tanzimul fuqra

Jamaat ul-Fuqra

Jamaat ul-Fuqra (alternatively Jamaat al-Fuqra) (Arabic: جماعة الفقراء, "Community of the Impoverished") is a paramilitary organization of mostly African-American Muslims (not connected to the Nation of Islam) based in Pakistan and the United States. U.S. officials claim that al-Fuqra members number in the thousands and have planned various acts of violence in several states. It is alleged that Al-Fuqra members fatally stabbed Muslim schismatic Rashad Khalifa in 1990, and assassinated Ahmadiyya leader Mozaffar Ahmad in 1983.

al-Fuqra itself is not listed as a terror group by the US or the EU, but was listed as a terrorist organization in the 1999 Patterns of Global Terrorism report by the U.S. State Department. It operates two front groups: Muslims of the Americas and Quranic Open University. They also have been known to operate in Canada, the Caribbean, and Côte d'Ivoire.

Origins and philosophy

According to a profile of al-Fuqra by the National Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism (MIPT), the group is believed to have been founded by Pakistani cleric Sheikh Mubarak Ali Gilani Hashemi in 1980. Gilani, who lives in Pakistan and was questioned there in connection with the abduction of Daniel Pearl, founded the group on a trip to the United States. Members initially engaged mostly in attacks against Indians and Indian religious figures in the US.

The group is separatist, and is described by MIPT and a similar profile in the database of the South Asian Terror Portal as a cult.


Although various members have been suspected of assassinations and other acts of terror perpetrated in the 1980s and later, and some members having been charged with conspiracy to commit first degree murder and other crimes, al-Fuqra itself is not listed as a terror group by the US or the EU (it was listed as terrorist organization in the 1999 Patterns of Global Terrorism report by the U.S. State Department.)

News reports have attempted to connect "shoe bomber" Richard Reid and "Washington sniper" John Allen Muhammad to al-Fuqra, but the connections were not definitive. There are also allegations that Clement Rodney Hampton-El, one of the plotters who planned to blow up various New York City bridges and tunnels, was a member of Al Fuqra. The group has been banned in Pakistan.

Hotel Rajneesh bombing

The bombing of the Hotel Rajneesh can be definitively tied to an al-Fuqra member. On July 29, 1983, Stephen Paul Paster, an al-Fuqra member, set off a bomb at the Hotel Rajneesh, a hotel in Portland, Oregon. This hotel, located at SW 10th Avenue and Pine Street, was owned by the Rajneesh religious group and featured the Zorba the Buddha nightclub. Paster had several bombs and homemade napalm in his room, but one of the bombs went off in his hands while he was placing the bombs in the midst of the napalm.

Paster was almost immediately arrested after the bombs went off, as he was one of only two people injured in the explosion, which took place at 1:23 a.m. After the hotel was evacuated two other explosions occurred at 3 a.m. Paster was charged with arson due to the fire which resulted from the explosions. Paster posted $20,000 bail, but fled Oregon and was not apprehended until June 1984 in Englewood, Colorado. In November 1985, Paster was sentenced to 20 years in prison by a Multnomah County circuit judge.


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