Seven black people have been arrested in a poor area in Miami, Florida yesterday. The plot allegedly invovled bombing the Sears tower in Chicago, as well as FBI offices in Miami and elsewhere. An FBI agent posing as an Al-Qaeda operative gave them money, supplies and weapons. You can read the full indictment.
Are they Muslims?
The accused are mostly of Haitian descent. Although reports initially said they are Muslims, it later became obvious that this is not the case. They are members of something called the "Seas of David". Most of the suspects have non-Muslim nicknames which are more Biblical, e.g. Levi, although others were said to have names like "Brother Sunni". The one called "Brother Levi" is also called Brother Levi-El", the -El suffix being a Moorish Science Temple mark from Noble Drew Ali.
The families of the accused say that they were not Muslims. One was quoted as being a practicing Roman Catholic. Others said that the group met to read the Bible.
Connection to Yahweh ben Yahweh Cult
In Miami in the 70s and 80s, there was a cult by the name Nation Of Yahweh. This is a black supremacist movement led by Hulon Mitchell, Jr., who named himself Yahweh ben Yahweh, and declared himself to be God himself. The group is similar to the Black Hebrew groups, with black supremacy mixed in. The group wears the tetragrammaton (YHWH), and white robes and turbans. The message was initially Muslim-toned, but shifted to a personality cult with Hebrew background later.
A central percept is that the group is at war with the USA.
What seems to be the official site of the group is here.
The group's leader was convicted of conspiracy for murder. This profile of the group at The Crime Library details the murders that were done by the instigation of the leader. The group is said to have advocated the killing of "white devils", similar words were used by one of the accused, Narseale Batiste, "kill all the devils we can".
Media Asked Not to Use Muslims
As a result, CAIR, a Muslim political and civil rights advocay group has asked the media not to call the arrested Muslims since they studied the Bible and worshiped in a temple.
CNN Transcript of Interview
COOPER: And we continue to cover this developing story, breaking story out of Chicago and Miami as well as Atlanta. We're going to hear more out of Washington tomorrow. Seven people in custody in an alleged terror cell in the United States. That's what we are being told. The devil of course is in the details. We are learning more and more about this group.
In fact, CNN's John Zarrella, who is at scene of the warehouse that was raided earlier today has actually someone from the neighborhood who seems to know a fair amount about this group.
John, what do you know?
ZARRELLA: Anderson, he's not from the -- just from the neighborhood. This gentleman standing next to me, he goes by the name Brother Corey. And Brother Corey is a member of this organization, this group. They call themselves the "Seas of David." Am I correct? I'm correct, right, Brother Corey?
BROTHER COREY, "SEAS OF DAVID" MEMBER: Correct.
ZARRELLA: What happened here? Tell us what happened. Many of your members were arrested today?
BROTHER COREY: Yes, sir.
ZARRELLA: What happened? Do you know?
BROTHER COREY: I know that it was supposed to have been a letter sent off to the Sears Tower, which I don't recommend that -- I don't believe my Brother Prince (ph) were -- had to jeopardize his temple as we worship here.
ZARRELLA: This is a temple where you worship?
BROTHER COREY: Yes.
ZARRELLA: And it's alleged, apparently, that your group here was planning to perhaps bomb the FBI building here in Miami?
BROTHER COREY: We are not no terrorists (UNINTELLIGIBLE). We are prince of Allah, that we study and we believe in a word of God. This is a place where we worship and also have business as a worksite, as a construction company we trying to build up.
And my prince, he told me never to come here and observe nothing that the outside that's trying to observe. We had to keep to ourself because we are general. We are generals and we take care of ourselves.
ZARRELLA: So you're saying that there was never any intention by this group to bomb the Sears Tower in New York (sic) or the FBI building here in Miami?
BROTHER COREY: Correct.
ZARRELLA: And you're not terrorists?
BROTHER COREY: We are not terrorists.
ZARRELLA: Not related in any way to al Qaeda?
BROTHER COREY: Sir, I don't want to release none of that information, but I know we are not terrorists. And I don't have nothing else against the same situation that they had to do here, but I don't feel like that was right for the search warrant to go down. Because we are legal citizens here, which I know they trying to say my brothers, they locked up five of them.
So right now I'm sitting here just observing because I have more authority to come here and distribute the things that they have...
ZARRELLA: Aren't you afraid they're going to come now and arrest you, that know you're here.
BROTHER COREY: I'm not afraid, sir. I'm willing to take a stand for my brothers.
ZARRELLA: And this is just a temple? This is just a religious organization that you believe in, that you are part of here?
BROTHER COREY: Yes.
ZARRELLA: No ties to any terrorist groups?
BROTHER COREY: No ties.
ZARRELLA: Why would they think this then?
BROTHER COREY: The way we worship, we come around, we got things we look out for the kids and everything here. So right now I'm just telling you that there is no way they'll -- right now that I can assume that we have this terrorist in our heart. We are not terrorists. We are members of David, Seas of David.
ZARRELLA: Brother Corey, one thing. Anderson Cooper in New York has a question. I'm going to relay it to you through Anderson.
COOPER: Yes, it's alleged that one member of this group pledged allegiance to al Qaeda. When you mentioned al Qaeda, he didn't really respond to it. I'm just curious to -- go ahead.
ZARRELLA: It's alleged that one member of the group has pledged allegiance to al Qaeda. You didn't really answer when I said to you, is there any affiliation with al Qaeda or anything like that. Do you know anything about that? Is there an affiliation with -- there's no affiliation with that terrorist group from any of your members?
BROTHER COREY: No, sir. Right now, only thing I can tell you is that we worshipers of this temple here. And we allow certain people to come and join our prayers, but we have certain authorities that we run by. ZARRELLA: So you're a peaceful...
BROTHER COREY: We are peaceful. We are Seas of David. That I know my brother has not been treated right in the system. He's been locked up for-- on the sense that he was driving without a license. But this brother of mines, I love him to death. And I tell all of my brother -- I didn't (UNINTELLIGIBLE) get a chance to talk to them. We have codes. We have everything that's, you know, right now that is trying to establish. We're trying to build up a restaurant here. We really take toll in trying to do things the right way. We are not no terrorists.
ZARRELLA: What are the names of some of your brothers who were arrested here? Do you know?
BROTHER COREY: I will not -- I will not say their names.
ZARRELLA: You don't want to say their names.
BROTHER COREY: No.
ZARRELLA: Have you had any contact with any of them, then, not in the -- since they've been arrested today, but what about your Haitian brother from three days ago?
BROTHER COREY: Yes. We work for his bond money.
ZARRELLA: For his bond money.
BROTHER COREY: For his bond money.
ZARRELLA: Anderson Cooper has one more question -- Anderson.
COOPER: Yes, what is the purpose of the group? What is the meaning of this -- I'm sorry Sea of David, is that it's called?
ZARRELLA: Seas of David, right.
Anderson wants to know what is the purpose of your organization? And the meaning of the name Seas of David?
BROTHER COREY: Actually I can tell you we are in a bible. And we studied Allah and also the worship of the regular bible. But it is not no terrorist or threat that you guys say that we are threats to this -- any other community. I grew up in this city. I'm a residential citizen. And all my brothers that I have, on my line right now, we are not no terrorist attackers. And I grew up with my brother that's been in the system now, the Haitian guy. They're saying illegal alien. He grew up here. I know or a fact that we are in general as one. We talk as among each other as young men. And we work out and help each other.
ZARRELLA: Did everyone live in Miami, grow up in Miami, the men that were here, that were arrested or were they from other places?
BROTHER COREY: Yes, we have connections to people in Chicago. We're -- so -- this is like we -- we negotiate to help the peace. We try to bring as many brothers in to help them out.
ZARRELLA: But you do have connections with people in Chicago, but not terrorists?
BROTHER COREY: No -- no terrorists. We are not terrorists.
ZARRELLA: But there were connections to other members of this group in Chicago?
BROTHER COREY: Yes, we have soldiers in Chicago.
ZARRELLA: Why do you call yourselves soldiers? What's the -- you know, if it's a peaceful group, why use the term soldier.
BROTHER COREY: Because we study and we train through the bible, not only physical -- not only physical, but mentally. We study and we worship that we have the sense of direction that got other people in the right direction. We are not no terrorists. We come here every morning and we have the sense to go to work. We are not no homeless -- this is not no homeless shelter for a terrorist attack. You hear me?
ZARRELLA: Yes. Brother Corey, thank you very much for coming out here. We know it must be difficult for you what's happening. And you're putting yourself in jeopardy coming out here, I'm sure.
Again, Brother Corey here, a member of this group coming out, Anderson, and telling us at least point blank that they are not -- they are not, he says, a terrorist organization -- Anderson.
COOPER: John, fascinating. Thank you very much. Appreciate that.
Definitely not a Muslim group.
If they are Al-Qaeda inspired, it seems that they may have thought they would dupe the informant and get money from him.