Baltimore Area Authorities Raid Home of SIST’s Avraham Cohen

Baltimore County police tell NewsChannel 7 they are in contact with the FBI and authorities in Shawano County in connection to a raid of a home in Pikesville, MD.

A department spokesman says they used a warrent to enter a residence on the 3700 block of Michelle Way Wednesday morning. One person was taken into custody in that raid.

The home is owned by Avraham Cohen, the President of the Samanta Roy Institute of Science and Technology. Police say they do not believe Cohen is directly involved, but other members of his group may be.
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The raid came after a young woman was assaulted inside the home. She was taken to the hospital with serious injuries, including internal injuries.
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[Update:] Baltimore County police tell NewsChannel 7 one person was taken into custody after the home of SIST leader Avraham Cohen was raided in connection to an assault.
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– Source / Full Story: Baltimore Area Authorities Raid Home of SIST’s Avraham Cohen , Mikel Lauber, WSAW, June 9, 2010 — Summarized by Religion News Blog

SIST, or the Samanta Roy Institute of Science and Technology, is a secretive group that has been based in Shawano since the 1970’s. The group claims to be a non-profit organization that supports educational programs.

Former members, however, claim SIST is a religious sect lead by a man known as Rama Behera.

Behera, also known as Dr. Avrahem Cohen, has listed his home address on the 3700 block of Michelle Way in Pikesville, Maryland.
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In November 2008, Shawano law enforcement officials connected SIST to a hit list with 60 names on it. The list was titled “red rum” or ‘murder’ spelled backwards. The list included names of Shawano city and county officials, including Shawano Mayor Lorna Marquardt and Shawano Police Chief Ed Whealon. No charges were filed and SIST has denied any connection to the list.
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– Source / Full Story: Possible raid of SIST property in Maryland, Lou Hillman, WLUK Fox 11, June 9, 2010 — Summarized by Religion News Blog

A strange situation is unfolding in Pikesville, following a serious assault on a woman Tuesday night. That assault may have a link to a cult.

Mike Hellgren reports Baltimore County Police are not confirming anything, but several other sources are telling WJZ that people connected to a group some consider a cult out of a small town in the Northern Wisconsin area called Shawano, may be connected to the assault.

WJZ obtained a home video showing the moment police raided a home in Pikesville. It was a massive show of force after authorities say an 18-year-old girl was seriously assaulted inside.
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Police sources tell WJZ the FBI was involved in the raid in Pikesville but Dr. Cohen was not involved in the attack on the teenager. One person was taken into custody.

Cohen could not be reached for comment.
[…more…]

– Source / Full Story: Assault & Search May Have Link To Cult, Mike Hellgren, WJZ, June 9, 2010 — Summarized by Religion News Blog

See Also

Samanta Roy Institute of Science and Technology shrouds small town in bad publicity
Court cases, lawsuits have kept religious group in the public eye
Group has been subject of gossip, harassment, even violence
Disenchanted followers of Samanta Roy explain why they left
Little is publicly known about local religious leader

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This post was last updated: Wednesday, June 9, 2010 at 10:17 PM, Central European Time (CET)