FBI raid in Moodus Connecticut
Federal agents raided a Muslim campground in Moodus on Friday
. Working in concert with the US Department of Agriculture, agents seized documents, computer discs and ... amaranth seeds
FBI Agents also seized bank deposit slips, maps, directions and gasoline receipts. It was said these "...were related to travel...
" Uh huh. Glad I now know this vital fact. Who would have thought that maps and directions would have been "travel related"?
According to the Hartford Courant
agents were specifically interested in the seeds to the plant
. Seems some wag at the USDA thought they might have been smuggled in from Afghanistant or Bangaledesh.
Amaranth is a relative of the pigweeds
and the ornamental flowers we know as cockscomb. It's grown not only for its seeds, but for its leaves that can be cooked and eaten as greens.
Some agricultural researchers say that Amaranth is an ideal plant to develop and cultivate because is highly nutritious, and the plant itself is extremely attractive and useful. Amaranth was a staple in the diets of pre-Columbian Aztecs. Since 1975 amaranth has been gaining support in the U.S. and is now grown in Colorado, Illinois, Nebraska, and other states, but is still not a
mainstream food. It is found in many natural food stores and the flour is often used in baked goods.
The campground, managed by Darul Uloom New York, has been operational for five years now. It is a retreat center where Sunni Muslims have created an
...institution in which ...children can be educated with true Islamic Values in a totally Islamic Environment and provide the necessary environment and education and social atmosphere for Islamic children. Deeni (Islamic) education is obligatory on every Muslim so as to inculcate Islamic values and morals into [people's]lives.
People who come to the camp wear clothing recognized as traditional arab-style garb such as head scarves and long robes. As a
result, in a town where some teen-aged boys emulate hip-hoppers and girls try looking like Brittany Spears, these visitors to town stand out.
And while East Haddam and Moodus have a pretty enlightened, tolerant, even accepting populace compared to some neighboring towns, prejudice is still present here. I wouldn't be at all surprised if some of our local ignorant yahoos ~ the ones our town's resident constable has reported as slowly driving by yelling "towelhead
!" or "al qaida
!" had something to do with this unexpected raid.
There was no explanation why the amaranth plants growing lush and plentiful in the campground's garden were not seized as well.