Update — 9/3/15: Olajuwon Davis and Brandon Orlando Baldwin were each sentenced in a federal court to seven years in prison.
Update — 6/2/15: Olajuwon Davis and Brandon Orlando Baldwin each pleaded guilty to four explosives and gun charges that will carry seven-year prison terms when they are sentenced Aug. 31.
Update — 4/2/15: Olajuwon Davis and Brandon Orlando Baldwin were indicted on additional charges involving the conspiracy to use bombs to commit "violent acts" and the illegal purchase of firearms.
Two members of the New Black Panther Party (NBPP), the largest organized anti-Semitic and racist Black militant group in America, were arrested in Missouri on Friday and charged with federal firearms offenses.
Olajuwon Ali, Chairman of the NBPP St. Louis Chapter, and Brandon Baldwin, were indicted on federal weapons violations for allegedly making straw purchases of two .45 caliber handguns at a sporting goods store in Hazelwood, Missouri. Authorities say that the two men claimed the guns were for Baldwin but that the weapons were actually intended for someone else.
After executing search warrants, prosecutors are reportedly considering additional charges against the two for attempting to purchase pipe bombs with intent to cause damage to buildings and landmarks in the St. Louis area.
A statement posted by Ali on his apparent Facebook page suggests that he may have anticipated his arrest on Friday. On November 19, Ali posted, “Family and Friends, everyday I got Caucasians following me in SUV trucks. Please be advised that if you show any signs of noncompliance with this Devil they will try to assassinate you. Lord smite my enemies and anyone who intends to bring me harm. Ashe! In the spirit of Ogun! Protect me. Ashe!”
In another post, Ali described St. Louis as a “Slave Capital in a Slave State!” and the iconic Arch as “the Shackle of Oppression” and a “Symbol of Our destruction and demise.”
Ali is also an actor and rapper; he posted images of himself in a new music video called “Right To Resist” on the day of his arrest. Ali apparently converted to Islam in college, according to a YouTube video he posted in October 2012, although it is unclear if he still considers himself a Muslim. In August, Ali and other members of the NBPP were present in Ferguson during the protests followed the shooting of Michael Brown. It is unclear when Ali, who has a back tattoo of a black panther attacking a bald eagle, joined the NBPP.
In addition to his connection to the NBPP, Ali is also involved with another extremist movement, the “Moorish” movement, an offshoot of the anti-government sovereign citizen movement, which he joined in early 2013. This involvement resulted in his arrest by St. Louis police in June 2013, when Ali, according to his own account of the incident, was charged with trespassing, disturbing the peace and resisting arrest after attempting to use a Moorish identification card to make a “tax free” purchase at a convenience store.
Ali, who was tased during the encounter, described himself as a “victim of police brutality” and referred to police as “outlaws” and “mercenaries for hire.” Ali claims to have reached out for help to other “aboriginal indigenous” people (i.e., other Moorish sovereign citizens), but to have received only advice and good wishes.
Brandon Muhammad has a less extensive online footprint. On his apparent Facebook page, he made cryptic comments on November 17 such as “For every action there is a reaction…brother I can elaborate on that trust me.” Many of his “likes” consist of various pages related to Islam, the Nation of Islam, the New Black Panther Party, the Black Riders Liberation Party, the African-American Defense League, and other Black nationalist individuals, causes, and groups.
The NBPP issued a statement on its blog on Friday describing the allegations against Ali and Baldwin as “a complete BOLF FACED LIE and FRAME UP attempt of the local St. Louis organization and membership, in an effort to stop the organizing capability of the local party.”
The NBPP often attracts attention for its threats against police, which the NBPP views as culpable for Black suffering in the U.S. In August, ADL expressed concern over the group’s efforts to portray itself as helping to keep the peace between protesters and law enforcement in the aftermath of the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. The group made several threats against local law enforcement in response to the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, Missouri.
ADL’s comprehensive report on New Black Panther Party is available on the ADL website at: New Black Panther Party for Self Defense