SPLC's "The Second Wave: Return of the Militias"

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					The Second Wave
       Return of the Militias
A Special Report from the Southern Poverty Law Center
                Montgomery, Alabama
                    August 2009
      The Second Wave
                       Return of the Militias

the southern poverty law center is a nonprofit organization that combats hate, intolerance
and discrimination through education and litigation. Its Intelligence Project, which prepared
this report and also produces the quarterly investigative magazine Intelligence Report, tracks the
activities of hate groups and the nativist movement and monitors militia and other extremist anti-
government activity. Its Teaching Tolerance project helps foster respect and understanding in the
classroom. Its litigation arm files lawsuits against hate groups for the violent acts of their members.

                                     MEDIA AND GENERAL INQUIRIES
                                        Mark Potok or Heidi Beirich
                                       Southern Poverty Law Center
                                   400 Washington Ave., Montgomery, Ala.
                                             (334) 956-8200


     This report was prepared by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center.
           The SPLC is supported entirely by private donations. No government funds are involved.
                            © Southern Poverty Law Center. All rights reserved.
                              southern poverty law center

                         Table of Contents

Introduction                                                4

The Second Wave: Return of the Militias                     5

Nativists to ‘Patriots’: Cross-Pollinating the Movement     11

Terror From the Right : 75 Plots and Racist Rampages        13
                                                     southern poverty law center

                                                             By Mark Potok

The 1990s saw the rise and fall of the virulently antigovernment “Patriot” movement, made up of para-
military militias, tax defiers and so-called “sovereign citizens.” Sparked by a combination of anger at
the federal government and the deaths of political dissenters at Ruby Ridge, Idaho, and Waco, Texas,
the movement took off in the middle of the decade and continued to grow even after 168 people were

left dead by the 1995 bombing of Oklahoma City’s federal build-               primary enemy — is headed by a black man. That, coupled with
ing — an attack, the deadliest ever by domestic U.S. terrorists,              high levels of non-white immigration and a decline in the per-
carried out by men steeped in the rhetoric and conspiracy theo-               centage of whites overall in America, has helped to racialize the
ries of the militias. In the years that followed, a truly remarkable          Patriot movement, which in the past was not primarily moti-
number of criminal plots came out of the movement. But by                     vated by race hate. One result has been a remarkable rash of
early this century, the Patriots had largely faded, weakened by               domestic terror incidents since the presidential campaign, most
systematic prosecutions, aversion to growing violence, and a                  of them related to anger over the election of Barack Obama. At
new, highly conservative president.                                           the same time, ostensibly mainstream politicians and media
    They’re back. Almost a decade after largely disappearing                  pundits have helped to spread Patriot and related propaganda,
from public view, right-wing militias, ideologically driven tax               from conspiracy theories about a secret network of U.S. con-
defiers and sovereign citizens are appearing in large numbers                 centration camps to wholly unsubstantiated claims about the
around the country. “Paper terrorism” — the use of property                   president’s country of birth.
liens and citizens’ “courts” to harass enemies — is on the rise.                  Fifteen years ago, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote
And once-popular militia conspiracy theories are making the                   then-Attorney General Janet Reno to warn about extremists in
rounds again, this time accompanied by nativist theories about                the militia movement, saying that the “mixture of armed groups
secret Mexican plans to “reconquer” the American Southwest.                   and those who hate” was “a recipe for disaster.” Just six months
One law enforcement agency has found 50 new militia train-                    later, Oklahoma City’s federal building was bombed. Today, the
ing groups — one of them made up of present and former                        Patriot movement may not have the white-hot fury that it did
police officers and soldiers. Authorities around the country                  in the 1990s. But the movement clearly is growing again, and
are reporting a worrying uptick in Patriot activities and pro-                Americans, in particular law enforcement officers, need to take
paganda. “This is the most significant growth we’ve seen in 10                the dangers it presents seriously. That is equally true for the
to 12 years,” says one. “All it’s lacking is a spark. I think it’s only       politicians, pundits and preachers who, through pandering or
a matter of time before you see threats and violence.”                        ignorance, abet the growth of a movement marked by a proven
    A key difference this time is that the federal government —               predilection for violence.
the entity that almost the entire radical right views as its

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                     The Second Wave
 Around the country, evidence accumulates of a return of the
  militias and the larger antigovernment ‘Patriot’ movement
                                                   By Larry keLLer

In Pensacola, Fla., retired FBI agent Ted Gunderson tells a gathering of antigovernment
“Patriots” that the federal government has set up 1,000 internment camps across the coun-
try and is storing 30,000 guillotines and a half-million caskets in Atlanta. They’re there
for the day the government finally declares martial law and moves in to round up or kill

American dissenters, he says. “They’re going to keep               right, like the militias, that in the past were not primarily
track of all of us, folks,” Gunderson warns.                       motivated by race hate. Contributing to the racial animus
    Outside Atlanta, a so-called “American Grand Jury”             have been fears on the far right about the consequences
issues an “indictment” of Barack Obama for fraud and               of Latino immigration.
treason because, the panel concludes, he wasn’t born in               Militia rhetoric is being heard widely once more, often
the United States and is illegally occupying the office of         from a second generation of ideologues, and conspiracy
president. Other sham “grand juries” around the coun-              theories are being energetically revived or invented anew.
try follow suit.                                                   “Paper terrorism” — the use of property liens, bogus legal
    And on the site in Lexington, Mass., where the open-           documents and “citizens’ grand juries” to attack enemies
ing shots of the Revolutionary War were fired in 1775,             and, sometimes, reap illegal fortunes — is again proliferat-
members of Oath Keepers, a newly formed group of law               ing, to the point where the government has set up special
enforcement officers, military men and veterans, “mus-             efforts to rein in so-called “tax defiers” and to track threats
ter” on April 19 to reaffirm their pledge to defend the            against judges. What’s more, Patriot fears about the govern-
U.S. Constitution. “We’re in perilous times … perhaps far          ment are being amplified by a loud new group of ostensibly
more perilous than in 1775,” says the man administering            mainstream media commentators and politicians.
the oath. April 19 is the anniversary not only of the battle          It’s not 1996 all over again, or 1997 or 1998. Although
of Lexington Green, but also of the 1993 conflagration at          there has been a remarkable rash of domestic terrorist
the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas, and the               incidents since Obama’s election in November, it has not
lethal bombing two years later of the Oklahoma City fed-           reached the level of criminal violence, attempted terrorist
eral building — seminal events in the lore of the extreme          attacks and white-hot language that marked the militia
right, in particular the antigovernment Patriot movement.          movement at its peak. But militia training events, huge
    Almost 10 years after it seemed to disappear from              numbers of which are now viewable on YouTube vid-
American life, there are unmistakable signs of a revival           eos, are spreading. One federal agency estimates that 50
of what in the 1990s was commonly called the militia               new militia training groups have sprung up in less than
movement. From Idaho to New Jersey and Michigan to                 two years. Sales of guns and ammunition have skyrock-
Florida, men in khaki and camouflage are back in the               eted amid fears of new gun control laws, much as they
woods, gathering to practice the paramilitary skills they          did in the 1990s.
believe will be needed to fend off the socialistic troops             The situation has many authorities worried.
of the “New World Order.”                                          Militiamen, white supremacists, anti-Semites, nativ-
    One big difference from the militia movement of the            ists, tax protesters and a range of other activists of the
1990s is that the face of the federal government — the             radical right are cross-pollinating and may even be
enemy that almost all parts of the extreme right see as the        coalescing. In the words of a February report from law
primary threat to freedom — is now black. And the fact             enforcement officials in Missouri, a variety of factors
that the president is an African American has injected a           have combined recently to create “a lush environment
strong racial element into even those parts of the radical         for militia activity.”

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    “You’re seeing the bubbling [of antigovernment senti-               right. In February, the FBI launched a national operation
ment] right now,” says Bart McEntire, who has infiltrated               targeting white supremacists and “militia/sovereign cit-
racist hate groups and now is the supervisory special agent             izen extremist groups” after noting an upsurge in such
for the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and                   organizations, The Wall Street Journal reported. The aim
Explosives in Roanoke, Va. “You see people buying into                  is to gather intelligence about “this emerging threat,”
what they’re saying. It’s primed to grow. The only thing                according to an FBI memo cited by the newspaper.
you don’t have to set it on fire is a Waco or Ruby Ridge.”                  Increasingly, sovereign citizens are claiming they
   Another federal law enforcement official knowl-                      aren’t subject to income taxes — so much so that the
edgeable about militia groups agrees. He asked not to be                Department of Justice last year kicked off a National Tax
identified because he is not authorized to speak publicly               Defier Initiative to deal with the volume of cases. At the
about them. “They’re not at the level we saw in ’94-’95,”               same time, more and more seem to be engaging in “paper
he says. “But this is the most significant growth we’ve                 terrorism,” even though more than 30 states passed or
seen in 10 to 12 years. All it’s lacking is a spark. I think it’s       strengthened laws outlawing the filing of unjustified
only a matter of time before you see threats and violence.”             property liens and simulating legal process (by setting up
                                                                        pseudo-legal “common law courts” and “citizens’ grand
Shots, Plots and ‘Sovereigns’                                           juries”) in response to sovereign activity in the 1990s.
In fact, threats and violence from the radical right already                A Michigan man whose company allegedly doubled
are accelerating (see last section of this report, a list of            as the headquarters of a militia group, for example, was
75 domestic terrorist plots and rampages since 1995). In                arrested in May on charges that he placed bogus liens
recent months, men with antigovernment, racist, anti-                   on property owned by courthouse officials and police
Semitic or pro-militia views have allegedly committed a                 officers to harass them and ruin their credit. In March,
series of high-profile murders — including the killings of              authorities raided a Las Vegas printing firm where meet-
six law enforcement officers since April.                               ings of the “Sovereign People’s Court for the United
    Most of these recent murders and plots seem to have                 States” were conducted in a mock courtroom. Seminars
been at least partially prompted by Obama’s election.                   allegedly were taught there on how to use phony docu-
One man “very upset” with the election of America’s first               ments and other illegal means to pay off creditors. Four
black president was building a radioactive “dirty bomb”;                people were arrested on money-laundering, tax and
another, a Marine, was planning to assassinate Obama,                   weapons charges.
as were two racist skinheads in Tennessee; still another                    Due to a spike in “inappropriate communications,”
angry at the election and said to be interested in join-                including many from sovereign citizens, the U.S. Mar-
ing a militia killed two sheriff’s deputies in Florida. A               shals Service has opened a clearinghouse in suburban
man in Pittsburgh who feared Jews and gun confisca-                     Washington, D.C., for assessing risks to court personnel.
tions murdered three police officers. Near Boston, a white              The incidents include telephone and written threats
man angered by the alleged “genocide” of his race shot                  against federal judges and prosecutors, as well as bomb
to death two African immigrants and intended to mur-                    threats and biochemical incidents. In fiscal 2008, there
der as many Jews as possible. An 88-year-old neo-Nazi                   were 1,278 threats and harassing communications —
killed a guard at the Holocaust Museum in Washington,                   more than double the number of six years earlier. The
D.C. And an abortion physician in Kansas was murdered                   number of such incidents is on pace to increase again in
by a man steeped in the ideology of the “sovereign citi-                fiscal 2009. Sovereign citizens account for a small per-
zens” movement.                                                         centage of the cases, but theirs are more complex and
    So-called sovereign citizens are people who sub-                    generally require more resources, says Michael Prout,
scribe to an ideology, originated by the anti-Semitic                   assistant director of judicial security for the marshals.
Posse Comitatus of the 1980s, that claims that whites are a             “They are resourceful groups,” he adds.
higher kind of citizen — subject only to “common law,” not                  Some sovereign citizen attempts to skirt the law have
the dictates of the government — while blacks are mere                  been farcical. An Arkansas jury needed only seven min-
“14th Amendment citizens” who must obey their govern-                   utes in April to convict Richard Bauer, 70, of robbing a
ment masters. Although not all sovereigns subscribe to or               bank. Bauer had argued that the government took his
even know about the theory’s racist basis, most contend                 money several times, leaving him with almost nothing.
that they do not have to pay taxes, are not subject to most             “I’m a constitutionalist,” he insisted, adding that “every
laws, and are not citizens of the United States.                        single act was justifiable.” A month earlier, a Pennsylvania
    Authorities and anecdotal evidence suggest that sover-              man charged with drunken driving told court officials
eign citizens — who, along with tax protesters and militia              that they lacked jurisdiction over him because he was a
members, form the larger Patriot movement — may make                    “sovereign man.” Then he changed his mind and pleaded
up the most dramatically reenergized sector of the radical              guilty. In Nevada, a sovereign citizen — perhaps a Dr.

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Seuss fan —used the peculiar punctuation of names that               It’s not known how large Oath Keepers is. But there is
is favored by the movement; his name, he declared, was           some evidence beyond the group’s mere existence to sug-
“I am: Sam.”                                                     gest that today’s Patriots are again making inroads into law
    But few of the cases are that amusing. In February, a        enforcement — the leak of the DHS report, along with those
New York man who once declared himself a “sovereign              of a couple of similar law enforcement reports, was likely
citizen” of the “Republic of New York” and said that he          the work of a sworn officer. Rhodes claims to know a fed-
enjoyed studying “the organic Constitution and the Bill          eral officer leaked the DHS report, and says Oath Keepers is
of Rights” allegedly shot and killed four people. His mur-       “hearing from more and more federal officers all the time.”
der case was pending at press time.                                  The group does seem to be on the radar of federal law
                                                                 enforcement officers. In May, a member complained on
Swearing at the Government                                       the group’s website of a visit to his farm by FBI agents
Oath Keepers, the military and police organization that          who asked him, he said, about training he provides in
was formed earlier this year and held its April muster           firearms, survival skills and the like.
on Lexington Green, may be a particularly worrisome                  One Oath Keeper is longtime militia hero Richard
example of the Patriot revival. Members vow to ful-              Mack, a former sheriff of a rural Arizona county who
fill the oaths to the Constitution that they swore while         collaborated with white supremacist Randy Weaver on
in the military or law enforcement. “Our oath is to the          a book and who, along with others, won a U.S. Supreme
Constitution, not to the politicians, and
we will not obey unconstitutional (and
thus illegal) and immoral orders,” the       “This is the most significant growth we’ve
group says. Oath Keepers lists 10 orders
its members won’t obey, including two         seen in 10 to 12 years. All it’s lacking is a
that reference U.S. concentration camps.
    That same pugnacious attitude was on      spark. I think it’s only a matter of time
display after conservatives attacked an
April report from the U.S. Department of      before you see threats and violence.”
Homeland Security (DHS) that suggested
a resurgence of radical right-wing activity was under            Court decision that weakened the Brady Bill gun con-
way. “We will not fear our government; they will fear            trol law in the 1990s. “The greatest threat we face today
us,” one man, who appeared to be on active duty in the           is not terrorists; it is our federal government,” Mack says
Army, said in an angry video sent to the Oath Keepers            on his website. “One of the best and easiest solutions is to
blog. In another video at the site, a man who said he            depend on local officials, especially the sheriff, to stand
was a former Army paratrooper in Afghanistan and Iraq            against federal intervention and federal criminality.”
described President Obama as “an enemy of the state,”                Mack’s views echo those of the Posse Comitatus, which
adding, “I would rather die than be a slave to my gov-           believed that sheriffs are the highest law enforcement
ernment.” The Oath Keepers site soon began hawking               authorities in America. “I pray for the day that a sheriff
T-shirts with slogans like “I’m a Right Wing Extremist           in this country will arrest an IRS agent for trespassing or
and Damn Proud of It!”                                           attempting to victimize citizens in that particular sheriff’s
    In April, Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes — a            county,” Mack said in a video he made for Oath Keepers.
Yale Law School graduate and former aide to U.S. Rep. Ron
Paul (a Texas Republican and hard-line libertarian) — wor-       Why the Return?
ried about a coming dictatorship. “We know that if the day       Why are militias and the larger Patriot movement mak-
should come where a full-blown dictatorship would come,          ing a comeback?
or tyranny … it can only happen if those men, our broth-             The original militia movement took off in the mid-
ers in arms, go along and comply with unconstitutional,          1990s, with the first large militias appearing in 1994
unlawful orders,” Rhodes told conspiracy-minded radio            and growth continuing over the next several years. The
host Alex Jones. “Imagine if we focus on the police and          movement reflected widespread anger over what was
military. Game over for the New World Order.”                    seen as the meddling of a relatively liberal administra-
    He’s not the first to think so. In the 1990s, retired        tion in Washington — from gun control to environmental
Phoenix cop and conspiracy enthusiast Jack McLamb                laws to a variety of other federal mandates. But what
created an outfit called Police Against the New World            really ignited the movement was the bloodshed in Ruby
Order and produced a 75-page document entitled                   Ridge, Idaho, and Waco, Texas. In 1992, during a stand-
Operation Vampire Killer 2000: American Police Action            off between white supremacist Randy Weaver’s family
Plan for Stopping World Government Rule.                         in Idaho and federal agents — a confrontation that began

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with Weaver’s sale of an illegal weapon — Weaver’s son              stresses and strains, from the seemingly inevitable rise
and wife were killed, along with a U.S. marshal. The                of multiculturalism to the faltering economy to another
following year, some 80 members of the gun-loving                   liberal administration, this one headed by a black man.
Branch Davidian cult died in a fire that ended a 52-day             Similar factors have driven the number of race-based
standoff with federal agents in Texas. Thousands of                 hate groups, as distinct from Patriot groups, from 602
Americans saw these events as proof that the federal                in 2000 to 926 in 2008, according to research by the
government was prepared to murder its own citizens                  Southern Poverty Law Center.
in order to enforce a kind of liberal orthodoxy — a so-                “This frequently happens when elections favor the
called “New World Order” (NWO) that reflected the                   political left and the society is seen as moving toward
economic and political globalization that militia back-             greater social equality or away from traditional societal
ers felt was robbing their country of its independence              hierarchies,” Chip Berlet, a long-time analyst of the rad-
and unique culture.                                                 ical right at Political Research Associates, said in a June
    The movement was animated by a welter of con-                   newsletter. “In this scenario, it is easier for right-wing
spiracy theories, the bulk of them decrying NWO plots               demagogues to successfully demonize liberals,” immi-
that were said to be aimed at imposing socialism on the             grants and others.
United States, sending patriotic Americans to prison                   In fact, the anti-immigration movement is both fuel-
camps, destroying farmers with secret weather machines,             ing and helping to racialize the antigovernment Patriot
and so on. Most militia enthusiasts also blamed the                 resurgence. More and more, members of nativist groups
1995 Oklahoma City bombing on the government — it                   like the Minutemen are adopting core militia ideas and
was a “false flag” operation carried out by the Clinton             fears (see next section of this report). And they have con-
Administration, they contended, and designed to soften              tributed their own conspiracy theories — about the secret
up the American public to accept draconian anti-terror-             Mexican “Plan de Aztlan” to reconquer the American
ism legislation.                                                    Southwest, and another involving the secretly arranged
    But the movement of the ’90s ultimately wound down,             merger of the United States, Mexico and Canada into a
almost petering out after the turn of the millennium. That          “North American Union” — to the long list of nefarious
was for a variety of reasons, including the arrests of many         plots already identified by the Patriot movement.
militia backers in terrorist plots, the jailing of hundreds            Far-right fears of conspiracies have come from
of others on weapons violations, and the violence the               other quarters, as well, most notably from the so-called
movement continued to produce even after 168 people,                “birthers” who have filed a series of lawsuits making the
including 19 children, were murdered in Oklahoma City               claim that Obama is not a U.S. citizen. These spurious
by men steeped in the ideology of both militias and racist          claims first gained traction when prominent extrem-
hate groups. The failure of any of the many dire Patriot            ists like writer Jerome Corsi, politician Alan Keyes and
predictions or conspiracy theories to come true also hurt           Watergate felon and radio show host G. Gordon Liddy
the movement, as did the 2000 election of a conserva-               questioned the validity of the president’s birth certifi-
tive president, which had the effect of defusing militia            cate. Many Patriots have also adopted conspiracy theories
backers’ anger. Apocalyptic warnings from militia lead-             about secret government involvement in events like the
ers about an expected “Y2K” collapse on Jan. 1, 2000, also          Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and the crash of TWA
turned out to be entirely without merit, becoming a kind            Flight 800 in 1996.
of final nail in the coffin of the movement.                           “The current political environment is awash with
    Now, it seems, they are back. Every month, there are            seemingly absurd but nonetheless influential conspir-
militia trainings announced around the country — and                acy theories, hyperbolic claims and demonized targets,”
untold numbers that are not publicized. The Internet                Berlet concluded. “And this creates a milieu where vio-
teems with training videos, information about meetings              lence is a likely outcome.”
and rallies, far-fetched rumors and conspiracy theories.
Joining 1990s militia stalwarts like Gunderson and Mack             Going Mainstream
is a new generation of activists, as exemplified in the case        A remarkable aspect of the current antigovernment
of Edward Koernke. Koernke’s father, Mark Koernke, was              movement is the extent to which it has gained support
a prominent ’90s militia propagandist known as “Mark                from elected officials and mainstream media outlets.
from Michigan.” The elder Koernke served nearly six                 Lawmakers complaining about the intrusiveness of the
years in prison on charges that included assaulting police.         federal government have introduced 10th Amendment
Today, his son hosts an Internet radio show devoted to              resolutions (reasserting that those powers not granted
all things militia.                                                 to the federal government remain with the states) in
    The current resurgence has several apparent causes.             about three dozen states. In Texas, Gov. Rick Perry
In the largest sense, it is again a response to real societal       raised the prospect of secession several months after

                                           southern poverty law center

Obama’s inauguration — a notion first brought up there             ernment spending and taxation, some demonstrators
in the ’90s by the militia-like Republic of Texas. U.S. Rep.       called for the sovereignty of the states, abolition of the
Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) said she feared that the                Federal Reserve (a long-time bogeyman of the radi-
president was planning “reeducation camps for young                cal right), and an end to “socialism” in Washington.
people,” while U.S. Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.), evok-            At the Jacksonville, Fla., July tea party, some protest-
ing memories of the discredited communist-hunter Sen.              ers carried signs that compared President Obama to
Joseph McCarthy, warned of 17 “socialists” in Congress.            Adolf Hitler.
Fox News host Glenn Beck, who has called Obama a                      Once again, fearful Patriots are scurrying to prepare
fascist, a Nazi and a Marxist, even re-floated militia con-        for what they see as the coming societal meltdown, stock-
spiracy theories of the 1990s alleging a secret network            piling not only weaponry but food and an array of other
of government-run concentration camps.                             items. Newsletter publisher Lee Bellinger, for instance,
                                                                                        peddles Social Chaos Survival Guide:
“The current political environment is awash with                                        Smart, Savvy Precautions to Make
                                                                                        You Self-Reliant in These Dangerous
seemingly absurd but nonetheless influential                                            Times and warns of “impending
                                                                                        national social chaos.” The book,
conspiracy theories, hyperbolic claims and de-                                          he says, is “for people who want to
                                                                                        stand their ground without attract-
monized targets, and this creates a milieu where                                        ing a whole lot of attention — either
                                                                                        from the authorities” or “mobs of
violence is a likely outcome.”                                                          desperate fellow citizens.”
                                                                                           The recent Department of
    The original movement also had its mainstream back-            Homeland Security report also pointed to the role of the
ers, but they were largely confined to talk radio; today,          Internet in the current movement: “Unlike the earlier
Beck is just one of the well-known cable TV news per-              period, the advent of the Internet and other informa-
sonalities to air fictitious conspiracies and other unlikely       tion-age technologies since the 1990s has given domestic
Patriot ideas. CNN’s Lou Dobbs has treated the so-called           extremists greater access to information related to bomb-
Aztlan conspiracy as a bona fide concern and ques-                 making, weapons training and tactics, as well as targeting
tioned the validity of Obama’s birth certificate despite           of individuals, organizations and facilities, potentially
his own network’s definitive debunking of that claim. On           making … the consequences of their violence more severe.”
MSNBC, commentator Pat Buchanan suggested recently
that white Americans are now suffering “exactly what               Whither the Militia Movement?
was done to black folks.” On FOX News, regular con-                Evidence that angry Americans are arming themselves
tributor Dick Morris said, “Those crazies in Montana               for action is growing. In March, for instance, a Spokane,
who say, ‘We’re going to kill ATF agents because the               Wash., man pleaded guilty to illegally possessing two
U.N.’s going to take over’ — well, they’re beginning to            grenade launchers, 54 grenades, 37 machine guns, eight
have a case.”                                                      silencers and a variety of explosives in a storage unit. The
    At the same time, players like the National Rifle              man had an “End the Fed” bumper sticker on his vehi-
Association, which in the 1990s publicly attacked federal          cle. In May, another Washington resident was charged
law enforcement agents as “jackbooted thugs,” are back             with keeping an illegal cache of weapons that included
at it. Two months before the election last fall, firearms          an M-16 machine gun, four silencers, and two guns made
manufacturers joined forces to promote NRA member-                 by a local gunsmith and inscribed with “Christian war-
ship in a national campaign ominously dubbed “Prepare              rior” and “NObama.”
for the Storm in 2008.”                                                In Nebraska, a jury convicted Allison Klanecky
    Gun shows, too, are back as major venues for mili-             for possession of unregistered grenade components.
tia-like ideology. In a video produced in April by Max             Prosecutors said that a search of Klanecky’s barn and
Blumenthal, senior writer at the online news site The              an underground bunker turned up dozens of containers
Daily Beast, one man interviewed at a show said, “If               of explosive powder, fuses and other components that
Obama tries to get rid of our guns, it’s just a step away          could be used to make up to 93 grenades, plus an unregis-
from trying to take away everything else.” Another said            tered 12-gauge military shotgun called a “Streetsweeper.”
show attendees were “preparing for the worst.”                     Klanecky was involved in an end-times group called The
    Patriot ideology also has crept into the anti-tax “tea         Prophecy Club that sells conspiracy books and DVDs on
parties” that were staged by conservatives around the              everything from the New World Order to globalism and
country in April and July. In addition to protesting gov-          the 9/11 attacks.

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    A good illustration of antigovernment Patriot move-              son wrote on Jones’ website. “If they come,
ment paranoia was the reaction to a National Guard                   come loaded for war!”
exercise planned for April in the little town of Arcadia,                That incident showed how quickly militia enthusi-
Iowa. The guardsmen had intended to conduct a four-day               asts now mobilize, thanks to the Internet. The National
mock search for an arms dealer that would include patrol-            Guard rapidly scaled back its planned exercise, although
ling the town’s streets, distributing photos of the fictional        it denied that the deluge of complaints had anything to
bad guy and knocking on doors of residents who agreed                do with its decision.
to participate in the drill.                                             The sounds of violence are growing louder. The Idaho
    Alex Jones, the radio host and conspiracy theorist,              Citizens Constitutional Militia recently posted an open-
got wind of the plans and interviewed a National Guard               ing for a “field sniper.” Around the same time, an Ohio
official, setting off an avalanche of angry calls and vis-           Militia member, face hidden by a bandana and voice dis-
its to his website from people who feared the exercise               torted electronically, posted a video to YouTube. “People
was really about imposing a dictatorship or martial law              need to wake up and start buying some of these,” he said
on the country. “Tell them that ANY violation of your                as he displayed a semi-automatic rifle. “Things are real
rights will result in a ‘Live Fire Exercise,’” one such per-         bad, and they’re going to get a lot worse.”

                                            southern poverty law center

             Nativists to ‘Patriots’
As evidence of a militia resurgence mounts, nativist vigilantes
are increasingly adopting the ideas of the ‘Patriot’ movement
                                                 By DaviD HoLtHouse

CAMP VIGILANCE, Calif. — A call to arms from ResistNet blares through this makeshift
camp near the small community of Boulevard: “We all know what happens when you back
an animal into a corner — it fights back. The way I see it, that’s exactly the direction this
country is heading. They’re backing us into a corner. It’s getting to be time to fight back.”

    Located two-and-a-half miles north of Mexico in the                   Increasingly, Minutemen are giving credence to the
high, rugged desert of unincorporated eastern San Diego               sort of fringe conspiracy theories that have long typified
County, Camp Vigilance, known colloquially as “Camp V,”               militia and other so-called Patriot groups. Although the
is a sizable Minuteman border vigilante compound situ-                Minuteman movement from its inception has been perme-
ated amidst 170 privately owned acres.                                ated with the Aztlan or “reconquista” conspiracy theory
    Adjacent to active human and narcotics smuggling cor-             — which holds that the Mexican government is driving ille-
ridors, Camp V consists of roughly 100 tent camping sites, a          gal immigration into the U.S. as part of a covert effort to
half dozen or so full RV docking bays, a bunkhouse, a radio           “reconquer” the American Southwest — the conspiracy the-
communications center, a mess hall and meeting grounds,               ories that are now taking root in the movement have little
all within a gated and well-guarded security perimeter.               or nothing to do with border security or immigration. They
    On this night in late May, a dozen or so Minutemen are            include the belief that a massive cover-up has been con-
checking their weapons, testing batteries in their night-             ducted regarding Barack Obama’s birth certificate, which
vision goggles and thermal-vision scopes, donning body                supposedly shows that he was born in Africa and is there-
armor and making other preparations for sundown-                      fore ineligible to serve as president of the United States.
to-sunup reconnaissance patrols. A public address                         At several eastern San Diego County vigilante camps in
system plugged into a massive RV amplifies ResistNet, an              mid-May, there were serious discussions about the global
Internet radio program broadcast by the Patriot Network,              banking system being controlled by an ancient secret soci-
which promotes conspiracy theories and right-wing anti-               ety called the Illuminati. Another theory floated involved a
government militancy. Since the beginning of this year,               cult devoted to the Egyptian god of the afterlife, Osiris, oper-
ResistNet and other Patriot Network programs have                     ating within the NASA space agency and perhaps arranging
become quite popular at Camp V, as well as other remote               with extraterrestrials for a hostile takeover of Earth.
Minuteman outposts in southern California and Arizona.                    Further indicating the nativist-to-Patriot drift of the
    The broadcast continues: “I can see the true American             Minutemen is the fact that in recent months a number of
patriots are being backed into a corner. They’re getting              Minuteman factions have begun promoting the ideology of
ready to strike back at their captors, the greedy, evil               so-called “sovereign citizens,” a bizarre pseudo-legal phi-
vipers in the high offices of this land.”                             losophy whose adherents claim they’re not U.S. citizens and
    Such exhortations have little to do with border security          are not subject to federal or state laws, only to “common law
or undocumented immigration, the issues that launched                 courts” — a sort of people’s tribunal with no judges or law-
the original Minuteman Project in 2005 and inspired its               yers. The most notorious advocates of sovereign citizens
many spin-offs, imitators and splinter factions. Instead,             ideology include Oklahoma City bombing conspirator Terry
the antigovernment screed ringing through Camp V rep-                 Nichols and members of the now defunct Montana Freemen,
resents a significant, ongoing shift in the nativist vigilante        a violent militia outfit. The larger Patriot movement is made
subculture, as major elements of various Minuteman orga-              up of tax protesters, militia members and sovereign citizens.
nizations appear to be morphing into a new paramilitary                   Accompanying the rise of conspiracy theories and sov-
wing of the resurgent antigovernment “Patriot” movement.              ereign citizen ideology within the Minuteman movement

                                              southern poverty law center

has been a spike in online and campfire chatter about the               a sovereign citizen “criminal complaint petition” demand-
potential need for armed insurrection in the near future.               ing that Obama appear before an “American Grand Jury”
This trend toward contemplated violence was most graph-                 to answer charges of treason.
ically illustrated by the May 30 home invasion murders of                   Hundreds of Minutemen signed the petition at a large
a Latino man and his 9-year-old daughter in Arivaca, Ariz.,             Minuteman “muster,” or rally, in Cochise County, Ariz., in
that were allegedly orchestrated by the leader of Minutemen             late May. More than a dozen Minuteman organizations
American Defense to fund her group’s vigilante activities.              were represented at the rally, along with members of the
    All of these disturbing nativist-to-Patriot trends have             Arizona Citizens Militia, a traditional Patriot militia that
taken shape during a period in which, by all indications,               regularly conducts armed survivalist training exercises
the number of Latino immigrants attempting to cross the                 in the mountains and woods of northern Arizona. During
U.S. border has dropped to record lows, due in large part               one recent exercise, members were “waterboarded” by a
to the country’s faltering economy. According to a June                 “professional interrogator.”
report by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security,                         Also present at the Cochise County muster were
the number of U.S. Border Patrol apprehensions fell to                  members of Minuteman American Defense (MAD), the
724,000 last year. That marked the lowest level since 1973              Everett, Wash.-based group led by Shawna Forde, who
and a decline of more than 50% from 2000, when appre-                   was arrested less than a month later in the May 30 dou-
hensions peaked at 1.67 million.                                        ble murder in Arivaca, Ariz. Also arrested were MAD
    Despite this marked drop in undocumented border                     Operations Director Jason Bush and a third MAD mem-
crossings, however, the number of Minuteman border                      ber. According to law enforcement authorities, the three
operations, paramilitary training exercises and rallies                 believed the man they killed was a narcotics trafficker
continues to increase, and new Minuteman groups con-                    who kept large sums of money in his trailer.
tinue to form. What’s changed is that instead of focusing                   Forde’s half-brother, Merill Metzger, told the Arizona
exclusively on undocumented immigration, growing                        Daily Star that shortly before the murders Forde started
numbers of Minutemen and their fellow travelers now                     talking about forming an “underground militia” that
perceive immigration as merely a glaring symptom of a                   would be funded by robbing drug dealers. “She was talk-
much broader problem. The larger problem, they believe,                 ing about starting a revolution against the United States
involves shadowy conspiracies threatening American                      government,” he said.
sovereignty, unwelcome demographic changes polluting                        Following her arrest, Forde was denounced by key
American culture, and a potentially totalitarian govern-                Minuteman leaders including Jeff Schwilk, head of the
ment, driven by an illegitimate president, bent on seizing              San Diego Minutemen, a hard-line group with a well-
all firearms, trampling the Constitution and imposing a                 deserved reputation for confrontational tactics. The
fascist-socialist system on a pathetically docile citizenry.            fact that a hothead like Schwilk has become a de facto
    “We’re still concerned about the border intruders, but              spokesman for the Minuteman movement indicates how
since this all started we’ve become aware of the fact that bor-         radicalized the movement has become since its early days
der intruders are just pawns in the big game,” says “Jawbone,”          of media-friendly publicity stunts involving retirees sit-
a member of the Campo Minutemen, a particularly hard-                   ting in lawn chairs armed only with binoculars.
core faction based a few miles east of Camp V. “Stopping the                In a mid-April mass E-mail to followers, Schwilk linked
border intruders isn’t going to keep the shit from hitting the          his group’s resistance to “the invasion from Mexico” with
fan. If and when it does, we’ll be ready. All this [Minuteman           the greater cause of thwarting the “socialist takeover” of
border operations] is just a dress rehearsal for the big dance.”        America. In the same E-mail, Schwilk announced the
    One of the leaders of the Campo Minutemen, Britt                    formation of the Patriot Coalition, made up of 23 orga-
“Kingfish” Craig, recently appeared on “Patriot’s Pipeline              nizations including Minuteman factions, tax-protest
Radio Show” along with co-guest Lloyd Marcus, the                       groups, pro-gun rights groups and two anti-immigration
singer-songwriter responsible for “Tea Party Anthem,”                   outfits listed as hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law
a protest ditty written for the “tea party” tax protests that           Center. A subsequent press release described the common
took place across the country April 15.                                 cause of the groups under the motto, “Secure Borders,
    “Tea Party Anthem” has become the Campo                             Constitution and Rule of Law.” It stated that “Patriotic and
Minutemen fight song. Most of its members know at least                 Constitutional American grassroots groups” had come
the first verse by heart: “Mr. President! Your stimulus is              together to “fight the growing threats to our region and
sure to bust./It’s just a socialist scheme./The only thing              to the taxpaying American citizens.”
it will do/Is kill the American Dream.”                                     It used to be that Minutemen declared their vigilance
    As part of their campaign to stop President Obama                   against foreign invaders. Now they’re taking a stand
from killing the American Dream, various Minuteman                      against perceived enemies both foreign and domestic.
groups, including the Campo Minutemen, are distributing                 “Revolution is brewing!” Schwilk declared.

                                         southern poverty law center

          Terror From The Right
                   75 plots, conspiracies and racist rampages
                              since Oklahoma City

At 9:02 a.m. on April 19, 1995, a 7,000-pound truck                             July 28, 1995
bomb, constructed of ammonium nitrate fertilizer and nitromethane               Antigovernment extremist Charles
                                                                                Ray Polk is arrested after trying to
racing fuel and packed into 13 plastic barrels, ripped through the heart
                                                                                purchase a machine gun from an
of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. The explo-           undercover police officer, and is
sion wrecked much of downtown Oklahoma City and killed 168 people,              later indicted by federal grand jury
including 19 children in a day-care center. Another 500 were injured.           for plotting to blow up the Internal
Although many Americans initially suspected an attack by Middle                 Revenue Service building in Austin,
                                                                                Texas. At the time of his arrest, Polk is
Eastern radicals, it quickly became clear that the mass murder had              trying to purchase plastic explosives
actually been carried out by domestic, right-wing terrorists.                   to add to the already huge arsenal he’s
   The slaughter engineered by Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, men           amassed. Polk is sentenced to almost
steeped in the conspiracy theories and white-hot fury of the American           21 years in federal prison.
radical right, marked the opening shot in a new kind of domestic political
                                                                                October 9, 1995
extremism — a revolutionary ideology whose practitioners do not hesitate        Saboteurs derail an Amtrak passen-
to carry out attacks directed at entirely innocent victims, people selected     ger train near Hyder, Ariz., killing
essentially at random to make a political point. After Oklahoma, it was         one person and injuring about 70
no longer sufficient for many American right-wing terrorists to strike at       others. Several antigovernment
                                                                                messages, signed by the “Sons of
a target of political significance — instead, they reached for higher and       Gestapo,” are left behind. The per-
higher body counts, reasoning that they had to eclipse McVeigh’s attack         petrators remain at large.
to win attention.
   What follows is a detailed listing of major terrorist plots and racist       November 9, 1995
                                                                                Oklahoma Constitutional Militia
rampages that have emerged from the American radical right in the years
                                                                                leader Willie Ray Lampley, his wife
since Oklahoma City. These have included plans to bomb government               Cecilia and another man, John Dare
buildings, banks, refineries, utilities, clinics, synagogues, mosques, memo-    Baird, are arrested as they prepare
rials and bridges; to assassinate police officers, judges, politicians, civil   explosives to bomb numerous tar-
                                                                                gets, including the Southern Poverty
rights figures and others; to rob banks, armored cars and other criminals;
                                                                                Law Center, gay bars and abortion
and to amass illegal machine guns, missiles, explosives and biological and      clinics. The three, along with another
chemical weapons. Each of these plots aimed to make changes in America          suspect arrested later, are sentenced
through the use of political violence. Most contemplated the deaths of          to terms of up to 11 years in 1996.
large numbers of people — in one case, as many as 30,000, or 10 times           Cecilia Lampley is released in 2000,
                                                                                while Baird and Willie Lampley —
the number murdered on Sept. 11, 2001.
                                                                                who wrote letters from prison urging
   Here are the stories of plots, conspiracies and racist rampages since        others to violence — are freed in
1995 — plots and violence waged against a democratic America.                   2004 and 2006, respectively.

                                           southern poverty law center

December 18, 1995                         and 15 homemade hand grenades            drawing sentences of up to nine years
An Internal Revenue Service (IRS)         on his property in Hood River, Ore.      in prison. The plot participants are
employee discovers a plastic drum         Hamblin is sentenced to almost           all released in subsequent years. Gary
packed with ammonium nitrate and          four years in federal prison, and is     Curds Baer, who drew the heaviest
fuel oil in a parking lot behind the      released in March 2000.                  sentence after being found with 400
IRS building in Reno, Nev. The device                                              pounds of ammonium nitrate, a bomb
failed to explode a day earlier when      April 12, 1996                           component, is freed in May 2004.
a three-foot fuse went out prema-         Apparently inspired by his reading
turely. Ten days later, tax protester     of a neo-Nazi tract, Larry Wayne         July 27, 1996
Joseph Martin Bailie is arrested.         Shoemake kills one black man             A nail-packed bomb goes off at the
Bailie is eventually sentenced to 36      and wounds seven other people,           Atlanta Olympics, which are seen by
years in federal prison, with a release   including a reporter, during a racist    many extremists as part of a Satanic
date of 2027. An accomplice, Ellis        shooting spree in a black neighbor-      “New World Order,” killing one per-
Edward Hurst, is released in 2004.        hood in Jackson, Miss. As police close   son and injuring more than 100 others.
                                          in on the abandoned restaurant he        Investigators will later conclude the
January 18, 1996                          is shooting from, Shoemake, who is       attack is linked to 1997-1998 bombings
Peter Kevin Langan, the pseud-            white, sets the restaurant on fire and   of an Atlanta-area abortion clinic, an
onymous “Commander Pedro”                 kills himself. A search of his home      Atlanta gay bar and a Birmingham,
who leads the underground Aryan           finds references to “Separation or       Ala., abortion facility. Suspect Eric
Republican Army, is arrested after a      Annihilation,” an essay on race rela-    Robert Rudolph — a reclusive North
shootout with the FBI in Ohio. Along      tions by neo-Nazi National Alliance      Carolina man tied to the anti-Semitic
with six other suspects arrested          leader William Pierce, along with an     Christian Identity theology — flees
around the same time, Langan              arsenal of weapons that includes 17      into the woods of his native state
is charged in connection with a           long guns, 20,000 rounds of ammuni-      after he is identified in early 1998 as
string of 22 bank robberies in seven      tion, and countless military manuals.    a suspect in the Birmingham attack,
Midwestern states between 1994 and                                                 and is only captured five years later.
1996. After pleading guilty and agree-    April 26, 1996                           Eventually, he pleads guilty to all
ing to testify, co-conspirator Richard    Two leaders of the Militia-at-Large      of the attacks attributed to him in
Guthrie commits suicide in his cell.      of the Republic of Georgia, Robert       exchange for life without parole.
Two others, Kevin McCarthy and            Edward Starr III and William James
Scott Stedeford, enter plea bargains      McCranie Jr., are charged with man-      July 29, 1996
and do testify against their co-con-      ufacturing shrapnel-packed pipe          Washington State Militia leader John
spirators. Eventually, Mark Thomas,       bombs for distribution to militia        Pitner and seven others are arrested
a leading neo-Nazi in Pennsylvania,       members. Later in the year, they are     on weapons and explosives charges
pleads guilty for his role in help-       sentenced to terms of up to eight        in connection with a plot to build
ing organize the robberies and            years. Another Militia-at-Large          pipe bombs to resist a feared inva-
agrees to testify against Langan and      member, Troy Allen Kayser (alias         sion by the United Nations. Pitner
other gang members. Shawn Kenny,          Troy Spain), is arrested two weeks       and four others are convicted on
another suspect, becomes a federal        later and accused of training a team     weapons charges, while conspir-
informant. Langan is sentenced to a       to assassinate politicians. Starr is     acy charges against all eight end in
life term in one case, plus 55 years in   released from prison in 2003, while      a mistrial. Pitner is later retried on
another. McCarthy is released from        McCranie gets out in 2001. Kayser,       that charge, convicted and sentenced
prison in 2007, while Stedeford’s         convicted of conspiracy, is released     to four years in prison. He is released
release date is set in 2022. Thomas       in early 2002.                           in 2001.
receives eight years and is released
in early 2004.                            July 1, 1996                             October 8, 1996
                                          Twelve members of an Arizona             Three “Phineas Priests” — racist and
April 11, 1996                            militia group called the Viper Team      anti-Semitic Christian Identity ter-
Antigovernment activist and self-         are arrested on federal conspir-         rorists who feel they’ve been called
described “survivalist” Ray Hamblin       acy, weapons and explosive charges       by God to undertake violent attacks —
is charged with illegal possession of     after allegedly surveilling and vid-     are charged in connection with two
explosives after authorities find 460     eotaping government buildings as         bank robberies and bombings at the
pounds of the high explosive Tovex,       potential targets. All 12 plead guilty   two banks, a Spokane newspaper and
746 pounds of ANFO blasting agent         or are convicted of various charges,     a Planned Parenthood office. Charles

                                            southern poverty law center

Barbee, Robert Berry and Jay Merrell       grenades, live shells for grenade         while Shawn and Catherine Adams,
are eventually convicted and sen-          launchers, artillery shells and           a couple, are freed in 2006. Edward
tenced to life terms. Brian Ratigan, a     other military gear. Salyers was dis-     Taylor Jr. is released in early 2007.
fourth member of the group arrested        charged earlier from the Marines,
separately, draws a 55-year term; he       where he taught demolitions and           April 23, 1997
is scheduled for release in 2045.          sniping, after tossing a live grenade     Florida police arrest Todd Vanbiber,
                                           (with the pin still in) at state police   a member of the neo-Nazi National
October 11, 1996                           officers serving him with a search        Alliance’s Tampa unit and the shad-
Seven members of the Mountaineer           warrant in 1995. Following the 1997       owy League of the Silent Soldier,
Militia are arrested in a plot to blow     raid, Salyers, an alleged member          after he accidentally sets off pipe
up the FBI’s national fingerprint          of the underground Black Dawn             bombs he was building, blasting
records center, where 1,000 people         group of extremists in the military,      shrapnel into his own face. He is
work, in West Virginia. In 1998, leader    is sentenced to serve three years for     accused of plotting to use the bombs
Floyd “Ray” Looker is sentenced to 18      weapons violations. He is released        on the approach to Disney World to
years in prison, with a release date of    from prison in 2000.                      divert attention from a planned string
2012. Two other defendants are sen-                                                  of bank robberies. Vanbiber pleads
tenced on explosives charges and a         March 26, 1997                            guilty to weapons and explosives
third draws a year in prison for pro-      Militia activist Brendon Blasz is         charges and is sentenced to more
viding blueprints of the FBI facility to   arrested in Kalamazoo, Mich., and         than six years in federal prison. He
Looker, who then sold them to a gov-       charged with making pipe bombs and        is released in 2002. Within two years,
ernment informant who was posing           other illegal explosives. Prosecutors     Vanbiber is posting messages on neo-
as a terrorist.                            say Blasz plotted to bomb the fed-        Nazi Internet sites boasting that he
                                           eral building in Battle Creek, the        has built over 300 bombs success-
January 16, 1997                           IRS building in Portage, a Kalamazoo      fully and only made one error, and
Two anti-personnel bombs — the             television station and federal armor-     describing mass murderer Timothy
second clearly designed to kill            ies. But they recommend leniency on       McVeigh as a hero.
arriving law enforcement and res-          his explosives conviction after Blasz,
cue workers — explode outside an           a member of the Michigan Militia          April 27, 1997
abortion clinic in Sandy Springs,          Corps Wolverines, renounces his           After a cache of explosives stored
Ga., a suburb of Atlanta. Seven peo-       antigovernment beliefs and coop-          in a tree blows up near Yuba City,
ple are injured. Letters signed by         erates with them. He is sentenced         Calif., police arrest Montana
the “Army of God” claim responsi-          to more than three years in federal       Freemen supporter William Robert
bility for this attack and another, a      prison and released in late 1999.         Goehler. Investigators looking into
month later, at an Atlanta gay bar.                                                  the blast arrest two Goehler asso-
Authorities later learn that these         April 22, 1997                            ciates, one of them a militia leader,
attacks, the 1998 bombing of a             Three Ku Klux Klan members are            after finding 500 pounds of explo-
Birmingham, Ala., abortion clinic          arrested in a plot to blow up a natu-     sives — enough to level three city
and the 1996 Atlanta Olympics              ral gas refinery outside Fort Worth,      blocks — in a motor home parked
bombing, were all carried out by           Texas, after local Klan leader Robert     outside their residence. Six oth-
Eric Robert Rudolph, who is cap-           Spence gets cold feet and goes to the     ers are arrested on related charges.
tured in 2003 after five years on the      FBI. The three, along with a fourth       Goehler, with previous convictions
run. Rudolph avoids the death pen-         arrested later, expected to kill a huge   for rape, burglary and assault, is sen-
alty by pleading guilty in exchange        number of people with the blast —         tenced to 25 years to life in prison.
for a life sentence, but simultane-        authorities later say as many as          He is later accused of stabbing his
ously releases a defiant statement         30,000 might have died — which was        attorney with a shank and charged
defending his attacks.                     to serve, incredibly, as a diversion      with attacking prison psychologists.
                                           for a simultaneous armored car rob-
January 22, 1997                           bery. Among the victims would have        May 3, 1997
Authorities raid the Martinton,            been children at a nearby school.         Antigovernment extremists set fire to
Ill., home of former Marine Ricky          All four plead guilty to conspiracy       the IRS office in Colorado Springs,
Salyers, an alleged Ku Klux Klan           charges and are sentenced to terms        Colo., causing $2.5 million in dam-
member, discovering 35,000 rounds          of up to 20 years. Spence enters the      age and injuring a firefighter. Federal
of heavy ammunition, armor pierc-          Witness Protection Program. Carl          agents later arrest five men in con-
ing shells, smoke and tear gas             Jay Waskom Jr. is released in 2004,       nection with the arson, which is

                                           southern poverty law center

conceived as a protest against the tax    napping, robbery and conspiracy.           armored car heists. New Order mem-
system. Ringleader James Cleaver,         Kehoe and Lee will also face state         bers plotted to assassinate a federal
former national director of the anti-     charges of murdering an Arkansas           judge and civil rights lawyer Morris
government Sons of Liberty group, is      family, including an 8-year-old girl, in   Dees, blow up the Southern Poverty
accused of threatening a witness and      1996. Kehoe ultimately receives a life     Law Center that Dees co-founded
eventually sentenced to 33 years in       sentence on that charge, while Lee is      and other buildings, poison water
prison, with a release date of 2030.      sentenced to death. Lovelace is sen-       supplies and rob banks. Wallace
Accomplice Jack Dowell receives 30        tenced to death for the murder of a        Weicherding, one of the men, came to
years and is scheduled to be freed        suspected informant, but because of        a 1997 Dees speech with a concealed
in 2027. Both are ordered to pay          court rulings is later resentenced to      gun but turned back rather than pass
$2.2 million in restitution. Dowell’s     life without parole. Kehoe’s brother,      through a metal detector. In the end,
cousin is acquitted of all charges,       Cheyne, is convicted of attempted          all six plead guilty or are convicted of
while two other suspects, Ronald          murder during a 1997 Ohio shootout         weapons charges, drawing terms of
Sherman and Thomas Shafer, plead          with police and sentenced to 24 years      up to seven years in federal prison.
guilty to perjury charges in connec-      in prison, despite his helping author-     New Order leader Dennis McGiffen
tion with the case.                       ities track down his fugitive brother      is released in 2004, the last of the six
                                          in Utah after the shootout. Cheyne         to regain his freedom.
July 4, 1997                              went to the authorities after Chevie
Militiaman Bradley Playford Glover        began talking about murdering their        March 18, 1998
and another heavily armed antigov-        parents and showing sexual interest        Three members of the North
ernment activist are arrested before      in Cheyne’s wife.                          American Militia of Southwestern
dawn near Fort Hood, in central                                                      Michigan are arrested on firearms
Texas, just hours before they planned     January 29, 1998                           and other charges. Prosecutors say
to invade the Army base and slaugh-       An off-duty police officer is killed       the men conspired to bomb federal
ter foreign troops they mistakenly        and a nurse terribly maimed when           buildings, a Kalamazoo television
believed were housed there. In the        a nail-packed, remote-control bomb         station and an interstate highway
next few days, five other people are      explodes outside a Birmingham, Ala.,       interchange, kill federal agents,
arrested in several states for their      abortion facility, the New Woman All       assassinate politicians and attack
alleged roles in the plot to invade       Women clinic. Letters to media out-        aircraft at a National Guard base —
a series of military bases where          lets and officials claim responsibility    attacks that were all to be funded by
the group believes United Nations         in the name of the “Army of God,” the      marijuana sales. The group’s leader,
forces are massing for an assault         same entity that took credit for the       Ken Carter, is a self-described mem-
on Americans. All seven are part          bombings of a clinic and a gay bar         ber of the neo-Nazi Aryan Nations.
of a splinter group from the Third        in the Atlanta area. The attack also       Carter pleads guilty, testifies against
Continental Congress, a kind of mili-     will be linked to the fatal 1996 bomb-     his former comrades, and is sen-
tia government-in-waiting. In the         ing of the Atlanta Olympics. Eric          tenced to five years in prison. The
end, Glover is sentenced to two years     Robert Rudolph, a loner from North         others, Randy Graham and Bradford
on Kansas weapons charges, to be          Carolina, is first identified as a sus-    Metcalf, go to trial and are ultimately
followed by a five-year federal term      pect when witnesses spot his pickup        handed sentences of 40 and 55 years,
in connection with the Fort Hood          truck fleeing the Birmingham bomb-         respectively. Carter is released from
plot. The others draw lesser terms.       ing. But he is not caught until 2003.      prison in 2002.
Glover is released in 2003, the last of   He ultimately pleads guilty to all four
the seven to get out.                     attacks in exchange for a life sentence.   May 29, 1998
                                                                                     A day after stealing a water truck,
December 12, 1997                         February 23, 1998                          three men shoot and kill a Cortez,
A federal grand jury in Arkansas          Three men with links to a Ku Klux          Colo., police officer and wound two
indicts three men on racketeering         Klan group are arrested near East          other officers as they try to stop the
charges for plotting to overthrow         St. Louis, Ill., on weapons charges.       suspects during a road chase. After
the government and create a whites-       The three, along with three other          the gun battle, the three — Alan
only Aryan People’s Republic, which       men arrested later, formed a group         Monty Pilon, Robert Mason and
they intend to grow through polyg-        called The New Order, patterned            Jason McVean — disappear into the
amy. Chevie Kehoe, Daniel Lee and         on a 1980s terror group called The         canyons of the high desert. Mason is
Faron Lovelace are accused of crimes      Order (a.k.a. the Silent Brotherhood)      found a week later, dead of an appar-
in six states, including murder, kid-     that carried out assassinations and        ently self-inflicted gunshot. The

                                           southern poverty law center

skeletal remains of Pilon are found       to hide out in Ireland and France.         clinic in Sacramento. Both brothers,
in 1999 and show that he, too, died of    Two fellow anti-abortion extremists,       whose mother at one point refers in
a gunshot to the head, another appar-     Loretta Marra and Dennis Malvasi,          a conversation to her sons’ victims
ent suicide. McVean is not found, but     make plans to help Kopp secretly           as “two homos,” eventually admit
most authorities assume he died in        return. Kopp, also suspected in the        their guilt — in Matthew’s case, in a
the desert. Many officials believe the    earlier sniper woundings of four           newspaper interview. Matthew, who
three men intended to use the water       physicians in Canada and upstate           at one point badly injures a guard in
truck in some kind of terrorist attack,   New York, is arrested in France as he      a surprise attack, commits suicide in
but the nature of their suspected         picks up money wired by Marra and          2002. Tyler, who pleads guilty to an
plans is never learned.                   Malvasi. He eventually admits the          array of charges in the case, and is
                                          shooting to a newspaper reporter —         given two sentences amounting to
July 1, 1998                              claiming that he only intended to          50 years to be served consecutively.
Three men are charged with con-           wound Slepian — and is sentenced to
spiracy to use weapons of mass            life in prison plus 10 years. In 2003,     July 2, 1999
destruction after threatening             Marra and Malvasi are sentenced to         Infuriated that neo-Nazi leader Matt
President Clinton and other federal       time served after pleading guilty to       Hale has just been denied his law
officials with biological weapons.        federal charges related to harboring       license by Illinois officials, follower
Officials say the men planned to use      a fugitive.                                Benjamin Nathaniel Smith begins a
a cactus thorn coated with a toxin                                                   three-day murder spree across Illinois
like anthrax and fired by a modified      June 10, 1999                              and Indiana, shooting to death a pop-
butane lighter to carry out the mur-      Officials arrest Alabama plumber           ular black former college basketball
ders. One man is acquitted of the         Chris Scott Gilliam, a member of the       coach and a Korean doctoral student
charges, but Jack Abbot Grebe Jr.,        neo-Nazi National Alliance, after he       and wounding nine other minor-
and Johnnie Wise — a 72-year-old          attempts to purchase 10 hand gre-          ities. Smith kills himself as police
man who attended meetings of the          nades from an undercover federal           close in during a car chase. Hale,
separatist Republic of Texas group —      agent. Gilliam, who months earlier         the “Pontifex Maximus,” or leader,
are sentenced to more than 24 years       paraded in an extremist T-shirt in         of the World Church of the Creator,
in prison. The men are set for release    front of the Southern Poverty Law          at first claims to barely know Smith.
in 2019.                                  Center’s offices in Montgomery, tells      But it quickly emerges that Hale has
                                          agents he planned to send mail bombs       recently given Smith his group’s top
July 30, 1998                             to targets in Washington, D.C. Agents      award and, in fact, spent some 16
South Carolina militia member Paul        searching his home find bomb-mak-          hours on the phone with him in the
T. Chastain is charged with weap-         ing manuals, white supremacist             two weeks before Smith’s rampage.
ons, explosives and drug violations       literature and an assault rifle. Gilliam   Conveniently, Hale receives a regis-
after allegedly trying to trade drugs     pleads guilty to federal firearms          tered letter from Smith just days after
for a machine gun and enough C-4          charges and is sentenced to 10 years       his suicide, informing Hale that Smith
plastic explosive to demolish a five-     in prison. He is released in early 2008.   is quitting the group because he now
room house. The next year, Chastain                                                  sees violence as the only answer.
pleads guilty to an array of charges,     July 1, 1999
including threatening to kill Attorney    A gay couple, Gary Matson and              August 10, 1999
General Janet Reno and FBI Director       Winfield Mowder, are shot to death         Buford Furrow, a former member of
Louis Freeh. He is sentenced to 15        in bed at their home near Redding,         the neo-Nazi Aryan Nations who has
years in federal prison, with release     Calif. Days later, after tracking pur-     been living with the widow of slain
scheduled in 2011.                        chases made on Mowder’s stolen             terrorist leader Bob Mathews, strides
                                          credit card, police arrest brothers        into a Jewish community center near
October 23, 1998                          Benjamin Matthew Williams and              Los Angeles and fires more than 70
Dr. Barnett Slepian is assassinated       James Tyler Williams. At least one         bullets, wounding three boys, a teen-
by a sniper as he talks with his wife     of the pair, Matthew Williams (both        age girl and a woman. He then drives
and children in the kitchen of their      use their middle names), is an adher-      into the San Fernando Valley and
Amherst, N.Y., home. Identified           ent of the anti-Semitic Christian          murders Filipino-American mailman
as a suspect shortly after the mur-       Identity theology. Police soon learn       Joseph Ileto. The next day, Furrow
der, James Charles Kopp flees to          that the brothers two weeks earlier        turns himself in, saying he intended
Mexico, driven and disguised by           carried out arson attacks against          to send “a wake-up call to America to
friend Jennifer Rock, and goes on         three synagogues and an abortion           kill Jews.” Furrow, who has a history

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of mental illness, eventually pleads       Trix cereal, is sentenced to five years   of God, Yahweh’s Warriors” that
guilty and is sentenced to two life        in federal prison. He is released in      contains what officials call a list
terms without parole, plus 110 years       2004, a year after accomplice James       of targets, including a local fed-
in prison.                                 Troy Diver is freed following a simi-     eral building and the FBI’s Oregon
                                           lar conviction.                           offices. Springmeier, an associ-
November 5, 1999                                                                     ate of the anti-Semitic Christian
FBI agents arrest James Kenneth            March 9, 2000                             Patriots Association, is eventually
Gluck in Tampa, Fla., after he wrote       Federal agents arrest Mark Wayne          charged with setting off a diversion-
a 10-page letter to judges in Jefferson    McCool, the one-time leader of the        ary bomb at an adult video store in
County, Colo., threatening to “wage        Texas Militia and Combined Action         Damascus, Ore., in 1997 as part of a
biological warfare” on a county jus-       Program, as he allegedly makes plans      bank robbery carried out by accom-
tice center. While searching his home,     to attack the Houston federal build-      plice Forrest Bateman Jr. Another
police find the materials needed to        ing. McCool, who was arrested after       2001 raid finds small amounts of
make ricin, one of the deadliest poi-      buying powerful C-4 plastic explo-        bomb materials and marijuana
sons known. Gluck later threatens          sives and an automatic weapon from        in Bateman’s home. Eventually,
a judge, claiming that he could kill       an undercover FBI agent, earlier          Bateman pleads guilty to bank rob-
10,000 people with the chemical.           plotted to attack the federal build-      bery and Springmeier is convicted
After serving time in federal prison,      ing with a member of his own group        of the same charges. Both are sen-
Gluck is released in early 2001.           and a member of the antigovern-           tenced to nine years, and have
                                           ment Republic of Texas, but those         release dates in 2011.
December 5, 1999                           two men eventually abandoned the
Two California men, both mem-              plot. McCool, however, remained           April 19, 2001
bers of the San Joaquin Militia, are       convinced the UN had stored a cache       White supremacists Leo Felton and
charged with conspiracy in con-            of military materiel in the building.     girlfriend Erica Chase are arrested
nection with a plot to blow up two         In the end, he pleads guilty to fed-      following a foot chase that began
12-million-gallon propane tanks, a         eral charges that bring him just six      when a police officer spotted them
television tower and an electrical         months in jail.                           trying to pass counterfeit bills at a
substation in hopes of provoking                                                     Boston donut shop. Investigators
an insurrection. In 2001, the for-         April 28, 2000                            quickly learn Felton heads up a tiny
mer militia leader, Donald Rudolph,        Immigration attorney Richard              group called Aryan Unit One, and
pleads guilty to plotting to kill a fed-   Baumhammers, himself the son              that the couple, who had already
eral judge and blow up the propane         of Latvian immigrants, goes on a          obtained a timing device, planned
tanks, and testifies against his for-      rampage in the Pittsburgh area            to blow up black and Jewish land-
mer comrades. Kevin Ray Patterson          against non-whites, killing five          marks and possibly assassinate
and Charles Dennis Kiles are ulti-         people and critically wounding a          black and Jewish leaders. They also
mately convicted of several charges        sixth. Baumhammers had recently           learn another amazing fact: Felton,
in connection with the conspiracy.         started a tiny white supremacist          a self-described Aryan, is secretly
They are expected to be released           group, the Free Market Party, that        biracial. Felton and Chase are even-
from federal prison in 2021 and            demanded an end to non-white              tually convicted of conspiracy,
2018, respectively.                        immigration into the United States.       weapons violations and obstruction,
                                           In the end, the unemployed attor-         and Felton is also convicted of bank
December 8, 1999                           ney, who is living with parents at        robbery and other charges. Felton,
Donald Beauregard, head of a militia       the time of his murder spree, is sen-     who previously served 11 years for
coalition known as the Southeastern        tenced to death.                          assaulting a black taxi driver, is sen-
States Alliance, is charged with con-                                                tenced to serve more than 21 years
spiracy, providing materials for a         March 1, 2001                             in federal prison, while his one-time
terrorist act and gun violations in        As part of an ongoing probe into a        sweetheart draws a lesser sentence
a plot to bomb energy facilities and       white supremacist group, federal          and is released in 2007.
cause power outages in Florida and         and local law enforcement agents
Georgia. After pleading guilty to sev-     raid the Corbett, Ore., home of Fritz     October 14, 2001
eral charges, Beauregard, who once         Springmeier, seizing equipment to         A North Carolina sheriff ’s dep-
claimed to have discovered a secret        grow marijuana and weapons and            uty pulls over Steve Anderson, a
map detailing a planned UN take-           racist literature. They also find a       former “colonel” in the Kentucky
over mistakenly printed on a box of        binder notebook entitled “Army            Militia, on a routine traffic stop as

                                          southern poverty law center

he heads home to Kentucky from           spiring to bomb the offices of U.S.       rounds of ammunition. Also found
a white supremacist gathering in         Rep. Darrel Issa (R-Calif.) and the       are “intel sheets” with personal
North Carolina. Anderson, who is an      King Fahd Mosque in Culver City.          information about law enforcement
adherent of racist Christian Identity    Authorities say a confidential infor-     officers, their spouses and children.
theology and has issued violent          mant taped meetings with the two in       Although officials are convinced the
threats against officials for months     which the bombings were discussed         Project 7 plot was real, Burgert ulti-
via an illegal pirate radio station,     and Krugel said the JDL needed “to        mately is convicted only of weapons
pulls out a semi-automatic weapon        do something to one of their filthy       charges and draws a seven-year sen-
and peppers the deputy’s car with        mosques.” Rubin later commits             tence; he is to be released in 2010. Six
bullets before driving his truck into    suicide in prison, officials say, just    others are also convicted of or plead
the woods and disappearing for 13        before he is to go on trial in 2002.      guilty to weapons charges. Brockway
months. Officials later find six pipe    Krugel pleads guilty to conspiracy        gets a suspended sentence for har-
bombs in Anderson’s abandoned            in both plots, and testifies that Rubin   boring a fugitive, but is sent to prison
truck and 27 bombs and destruc-          conspired with him. Krugel dies in        for violating its terms. She is released
tive devices in his home. In the end,    prison in 2005.                           in early 2008.
Anderson apologizes for his actions
and pleads guilty. He is sentenced       January 4, 2002                           July 19, 2002
on a variety of firearms charges to 15   Neo-Nazi National Alliance member         Acting on a tip, federal and local
years in federal prison.                 Michael Edward Smith is arrested          law enforcement agents arrest
                                         after a car chase in Nashville, Tenn.,    North Carolina Klan leader Charles
December 5, 2001                         that began when he was spotted sit-       Robert Barefoot Jr. for his role in an
Anti-abortion extremist Clayton Lee      ting in a car with a semi-automatic       alleged plot to blow up the Johnson
Wagner, who nine months earlier          rifle pointed at Sherith Israel Pre-      County Sheriff ’s Office, the sher-
escaped from an Illinois jail while      School, run by a local synagogue. In      iff himself and the county jail.
awaiting sentencing on weapons           Smith’s car, home and storage unit,       Officers find more than two dozen
and carjacking charges, is arrested      officials find an arsenal that includes   weapons in Barefoot’s home. They
in Cincinnati, Ohio. Wagner’s odys-      a .50-caliber rifle, 10 hand grenades,    also find bombs and bomb compo-
sey began in September 1999, when        13 pipe bombs, binary explosives,         nents in the home of Barefoot’s son,
he was stopped driving a stolen          semi-automatic pistols, ammunition        Daniel Barefoot, who is charged that
camper in Illinois and told police       and an array of military manu-            same day with the arson of a school
he was headed to Seattle to murder       als. They also find teenage porn on       bus and an empty barn. The elder
an abortion provider. He escaped in      Smith’s computer and evidence that        Barefoot — who broke away from
February 2001 and, while on the lam,     he carried out computer searches for      the National Knights of the KKK
mailed more than 550 hoax anthrax        Jewish schools and synagogues. In         several months earlier to form his
letters to abortion clinics and posted   one of his E-mails, Smith wrote that      own harder-line group, the Nation’s
an Internet threat warning abortion      Jews “perhaps” should be “stuffed         Knights of the KKK — is charged
clinic workers that “if you work for     head first into an oven.” Smith is        with weapons violations and later
the murderous abortionist, I’m going     sentenced to more than 10 years in        sentenced to more than two years.
to kill you.” Wagner is eventually       prison, with an expected release date     In 2003, Barefoot’s wife and three
sentenced to 30 years on the Illinois    in 2011.                                  men, including Barefoot Sr., are
charges. In Ohio, he is sentenced to                                               charged with the murder of a former
almost 20 years more, to be served       February 8, 2002                          Klan member. In 2007, a judge rules
consecutively, on various weapons        The leader of a militia-like group        Barefoot Sr. mentally incompetent to
and car theft charges related to his     known as Project 7 and his girlfriend     stand trial for murder and commits
time on the run. In late 2003, he also   are arrested after an informant tells     him indefinitely to a mental hospital.
is found guilty of 51 federal terror-    police the group is plotting to kill      Sharon Barefoot was released from
ism charges. He is scheduled to be       judges and law enforcement offi-          prison in July 2009.
released in 2046.                        cers in order to kick off a revolution.
                                         David Burgert, who has a record for       August 22, 2002
December 11, 2001                        burglary and is already wanted for        Tampa area podiatrist Robert J.
Jewish Defense League chairman           assaulting police officers, is found      Goldstein is arrested after police,
Irving David Rubin and a follower,       in the house of girlfriend Tracy          called by Goldstein’s wife after he
Earl Leslie Krugel, are arrested in      Brockway along with an arsenal            allegedly threatened to kill her, find
California and charged with con-         that includes pipe bombs and 25,000       more than 15 explosive devices in

                                           southern poverty law center

their home, along with materials to       in the case, Joan Humphrey Lefkow,        guilty of weapons violations and sen-
make at least 30 more. Also found are     who he has publicly vilified as some-     tenced to 12 years in federal prison. He
homemade C-4 plastic explosives,          one bent on the destruction of his        is to be released in 2012.
grenades and mines, a .50-caliber         group. (Although Lefkow originally
rifle, semi-automatic weapons, and        ruled in WCOTC’s favor, an appeals        April 3, 2003
a list of 50 Islamic worship centers      court found that the complaint            Federal agents arrest antigovernment
in the area. The most significant         brought by an identically named           extremist David Roland Hinkson in
discovery is a three-page plan detail-    church in Oregon was legally jus-         Idaho and charge him with trying
ing plans to “kill all ‘rags’“ at the     tified, and Lefkow reversed herself       to hire an assassin on two occasions
Islamic Society of Pinellas County.       accordingly.) In guarded language         in 2002 and 2003 to murder a fed-
Eventually, two other local men are       captured on tape recordings, Hale         eral judge, a prosecutor and an IRS
also charged in connection with the       is heard agreeing that his security       agent involved in a tax case against
plot, and Goldstein’s wife is arrested    chief, an FBI informant, should kill      him. Hinkson, a businessman who
for possessing illegal destructive        Lefkow. Hale is found guilty and          earned millions of dollars from his
devices. Goldstein pleads guilty          sentenced to serve 40 years in fed-       Water Oz dietary supplement com-
to plotting to blow up the Islamic        eral prison; he is not expected to be     pany but refused to pay almost $1
Society and is sentenced to more          released until 2037.                      million in federal taxes, is convicted
than 12 years in federal prison, with                                               in 2004 of 26 counts related to the
a release date in 2013. His wife was      January 18, 2003                          tax case. In early 2005, a federal jury
released in 2006.                         James D. Brailey, a convicted felon       finds him guilty in the assassination
                                          who once was selected as “governor”       plot as well. He is not expected to be
October 3, 2002                           of the state of Washington by the         released until 2040.
Officials close in on long-time anti-     antigovernment Washington Jural
government extremist Larry Raugust        Society, is arrested after a raid on      April 10, 2003
at a rest stop in Idaho, arrest him and   his home turns up a machine gun, an       The FBI raids the Noonday, Texas,
charge him with 16 counts of making       assault rifle and several handguns.       home of William Krar and stor-
and possessing destructive devices,       One informant tells the FBI that          age facilities that Krar rented in the
including pipe bombs and pressure-        Brailey was plotting to assassinate       area, discovering an arsenal that
detonated booby traps. He is accused      Gov. Gary Locke, both because Locke       includes more than 500,000 rounds
of giving one explosive device to an      was the state’s real governor and         of ammunition, 65 pipe bombs and
undercover agent, and is also named       because he was Chinese-American.          remote-control briefcase bombs, and
as an unindicted co-conspirator in        A second informant says that Brailey      almost two pounds of deadly sodium
a plot with colleagues in the Idaho       actually went on a “dry run” to           cyanide. Also found are components
Mountain Boys militia to murder a         Olympia, carrying several guns into       to convert the cyanide into a bomb
federal judge and a police officer, and   the state Capitol building to test        capable of killing thousands, along
to break a friend out of jail. A dead-    security. Eventually, Brailey pleads      with white supremacist and anti-
beat dad, Raugust is also accused of      guilty to weapons charges and is sen-     government material. Investigators
helping plant land mines on property      tenced to serve 15 months in prison.      soon learn Krar was stopped earlier
belonging to a friend whose land was      He is released in 2004.                   in 2003 by police in Tennessee, who
seized by authorities over unpaid                                                   found several weapons and coded
taxes. He eventually pleads guilty        February 13, 2003                         documents in his car that seemed
to 15 counts of making bombs and is       Federal agents in Pennsylvania arrest     to detail a plot. But Krar refuses to
sentenced to federal prison. Raugust      David Wayne Hull, imperial wizard of      cooperate, and details of that alleged
was released in early 2008.               the White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan     plan are never learned. He pleads
                                          and an adherent of the anti-Semitic       guilty to possession of a chemical
January 8, 2003                           Christian Identity theology, alleging     weapon and is sentenced to more
Federal agents arrest Matt Hale,          that Hull arranged to buy hand gre-       than 11 years in prison, where he dies.
the national leader of the neo-           nades to blow up abortion clinics. The
Nazi World Church of the Creator          FBI says Hull also illegally instructed   June 4, 2003
(WCOTC), as he reports to a               followers on how to build pipe bombs.     Fe d e ra l a g e n t s i n C a l i f o r n i a
Chicago courthouse in an ongoing          Hull, who published a newsletter in       announce that former accoun-
copyright case over the name of his       which he urged readers to write           tant John Noster, in prison since
group. Hale is charged with solicit-      Oklahoma bomber Tim McVeigh “to           November 2002 for car theft, is
ing the murder of the federal judge       tell this great man goodbye,” is found    under investigation for plotting a

                                           southern poverty law center

major terrorist attack. Noster was        boasts that instead of merely pro-        up. Eventually, Braden, who also
first arrested as part of a car theft     nouncing the white-supremacist “14        possessed neo-Nazi literature and
ring investigation, but officials who     Words” slogan (“We must secure the        reportedly hated blacks and Jews
found incendiary devices in his sto-      existence of our people and a future      from an early age, pleads guilty to
len camper continued to probe his         for White children”), he will carry       conspiring to blow up the armory.
activities. Eventually, they find         out 14 violent attacks. A former mem-     He is sentenced to prison, where his
in various storage facilities three       ber of the neo-Nazi Aryan Nations,        release is expected in 2017.
pipe bombs, six barrels of jet fuel,      Gillespie is found guilty of the attack
five assault weapons, cannon fuse,        and later sentenced to 39 years in        October 25, 2004
a large amount of ammunition and          federal prison, with an expected          FBI agents in Tennessee arrest farm-
$188,000 in cash. Law enforcement         release date of 2038.                     hand Demetrius “Van” Crocker after
officials, who describe Noster as an                                                he tried to purchase ingredients for
“antigovernment extremist,” allege        May 24, 2004                              deadly sarin nerve gas and C-4 plas-
at a press conference that he “was        During the attempted robbery of a         tic explosives from an undercover
definitely planning” on an attack         Tulsa bank by Wade and Christopher        agent. The FBI reports that Crocker,
but do not elaborate. In addition         Lay, a father-and-son pair of political   who local officials say was involved
to prison time in that case, Noster       extremists, security guard Kenneth        in a white supremacist group in the
draws another five years in 2009,         Anderson is shot to death. Both rob-      1980s, tells the agent that he admires
after pleading guilty to two weap-        bers are wounded, and are arrested a      Hitler and hates Jews and the govern-
ons charges.                              short time after fleeing the bank. At     ment. He also says “it would be a good
                                          trial, Wade Lay testifies that he and     thing if somebody could detonate
October 10, 2003                          his son acted “for the good of the        some sort of weapon of mass destruc-
Police arrest Norman Somerville           American people” and in an effort         tion on Washington, D.C.” Crocker is
after finding a huge weapons cache        to “preserve liberty.” Other evi-         convicted of trying to get explosives
on his property in northern Michigan      dence shows the pair hoped to get         to destroy a building and imprisoned
that includes six machine guns, a         money to pay for weapons that they        until an expected release in 2030.
powerful anti-aircraft gun, thou-         intended to use to kill Texas officials
sands of rounds of ammunition,            who they believed were responsible        May 20, 2005
hundreds of pounds of gunpowder,          for the deadly 1993 standoff between      Officials in New Jersey arrest two
and an underground bunker. They           the authorities and religious cultists    men they say asked a police infor-
also find two vehicles Somerville         in Waco. In the end, Wade Lay is          mant to build them a bomb. Craig
calls his “war wagons,” and on which      sentenced to death for first-degree       Orler, who has a history of burglary
prosecutors later say he planned to       murder, while his son gets 25 years       arrests, and Gabriel Carafa, said to
mount machine guns as part of a plan      for armed robbery.                        be a leader of the neo-Nazi World
to stage an auto accident and then                                                  Church of the Creator and a mem-
massacre arriving police. Officials       October 13, 2004                          ber of a racist Skinhead group called
describe Somerville as an antigov-        Ivan Duane Braden, a former               The Hated, are charged with illegally
ernment extremist enraged over the        National Guardsman discharged             selling 11 guns to police informants.
death of Scott Woodring, a Michigan       from an Iraq-bound unit after supe-       Carafa gave one informant 60 pounds
Militia member killed by police a         riors noted signs of instability, is      of urea to use in building him a bomb,
week after Woodring shot and killed       arrested after checking into a mental     but never said what the bomb was
a state trooper during a standoff.        health facility and telling counselors    for. Police say they moved in before
Somerville eventually pleads guilty       about plans to blow up a synagogue        the alleged bombing plot developed
to weapons charges and is sentenced       and a National Guard armory in            further because they were concerned
to six years in prison. He is scheduled   Tennessee. The FBI reports that           about the pair’s activities. They taped
to be released in late 2009.              Braden told agents that he planned        Orler saying in a phone call that he
                                          to go to a synagogue wearing a trench     was seeking people in Europe to
April 1, 2004                             coat stuffed with explosives and get      help him go underground. Orler is
Neo-Nazi Skinhead Sean Gillespie          himself “as close to children and the     sentenced to more than 10 years in
videotapes himself as he firebombs        rabbi as possible,” a plan Braden also    prison, while Carafa draws seven.
Temple B’nai Israel, an Oklahoma          outlined in notes found in his home.
City synagogue, as part of a film he      In addition, he intended to take          June 10, 2005
is preparing to inspire other racists     and kill hostages at the Lenoir City      Daniel J. Schertz, a former member
to violent revolution. In it, Gillespie   Armory, before blowing the armory         of the North Georgia White Knights

                                           southern poverty law center

of the Ku Klux Klan, is indicted in       grenades, an improvised grenade            Perry Landis. Landis, who is to be
Chattanooga, Tenn., on federal weap-      launcher, a Sten Mark submachine           sentenced in late 2009, allegedly tells
ons charges for allegedly making          gun, a silencer, 2,500 rounds of           undercover agents he wanted to kill
seven pipe bombs and selling them         ammunition and almost 100 mari-            Gov. Ed Rendell. Hall is sentenced to
to an undercover informant with           juana plants. Raymond Kirk Dillard,        more than two years.
the idea that they would be used to       the founder and “commander” of
murder Mexican and Haitian immi-          the group, pleads guilty to criminal       August 24, 2008
grant workers. The informant says         conspiracy, illegally making and pos-      White supremacists Shawn Robert
Schertz demonstrated how to attach        sessing destructive devices and being a    Adolf, Tharin Robert Gartrell and
the pipe bombs to cars, then sold         felon in possession of a firearm. Other    Nathan D. Johnson are arrested
him bombs that Schertz expected to        members of the group — Bonnell             in Denver during the Democratic
be used against a group of Haitians       “Buster” Hughes, James Ray McElroy,        National Convention on weap-
and, separately, Mexican workers          Adam Lynn Cunningham and Randall           ons charges and for possession of
on a bus headed to work in Florida.       Garrett — also plead guilty to related     amphetamines. Although police say
Schertz eventually pleads guilty to       charges. Although Dillard, who com-        they talked about assassinating pres-
six charges — including teaching          plained about the collapse of the          idential candidate Barack Obama,
how to make an explosive device;          American economy, terrorist attacks        they are not charged in connection
making, possessing and transferring       and Mexicans taking over the coun-         with that threat because officials see
destructive devices; and possessing a     try, reportedly told his troops to open    their talk as drug-fueled boasting.
pistol with armor-piercing bullets —      fire on federal agents if ever con-        Police report the three had high-
and is sentenced to 14 years in prison.   fronted, no shots are fired during the     powered, scoped rifles, wigs, camou-
He is to be released in 2017.             April raid, and the “commander” even       flage clothing and a bulletproof vest,
                                          points out booby-trap tripwires on his     along with the crystal methamphet-
March 19, 2006                            property to investigators. Dillard and     amine. Gartrell was released from
U.S. Treasury agents in Utah arrest       Garrett draw the harshest sentences,       prison in June 2009, while Johnson
David J. D’Addabbo for alleg-             with releases scheduled for 2012 and       was to be freed in 2010. Adolf, who
edly threatening Internal Revenue         2018, respectively.                        was already wanted on other charges,
Service employees with “death by                                                     drew a longer sentence.
firing squad” if they continued to        June 8, 2008
try to collect taxes from him and his     Six people, most of them tied to the       October 24, 2008
wife. D’Addabbo, who was reportedly       militia movement, are arrested in          Two white supremacists, Daniel
carrying a Glock pistol, 40 rounds of     rural north-central Pennsylvania           Cowart and Paul Schlesselman, are
ammunition and a switchblade knife        after officials find stockpiles of         arrested in Tennessee for allegedly
when he was seized leaving a church       assault rifles, improvised explosives      plotting to assassinate Barack Obama
service, allegedly wrote to the U.S.      and homemade weapons, at least             and murder more than 100 black peo-
Tax Court that anyone attempting          some of them apparently intended           ple. Officials say Schlesselman and
to collect taxes would be tried by a      for terrorist attacks on U.S. officials.   Cowart, a probationary member of
“jury of common people. You then          Agents find 16 homemade bombs              the racist skinhead group Supreme
could be found guilty of treason and      during a search of the residence           White Alliance, planned to kill 88
immediately taken to a firing squad.”     of Pennsylvania Citizens Militia           people, then behead another 14. (Both
In August D’Addabbo pleads guilty         recruiter Bradley T. Kahle, who alleg-     numbers are significant in white
to one charge of threatening a gov-       edly tells authorities that he intended    supremacist circles. H is the eighth
ernment agent in exchange for the         to shoot black people from a roof-         letter of the alphabet, so double 8s
dismissal of three other charges of       top in Pittsburgh and also predicts        stand for HH, or “Heil Hitler.” The
threatening IRS agents. He is sen-        civil war if Barack Obama or Hillary       number 14 represents the “14 Words,”
tenced to time served and released        Clinton are elected president. A raid      a popular racist saying.) The pair are
the same year as his arrest.              on the property of Morgan Jones            indicted on charges that include
                                          results in the seizure of 73 weapons,      threatening a presidential candi-
April 26, 2007                            including a homemade flame thrower,        date, possessing a sawed-off shotgun,
Five members of the Alabama Free          a machine that supposedly shot bolts       taking firearms across state lines to
Militia are arrested in north Alabama     of electricity, and an improvised can-     commit crimes, planning to rob a
in a raid by federal and state law        non. Also arrested and charged with        licensed gun dealer, damaging reli-
enforcement officers that uncov-          weapons violations are Marvin E.           gious property, and using a firearm
ers a cache of 130 homemade hand          Hall, his girlfriend Melissa Huet and      during the commission of a crime.

                                           southern poverty law center

December 9, 2008                          contact with white supremacists but        fatally shot during a gun battle with
Police responding to a shooting at a      spent the previous six months read-        pursuing officers. Cartwright’s wife
home in Belfast, Maine, find James        ing racist websites, told them he          later tells investigators that her hus-
G. Cummings dead, allegedly killed        was “fighting for a dying race.” Luke      band was “severely disturbed” that
by his wife after years of domestic       also says he formed his racist views       Barack Obama has been elected pres-
abuse. They also find a cache of radio-   in large part after watching videos        ident. He also reportedly believed
active materials, which Cummings          on Podblanc, a racist video-shar-          the U.S. government was conspir-
was apparently using to try to build      ing website run by longtime white          ing against him. The sheriff tells
a radioactive “dirty bomb,” along         supremacist Craig Cobb. When he            reporters that Cartwright had been
with literature on how to build such      later appears in court for a hearing,      interested in joining a militia group.
a deadly explosive. Police also dis-      Luke, charged with murder, kidnap-
cover a membership application            ping and aggravated rape, has etched       May 31, 2009
filled out by Cummings for the neo-       a swastika into his own forehead,          Scott Roeder, an anti-abortion
Nazi National Socialist Movement.         apparently using a jail razor.             extremist who was involved with the
Friends say that Cummings had                                                        antigovernment “freemen” move-
a collection of Nazi memorabilia.         April 4, 2009                              ment in the 1990s, allegedly shoots
The authorities say Cummings was          Three Pittsburgh police officers —         to death Kansas late-term abortion
reportedly “very upset” by the elec-      Paul Sciullo III, Stephen Mayhle           provider George Tiller as the doctor
tion of Barack Obama.                     and Eric Kelly — are fatally shot          is serving as an usher in his Wichita
                                          and a fourth, Timothy McManaway,           church. Adherents of “freemen”
December 16, 2008                         is wounded after responding to a           ideology claim they are “sovereign
Kody Ray Brittingham, a lance cor-        domestic dispute at the home of            citizens” not subject to federal and
poral in the U.S. Marine Corps,           Richard Andrew Poplawski, who              other laws, and often form their own
is arrested with four others on           had posted his racist and anti-Semitic     “common law” courts and issue their
attempted robbery charges. A              views on white supremacist websites.       own license plates. It was one of those
search of his barracks room at Camp       In one post, Poplawski talks about         homemade plates that led Topeka
Lejeune, N.C., allegedly turns up         wanting a white supremacist tattoo.        police to stop Roeder in April 1996,
white supremacist materials and a         He also reportedly tells a friend that     when a search of his trunk revealed a
journal written by Brittingham con-       America is controlled by a cabal of        pound of gunpowder, a 9-volt battery
taining plans to kill Barack Obama.       Jews, that U.S. troops may soon be         wired to a switch, blasting caps and
Brittingham is indicted for threaten-     used against American citizens, and        ammunition. A prosecutor in that case
ing the president-elect of the United     that he fears a ban on guns is coming.     called Roeder a “substantial threat to
States, a crime that carries a maxi-      Poplawski later allegedly tells investi-   public safety,” citing Roeder’s refusal
mum penalty of five years in federal      gators that he fired extra bullets into    to acknowledge the court’s authority.
prison and a fine of up to $250,000.      the bodies of two of the officers “just    But his conviction in the 1996 case is
                                          to make sure they were dead” and           ultimately overturned. In the more
January 21, 2009                          says he “thought I got that one, too”      recent case, Roeder is charged with
On the day after Barack Obama is          when told that the fourth officer sur-     murder and could face up to life in
inaugurated as the nation’s first black   vived. More law enforcement officers       prison if convicted.
president, Keith Luke of Brockton,        are killed during the incident than in
Mass., is arrested after allegedly        any other single act of violence by a      June 10, 2009
shooting three black immigrants           domestic political extremist since the     Eighty-eight-year-old James von
from Cape Verde, killing two of           1995 Oklahoma City bombing.                Brunn, a longtime neo-Nazi, walks
them, as part of a racially motivated                                                up to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial
killing spree. The two murders are        April 25, 2009                             Museum and allegedly shoots to
apparently only part of Luke’s plan       Joshua Cartwright, a Florida National      death security guard Stephen Johns
to kill black, Latino and Jewish peo-     Guardsman, allegedly shoots to death       before he is himself shot and crit-
ple. After being captured by police,      two Okaloosa County, Fla., sheriff’s       ically wounded by other officers.
he reportedly says he planned to go       deputies — Burt Lopez and Warren           Von Brunn, who earlier served six
to an Orthodox synagogue near his         “Skip” York — at a gun range as the        years in connection with his 1981
home that night and “kill as many         officers attempt to arrest Cartwright      attempt to kidnap the members of the
Jews as possible.” Police say Luke,       on domestic violence charges. After        Federal Reserve Board at the point of
a white man who apparently had no         fleeing the scene, Cartwright is           a sawed-off shotgun, has been active

                                          southern poverty law center

in the white supremacist movement        (MAD), an anti-immigrant vigilante      June 25, 2009
for more than four decades. As early     group that conducts “citizen patrols”   Longtime white supremacist Dennis
as the early 1970s, he worked at the     on the Arizona-Mexico border — is       Mahon and his brother Daniel are
Holocaust-denying Noontide Press,        charged with two counts of first-       indicted in Arizona in connection
and in subsequent decades, he comes      degree murder for her alleged role      with a mail bomb sent in 2004 to a
to know many of the key leaders of       in the slayings of a Latino man and     diversity office in Scottsdale that
the radical right. A search of von       his 9-year-old daughter in Arivaca,     injured three people. Mahon, for-
Brunn’s car after the museum attack      Ariz. Forde allegedly orchestrated      merly tied to the neo-Nazi White
turns up a list of other apparent tar-   the May 30 home invasion because        Aryan Resistance (WAR) group,
gets, including the White House, the     she believed the man was a narcot-      allegedly left a phone message at the
Capitol, the National Cathedral and      ics trafficker and wanted to steal      office saying that “the White Aryan
The Washington Post. A note allegedly    drugs and cash to fund her group.       Resistance is growing in Scottsdale.
left by von Brunn in his car reads:      Authorities say the murders, includ-    There’s a few white people who
“You want my weapons; this is how        ing the killing of the child, were      are standing up.” In a related raid,
you’ll get them … the Holocaust is       part of the plan. Also arrested and     agents search the Indiana home of
a lie … Obama was created by Jews.       charged with murder are the alleged     Tom Metzger, founder of WAR, but
Obama does what his Jew owners tell      triggerman, MAD Operations              he is not arrested. On the same day,
him to do. Jews captured America’s       Director Jason Eugene “Gunny”           white supremacist Robert Joos is
money. Jews control the mass media.”     Bush, and Albert Robert Gaxiola, 42,    arrested in rural Missouri, appar-
He is charged with murder.               a local member of MAD. Authorities      ently because phone records show
                                         say that Bush had ties to the neo-      that Dennis Mahon’s first call after
June 12, 2009                            Nazi Aryan Nations in Idaho, and        the mail bombing was to Joos’ cell
Shawna Forde — the executive direc-      that Forde has spoken of recruiting     phone. Joos is charged with being a
tor of Minutemen American Defense        its members.                            felon in possession of firearms.

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