DOVER, Tenn. – A controversial video alleges that a private Muslim community in Middle Tennessee is an Islamic terrorist training camp. A NewsChannel 5 investigation found no evidence of such activity.
"The United States state department reports Fuqra members have purchased isolated compounds in rural America," reads the narrator on the video.
Homegrown Jihad is a nationally-distributed video produced by PRB Films and the Christian Action Network.
Stewart County Sheriff John Vinson says the compound is no secret. It's been there since the early 1980s.
"Their customs are different than most in Stewart County, but they have a right to that," says Vinson.
In his 13 years on the job, Vinson says he has seen no sign of terrorist activity.
"The FBI called and asked questions. I told them the same thing I told you – I haven't seen anything illegal at this location," says Vinson.
Vijay Kumar believes otherwise. He's a Nashville member of ACT for America – a national group concerned with Islamic radicalism in the U.S. Kumar says it's hard to know for certain what happens at the community near Dover because they keep to themselves.
"It's my feeling they are introverted and live among themselves and think the whole world is hostile," says Kumar.
That's not what NewsChannel 5 found on an exclusive visit to the compound. We were told cameras are rarely – if ever – allowed onto the property. Still, we gave it a try, showing up unannounced. We were met at the entrance by two men who agreed to allow us onto the property asking only that we not show any faces or conduct any interviews.
There was not much to see.
"It's kind of like going into any trailer park out in the country," says Sheriff Vinson.
There are single and double-wide trailers along with a few houses for the 40 or so people who live there. There is also a mosque in the middle of the compound for daily prayer.
We did not go inside every building, but we did drive to every corner of the compound – which covers several acres. We saw no evidence of a terrorist training facility, any anti-American slogans, or flag desecration.
Sheriff Vinson says there have been no reports from neighbors of gunshots or explosions at the compound.
The Department of Homeland Security and the FBI are aware of the allegation made in the video Homegrown Jihad, but have no plans to issue any news alerts or bulletins.