacked or someone crossing him. No it is not John Gotti, it is Mubarak Ali shah Gilani."
Gilani, a Pakistani with ties to the ISI and a number of jihadi groups including al-Qaeda, is believed to have several thousand followers in the United States. He is their godfather.
Khalid Khawaja, a former ISI official himself and friend of Osama bin Laden, is Gilani's spokesman, adviser, go-between, and for all practical purposes his "blood brother". He could be considered Gilani's consigliere.
Rank has its priveleges
Just as the Italian mafia has its pecking order - boss, underboss, capo, soldier, etc. - according to a former Fuqra member, members of the jamaat are similarly divided. Here are the titles according to rank:
Khalifa (reps or successors to the Sheikh)
Allamah (one whom is well taught in islam)
Ni'eeb (one who is the khalifa's right hand man)
Ameer (literally a mayor)
nazim (a novice, a trainee one who is on his way up the ranks)
Soldiers of Allah
As you may know, American mafia organizations refer to their enforcers as "soldiers". Note this excerpt of Sheikh Gilani speaking on a recruitment video (featured on NOW with Bill Moyers, "Gun Land", 11/15/02):
"We have already established under the auspices of Muslims of America, Incorporated … the organization is called Soldiers of Allah....You are most welcome to join one of our, you know, advanced training courses in Islamic Military Warfare. For which, you can get in touch with anybody in the Muslims of America in the United States, Canada, or anywhere, or in Pakistan."
Cell members are responsible for over 17 firebombings and more than 13 murders on U.S. soil.
Criminals on the Hustle
Front companies. Fake charities. White collar schemes. Welfare fraud. Identity crime. Robberies. Drug and weapons trafficking. Bootlegging. They've done it all.
[Hat tip to Pajamas Media for the link!]