A grand jury in Multnomah County, Ore. has indicted an Indianapolis man who allegedly traveled to Portland to try and kill police using firebombs at riots last year. Malik Fard Muhammed, 24, is facing 28 charges that includes first and second-degree attempted murder, attempted aggravated murder, unlawful manufacture of a destructive device and unlawful use of a weapon. But who is the Black Lives Matter leader and attempted murder suspect who has scrubbed his social media posts?
Those coming to Muhammed's defense may provide a clue.
One of the loudest defenders of Muhammed following his indictment is the Portland chapter of the Youth Liberation Front, an antifa group that organized months of violent, deadly rioting after George Floyd’s death. On Twitter, they’re discussing among their members and followers how best to help and fund Muhammed, who is currently held at the Marion County Jail in Indiana.
According to the affidavit, Muhammed "traveled to the Portland Metro Area for the specific purpose of engaging in the multiple criminal episodes and behavior that this case is based upon." Those criminal episodes include throwing homemade explosive devices at police, rioting and property destruction at antifa protests from September through October 2020.
Though previously unknown in the Pacific Northwest, Muhammed gained a reputation as a self-styled BLM leader in Indiana. Like other Antifa and BLM protesters charged with violent crimes, he’s ex-military, having served in the U.S. Army for a time before being discharged.
The criminal complaint provides clearer evidence of the links between BLM and Antifa that crystallized during the riots across American cities in 2020.
In June last year, he made headlines after embracing a police officer in front of cameras during a heated BLM march to Gov. Eric Holcomb's residence in Indianapolis that was halted by police. On June 4, 2020, he was invited to meet with the Republican governor inside his official residence for a private meeting.
"Historic journeys take historic first steps. Malik and I took one, together, today," read a statement at the time by Gov. Holcomb. Only days earlier, Muhammad had tried to lead an angry crowd to the governor's home while carrying riot gear.
Only a few months later, Muhammed and his girlfriend allegedly took steps to acquire and assemble deadly weapons for rioting in Portland. The criminal complaint says that Muhammed and his girlfriend, Kristen McGuire, went to a Goodwill store in Portland where they purchased large amounts of bats and yellow glass jugs. Yellow glass jugs were used in Molotov cocktails that were thrown at police.
McGuire, 23, of Indianapolis, has so far not been charged with any crimes but she is open about her extremist far-left views on her social media posts.
On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, she wrote on Facebook: "[L]et us remember that MLK was a black radical communist, anti capitalist, anti imperialist revolutionary Christian who was killed as an enemy of the state by the US government. Anything else is a lie."
At least one of those jugs McGuire allegedly purchased with Muhammed was later filled with a flammable chemical and stuffed with a rag before being lit and thrown at officers at a riot in southeast Portland on Sept. 21. The bottle extinguished before exploding and was a key source of evidence. Two days later, a homemade explosive made with a similar yellow glass jug was hurled—and exploded—at police outside the Justice Center by a suspect accused of being Muhammed.
Then on Oct. 11, Muhammed allegedly returned to downtown Portland to participate in a BLM-Antifa "Day of Rage" event where rioters tore down statues of Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt, looted a museum, attacked a campus police office at Portland State University and vandalized numerous businesses using weapons. The Heroes American Cafe, a business put on an Antifa hit-list on social media, was also shot at with several rounds from a gun.
According to the affidavit, plain-clothes FBI agents observed a suspect they say is Muhammed using a metal baton to smash out windows at multiple buildings. He was arrested later that night after fleeing on foot from police. Upon arrest, he was found carrying a loaded pistol magazine. Portland Police recovered a matching handgun that had been discarded nearby. The pistol and magazine contained 30 bullets.
Muhammed was charged at the time with unlawful possession of a firearm, possession of a loaded firearm in public, six counts of felony first-degree criminal mischief and felony riot. He was bailed out quickly. Those charges were all dismissed before the case was reinstated after he was identified as the suspect who threw molotov cocktails at police following investigative assistance from the FBI and the ATF over a period of six months.
Muhammed was arrested last week without incident in Indiana. He is booked at Marion County Jail and is awaiting extradition to Oregon.
Muhammad has been indicted on the following crimes:
Attempted aggravated murder (two counts);
attempted assault in the first degree (two counts);
attempted murder in the first degree (four counts);
attempted murder in the second degree (two counts);
criminal mischief in the first degree (six counts);
riot (four counts);
unlawful manufacture of a destructive device (two counts);
unlawful possession of a destructive device (two counts);
unlawful possession of a firearm (one count);
unlawful possession of a loaded firearm (one count);
unlawful use of a weapon (two counts).
If convicted, Muhammed is facing at least 10 mandatory years in prison.