What started as a run of the mill shoplifting call from Gander Mountain in Johnson City New York has led to the biggest gun bust in that county’s history.
Local authorities are saying that 64-year-old Ramadan Abdullah was apprehended for stealing four boxes of ammunition on May 31. But that was nothing compared to what they uncovered at a storage locker in the town of Union.
Authorities uncovered Four loaded handguns, eight assault weapons, 64 high-capacity ammunition feeding devices, one loaded shotgun and two rifles. This led to Abdullah being charged with four counts, criminal possession of a weapon, second degree, class C felony Criminal possession of a weapon, third degree, class D felony Criminal possession of stolen property, fifth degree, class A misdemeanor possession of stolen property. If convicted Abdullah could serve up to 15 years in prison but, for now, he is being held at the Broome County jail without bond.
New York State Police spokesman Jim Barnes said there was no indication that Abdullah had plans to commit any act of violence but they are still trying to get to the bottom of what he was doing with so many weapons and ammunition, and where he obtained them. The FBI has been called to aid in this investigation to see if there was any plan to carry out a terrorist attack. The FBI is said to be looking into Abdullah’s contacts and travel patterns to shed some light on what exactly he was up to. Officials from the FBI did go on to confirm that there is absolutely no indication Abdullah posed an immediate threat to the area but that they were very concerned as to how and why this person obtained all these guns and ammo.
Islamberg New York resembles a ghost town.
The Muslim settlement captured national attention two years ago when a story entitled “Springtime in Islamberg” appeared in Atlas Shrugs, Canada Free Press, and other news pages. Since the publication of this expose, Islamberg became an item of interest for ABC News, Fox News, CNN, and other national news outlets; a subject of attention by such best-selling authors as Robert Spencer and Brigitte Gabriel; and the centerpiece of a documentary by Christian Action Network.
But much has changed within this 70 acre Islamic settlement that is located in the dense forest between the small rural villages of Deposit and Hancock in upper New York State.
The sentry post is gone and no guards are in sight.
A handful of children play in the mud and muck before rows of rusty old trailers and a few women in full burqas saunter along the rutty dirt road that leads to the heart of the squalid Muslim compound.
Young men in Islamic garb no longer congregate before the makeshift mosque, and no students are in attendance at the one room shack that serves as Sheikh Gilani’s “International Quranic Open University”.
The few residents who remain, clearly are not environmentalists. Sewage seeps from septic tanks and outhouses into the creek that flows at the base of the settlement. Bags of rotting garbage remain stacked between the trailers. And the once pristine countryside is now littered with junk cars, moldy mattresses, empty tanks of propane, and old appliances.
Gunfire no longer can be heard from the firing ranges along the eastern parameter of the 70 acre property – – and no grunts come from new recruits at the obstacle course.
A new sign at the entranceway reads, “Welcome to Holy Islamberg: The International Quranic Open University.” Next to this sign, which features the image of a mosque emerging from the mountains, is a pot of plastic carnations. Another sign proclaims that the community is home to the “United Muslim — Christian Forum.”
Such statements of welcome are offset by the “No Trespassing” signs that have been nailed to trees throughout the compound.
On the opposite side of the road leading into the community is a rack of metal mailboxes bearing such names as Abdul-Haqq, Abdul Jalil, Mumim Roberts, Abdullah Simonds, and Salam Insan.
What has happened to this once bustling complex of radical Islamists – – a place where the cries of muezzins were accompanied by the incessant rat-tat-tat of machine gunfire? Where are the Arab dignitaries that used to visit this remote community in chauffeur-driven limousines? Where are the armed sentries who warded away all intruders?
“The place was scary,” a barfly at Cuzin’s Tavern in Deposit, says. “The last time I went there, I was surrounded by twenty-five Muslims with shotguns and Uzis. I haven’t heard much about it lately.”
Is the place still scary?
Let’s be honest with ourselves here. If this guy’s name would be John Smith we would think nothing of this. But with a “Religion of Peace” name like Ramadan Abdullah, it sends shivers down our spines, and rightly so. Let’s hope and pray the authorities are able to get to the bottom of this before anyone gets hurts, or worse.
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