Thursday, July 28, 2005

Domestic Terrorism

Orcinus has a short piece over at his site, The Other Kind of Terror, that addresses what few of us read much about with the war in Iraq and bombings elsewhere overshadowing the impact in the news - that domestic terrorism is pretty much all over the map in the United States (link to U.S. World News); the sort of homegrown violence your see formulated by far-right supremacists, religious separatists, and antigovernment groups. Since 1995, there have been roughly 60 right-wing terrorist plots involving machine guns, plastic explosives, Amtrack derailments, Ammonium Nitrate, bank robbery, anti-aircraft guns, tax evasion, barrels of jet fuel, and more explosives, chemicals and ammunition than seems possible, in states such as Texas, Tennessee, Idaho, Massachusetts, Kentucky,North Carolina, South Carolina, New York, Washington (DC), California, Colorado, Kansas, Arkansas, Alabama, Illinois, West Virginia Michigan, Arizona, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Mississippi, Georgia, Washington, Florida and Oklahoma.

I note two items that caught my attention in the latest Southern Poverty Law Center Intelligence Report:

October 11, 1996 Seven members of the Mountaineer Militia are arrested in a plot to blow up the FBI's national fingerprint records center, where 1,000 people work, in West Virginia. In 1998, leader Floyd "Ray" Looker is sentenced to 18 years in prison. Two other defendants are sentenced on explosives charges and a third draws a year in prison for providing blueprints of the FBI facility to Looker, who then sold them to a government informant who was posing as a terrorist.

April 10, 2003 The FBI raids the Noonday, Texas, home of William Krar and storage facilities he rented in the area, discovering an arsenal that includes more than 500,000 rounds of ammunition, 65 pipe bombs and remote-control briefcase bombs, and almost two pounds of deadly sodium cyanide. Also found are components to convert the cyanide into a bomb capable of killing thousands, along with white supremacist and antigovernment material. Investigators soon learn Krar was stopped earlier in 2003 by police in Tennessee, who found in his car several weapons and coded documents that seemed to detail a plot. Krar refuses to cooperate, and details of that alleged plan are never learned. Eventually, he pleads guilty to possession of a chemical weapon and is sentenced to more than 11 years in prison.

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