Abannaki Indigenous Nation Members Arrested

Black Separatists

Another fringe black separatist group has come into the crosshairs of law enforcement. Like many others, the Abannaki Indigenous Nation propounds a bizarre ideology that's a mix of pseudo-scientific ideas about white people and groundless theories about being immune to U.S. laws that originated in white supremacist groups.

In March, police in Trenton, N.J., told The Trentonian that they had encounters with several men claiming to have immunity from U.S. laws. Four were arrested in separate incidents over the course of three days on charges ranging from possession of a controlled substance to displaying fraudulent documentation. The men identified themselves as members of the Abannaki Indigenous Nation, but the group's formal name, according to its website, is the Abannaki Aboriginal Nation of Muurs (such groups commonly use variants of the word "Moor," the ancient name for a dark-skinned North African people, to describe themselves).

In each incident, the men said they did not recognize U.S. law and presented "diplomatic identity papers" that the police determined were fraudulent. The men, who later called themselves "diplomats," said they were members of an "indigenous nation" that includes people from "the so-called planet earth" and other planets including Mars and Venus. The police impounded a car with phony diplomatic license plates.

One of the four, Wilbert Harrington, also known as Shir M. Bey, 27, of Hamilton, N.J., was charged with possessing a controlled dangerous substance with the intent to distribute, obstructing the administration of law, resisting arrest and displaying fraudulent documentation. Harrington arrived in court wearing a fez and demanded that a jury of his peers — several of whom were seated in the courtroom and also dressed in the red felt hats — preside over his case.

International Indigenous Society Chief Executive Abdul-Ali Muhammad, the leader of the Abannaki Nation, told The Trentonian that the men's identification documents are real and signed by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. After the arrests, Muhammad published a 20-point statement, "Conspiracy on Nation Exposed," which attacked the local police for being ignorant of international law, the Constitution and state law.

According to law enforcement, the Abannaki Nation first appeared in Philadelphia, where its headquarters is located. Members were discovered in Mercer County, N.J., last October.

The group's website praises the late Nation of Islam founder Elijah Muhammad and agrees with his view that whites are "a grafted race." According to Abdul-Ali Muhammad, whites live a "toxic existence" because they need animal proteins to offset a deficient "chemical makeup." Because of this defect, whites are a "negative influence" on black people and the earth. Muhammad also believes that AIDS comes from eating meat and dairy products.