A group of so-called ‘sovereign citizens’ who say they own most of the land in the Western Hemisphere have been knocking on the doors of wealthy homeowners in the Seattle area and showing fake documents alleging that their properties belong to them.
Moorish Sovereign Citizens has been labeled an extremist group of squatters who do not recognize the authority of the United States government or its laws.
According to detectives in Snohomish County,
‘They have basically come to say that they’re from this particular group and they’re there to repossess the home and want the people to vacate the premises,’ said Edmonds police Sergeant Josh McClure.
In each case, police were called to the area and the group cooperated after they were warned that they could be arrested for trespassing.
Police in the waterfront town of Edmonds, Washington State, said that members of a sect claiming to be ‘sovereign citizens’ who own the land have been knocking on homeowners’ doors and asking them to leave because they are the rightful property owners. The Edmonds waterfront is seen in the above file photo
Police are warning residents that members of the Moorish Sovereign Citizens sect will continue to try and evict homeowners with bogus claims that they own properties
‘Their group believes that they own all of the land between Alaska and Argentina and all the islands in between,’ McClure said.
‘Unfortunately, Edmonds falls between that land.’
Police said that the would-be squatters bring official-looking documents with them to ‘prove’ their claims of ownership.
While these individuals have not committed a crime, investigators believe they will try again.
So far, the ‘sovereign citizens’ have targeted homes that have either recently been sold or put on the market.
In recent years there have been several bizarre instances of homeowners returning to their properties to find squatters inside who claim they are the true owners.
In December 2018, Joel Fedd (pictured) was arrested by authorities in Gwinnett County, Georgia, after he moved into someone else’s property, changed the locks on the door and displayed no trespass signs
Fedd recorded himself walking around outside of the house on Settles Brook Court and said he was entitled to live there because he was ‘Moorish American
In December 2018, authorities in Georgia arrested a man after he moved into a $500,000 home that another family had just purchased.
Joel Fedd, 33, claimed the home in Gwinett County was his because he is an ‘indigenous Moor’ and as such had rights to the land.
It is thought that Fedd claimed he had a right to claim the land as there is a theory that Moors had discovered the Americas before Christopher Columbus.
In March 2013, a family of extremist squatters occupied a $3million mansion in Memphis, Tennessee, before being evicted by an armed SWAT team.
Who are ‘indigenous Moors’?
The Moorish sovereign citizens political movement emerged in the mid-1990s on the East Coast based off the teachings of the Moorish Science Temple, a religious sect dating back to 1913.
MST’s founder Noble Drew Ali taught that black ‘Moors’ were America’s original inhabitants and were therefore entitled to self-governing status.
He believed that all African Americans were descendants of the Moabites and are therefore Moorish.
Some Islamic historians believe that the Moors and Muslim groups reached the Americas before Christopher Columbus.
Moorish sovereigns believe this entitles them to claim immunity from federal, state, and local laws and can sometimes cite God’s law or common law over constitutional authority.
They come into conflict with federal and state authorities over their refusal to obey laws and government regulations.