HARLEM — Federal and local law enforcement agents swarmed the headquarters of a hate group Tuesday morning to execute a search warrant in relation to an investigation into financial irregularities.
The anti-white Israelite Church of God in Jesus Christ, on Madison Avenue in Harlem, was roped off with police tape about 9 a.m. as agents wearing jackets bearing the logos of the FBI, the Criminal Investigations unit of the IRS and the NYC Special Narcotics unit and Homeland Security Investigations unit went inside.
"Today, the FBI executed court-authorized law enforcement activity at multiple locations in furtherance of an ongoing investigation," a spokeswoman for the FBI said.
The investigation is being spearheaded by the FBI field office in Newark. A source said that the feds are looking into the group's bookkeeping.
The group has four locations in New Jersey.
An IRS agent at the scene confirmed there was an active investigation into the church, but it was not clear what officials were investigating. The agent declined to comment further.
Members of the church can often be seen proselytizing on the street wearing colorful blue, black and red tunics with sashes. They also often wear headdresses.
The Southern Poverty Law Center has deemed the church a hate group, citing its leader Jermaine Grant, who is called the "Chief High Priest of Tazadaqyah."
He once prophesized that "a vengeful black Jesus would soon return to earth to kill or enslave all whites."
A representative from the Harlem location of the church could not be reached for comment.