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Muslim group calls for probe of video reportedly showing ND militia shooting at fake mosque

A screenshot from a now-removed 2016 video that the Council on American-Islamic Relations says showed North Dakota militia members shooting at and blowing up a model of a mosque. Special to Forum News Service

MINNEAPOLIS—A Muslim civil rights group is calling for an investigation into a video that it says showed North Dakota militia members shooting at and blowing up a model of a mosque.

The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) issued a news release Wednesday evening, March 7, about the YouTube video, which was called "North Dakota Security Force III militia FTX."

Opening credits say it's the North Dakota III% Security Force. It's unclear whether the group is related to a national movement known as The Three Percenters, which takes its name from the belief that three percent of colonists actively fought against the British during the Revolutionary War.

The video in question apparently was uploaded in September 2016 around the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and CAIR-MN recently was told about it, said CAIR national spokesman Ibrahim Hooper. It's unknown exactly who posted the video or where it was filmed.

The video had been removed from YouTube by Thursday, March 8, for violating the site's policy on hate speech. CAIR-MN made a copy before it was pulled, and Hooper said its contents need to be taken seriously.

The video includes a shot of a bag of bacon jerky and a package of bacon-flavored crackers partially obscured by a North Dakota Security Force III% patch. Hooper said tactics like this are common as insults against Muslims, who don't eat pork.

Several men are shown in a grassy area shooting rifles at a target as well as at a model of a mosque that explodes after taking several rounds of fire.

Hooper said in other cases, investigators have found "precursors" leading up to mass shootings and violent events in the country. He said this video should be investigated by state and federal authorities.

"When you've got armed extremists just openly displaying their desire to attack a house of worship, it should raise more than red flags," he said.

Ryan Johnson

Ryan Johnson is the Features Editor for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. He previously wrote for The Forum and the Grand Forks Herald.

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