The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.

Slain Neo-Nazi, Angry Over Obama Victory, Reportedly Prepared ‘Dirty Bomb’ Components

By David Holthouse on February 11, 2009 - 2:07 pm, Posted in Extremist Crime

James G. Cummings, a neo-Nazi who was shot to death by his wife last December, possessed a cache of radioactive materials suitable for building a “dirty bomb,” according to a leaked FBI intelligence report. A dirty bomb uses conventional explosives to disperse radioactive and other harmful materials over a large area.

During a search of the Belfast, Maine, house where Cummings lived with his wife, Amber, investigators reportedly discovered instructions for making a dirty bomb, along with four 1-gallon containers filled with a mix of uranium and thorium, both of which are radioactive, along with highly toxic beryllium powder. The containers also held a hydrogen peroxide-based solution needed for making peroxide-based explosives, along with lithium metal, thermite, magnesium ribbon, black iron oxide and other substances that are used to amplify the effects of homemade explosives.

According to the FBI report, which was originally posted online by WikiLeaks, an organization that posts leaked documents, police also found a National Socialist Movement membership application filled out by Cummings. The NSM currently is the largest neo-Nazi organization in the country, with 69 chapters in 30 states.

Amber Cummings reportedly told police that her husband was “very upset” over Barack Obama being elected president, had been in contact with white supremacist groups, and that he’d been mixing chemicals in their kitchen sink while talking about dirty bombs. Authorities say she claimed that she killed her husband after years of mental, physical, and sexual abuse. Police are terming his death a “domestic violence homicide” but, at this point, no charges have been filed.

The Bangor Daily News reports that a tradesman who painted inside the house for about a month last summer said that Cummings verbally abused his wife, talked incessantly about guns and Adolf Hitler, and claimed to own pieces of Hitler’s personal silverware and place settings. The painter said that Cummings showed off a collection of Nazi memorabilia, including a swastika flag.

“Cummings grew up in California and lived in Texas before moving to Maine in August 2007,” the Bangor News reports. “Although [the painter] said Cummings told him he made his money in Texas real estate, it appears that the actual source of his wealth was a trust fund established by his father, a prominent landowner in the Northern California city of Fort Bragg.” Records on the Internet show the James B. Cummings Trust has an annual income of $10 million.

Cummings was not the only person to apparently have been enraged or even made assassination threats because of the ascent and eventual election of Obama (see here and here and here, for instance).

  • Terry C – NJ

    Amber is my hero!

  • MrB

    Apparently, the FBI concluded he posed no “immediate threat.” All the ingredients were purchased legally over-the-counter and had not been assembled into a “dirty” or any other kind of bomb. Other than being a hateful, miserable sonofabitch, what exactly was his crime?

  • Honk

    You’ve got that right, Drake.

    Will the last melaninly-challenged person in America please turn off the light when you leave?

  • Drake

    Almost time to say goodnight America.. :)

  • http://theprogressivecapitalist.blogspot.com/.blogspot.com/ John Lloyd Scharf

    Treating every hate group and cult as terrorist results in making them heros. What happened at Ruby Ridge and Waco inspired the Oklahoma bombing.

    Domestic terrorists now use letters to terrorize and divert resources. There are many letters with white powders that divert all kinds of resouces because of the fear of exposure to anthrax.

    So, what does “treated as terrorists,” mean? When do you become the hate group by engaging in the same behaviors? Will it satisfy that mandate when a government assumes a group is attempting to control society and sends them to death camps?

  • ms. pitbull

    As someone else stated, when are these people going to be treated as terriorists? Oh I forgot: if you’re white you’re right!

  • http://awardsinjournalism.blogspot.com/ John Lloyd Scharf

    Carter said, on February 17th, 2009 at 10:35 am,
    “Therefore I have no desire to see us move from a Republic to a mob inspired reflection of popular culture.”

    You may make that law if I can decide who is a “mob” and who is not. I am certain the Founding Fathers were a “mob inspired reflection of popular culture,” to King George III.

    Thomas Paine did not publish with any sense of an affirmative obligation of the writer/publisher/printer to see that both sides were presented, It was people like him that the framers of the Consitution produced the First Amendment to protect.

  • http://awardsinjournalism.blogspot.com/ John Lloyd Scharf

    The Fairness Doctrine hast he net effect of reducing, rather than enhancing speech. When it is tested in the Supreme Court, they would be forced to reconsider the constitutional basis of their decision on these cases.

  • http://unattributable.com Constance

    Hi! I just wanted to point out one small error in the account of materials discovered at the Cummings residence.

    The four one-gallon containers held only a 35% solution of hydrogen peroxide, while the thorium and depleted uranium were in separate glass jars.

    See here for a full analysis of what James could have done with all those supplies.

    http://www.unattributable.com/.....lone-wolf/

  • Carter

    You are free to yell “FIRE” in a crowded theater if there is a fire. By the same token – if you perceive a condition to be met, expressing your opinion is part of the 1st Amendment.

    Many people say that since we live in a world so vastly different than the Founding father’s world, we should conform the Constitution & Bill of Rights to reflect that change. but who is to say or interpret what the changes are & how they are to reflected in interpretation?

    We do not elect a Supreme Court: they are political appointees, so they are often very careful that they reflect Constitutionality, NOT what changes should be made in that document.

    Those who insist that the Constitution is a “living document” must also realize that all living things eventually die.
    Personally I want my country to grow and continue; not to reach a zenith of empire & pass into history. Therefore I have no desire to see us move from a Republic to a mob inspired reflection of popular culture.

  • John Lloyd Scharf

    ‘The Fairness Doctrine has no place in our First Amendment regime. It puts the head of the camel inside the tent and enables administration after administration to toy with TV or radio in order to serve its sordid or its benevolent ends

  • John Lloyd Scharf

    “libarbarian said,

    on February 16th, 2009 at 10:13 am

    This is what jury nullification is for.

    Killing Nazis isn’t murder. Good for her.”

    You are guilty of a hate crime.

  • John Lloyd Scharf

    Who is the famous racist that made this comment?:

    I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races, that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people … I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race. I say upon this occasion I do not perceive that because the white man is to have the superior position the negro should be denied everything. I do not understand that because I do not want a negro woman for a slave I must necessarily want her for a wife. My understanding is that I can just let her alone.”

  • John Lloyd Scharf

    on February 16th, 2009 at 9:40 am

    Pundits, AM radio jerks and Fox News personalities NEVER get sued for libel and slander. They’re free to misinform the public and smear entire races of people. This kind of thing leads to the fringe taking action by killing folks at random!

    By the same token, they cannot sue you for those statements.

  • libarbarian

    This is what jury nullification is for.

    Killing Nazis isn’t murder. Good for her.

  • Al Champagne

    Daniel-

    You are dead right on the law needing to update with changing technology. Take Bill White for instance. He has been using the internet to terrorize people for years but only gets busted when he does it to a juror in a federal trial. Every American should have protection from the Bill Whites of the world.

    The DOJ should create a cybercrime unit to combat this type of thing along with id theft, net piracy, child pornograpgy (something many neo-Nazis seem to dig for some reason), etc.

  • daemonesslisa

    Pundits, AM radio jerks and Fox News personalities NEVER get sued for libel and slander. They’re free to misinform the public and smear entire races of people. This kind of thing leads to the fringe taking action by killing folks at random!

    I think you should ask the families of the victims of the church shooting about regulation of public discourse. And please read carefully so you can understand it: PUBLIC discourse. You talk like I’m in favor of secret police getting sent to people’s homes to silence them.

    I am so tired of people getting frightened at the mere mention of personal responsibility for public discourse. What the hell are you so damn scared of?!

  • Werner Strasser

    …a cache of radioactive materials suitable for building a “dirty bomb,”?
    Makes me wonder if Homeland Security is doing its job or has been feeding us B.S. as to our security. An explanation as to where and how the radio active stuff was obtained would tell me more about the magnitude of the internal threats we are facing.

    But the premise of whole story strikes me as absurd:
    Why target Obama who single handedly finally leads us into the long awaited National Socialism we so desperately need and are ecstatic about? Looks to me this is more a fight as to who will get the credit for converting us to National Socialism (= Nazis). Will it be through the brutal force of the Ne-Nazis or the covert actions by Obama using Goebbels-style tactics? But who cares, the result is the same.

  • John Lloyd Scharf

    damonesslisa,, comes the Revolution, you would be the first up against the wall.

    No one has the right to just say anything. They are subject to civil courts for libel and slander. They do not have the right to yell “Fire” in a crowded theatre. They do not have the right to advocate the killing of another.

    YOUR version of our First Amendment rights would be to deny them to everyone who did not say and writh whatever you feel.

    With Chairwoman Pelosi blocking the Broadcaster Freedom Act of 2009, this is the first step to despotism.

    Broadcaster Freedom Act of 2009
    Introduced: January 06, 2009
    Status: Introduced
    Sponsor: Rep. Mike Pence [R, IN-6]

    Introduced: January 05, 2009
    Status: Introduced
    Next step: Voted on by Senate
    Latest action: Read the second time. Placed on Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders. Calendar No. 12.
    Sponsor: Sen. Jim DeMint [R, SC]

  • daemonesslisa

    Sorry, I meant to disagree with keeping the speech IN public.

  • daemonesslisa

    Reyn, I applaud your strength in the face of hate. But I have to disagree, if only slightly, with keeping this kind of speech out of the public.

    The people should indeed have a right to free speech. But as far as the public discourse goes, there has to be a degree of responsibility, a civil limit. I believe that pundits and “leaders” should not have the right to just say and write whatever they feel.

    Because you have to ask yourself…what happens when slime like Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity, etc., can get multi-million dollar book and TV deals? And of course the answer is…incidents like the shooting in that Unitarian church in Arkansas.

    You might think it’s a mere isolated incident now, but I think these attacks are going to become more frequent, especially if these kind of blowhard pundits and hate group leaders remain unchecked.

  • Aaron

    My concern, where would James G. Cummings obtain such deadly, toxic material?

  • http://www.rebuff.org Reyn

    I must strongly disagree — under no circumstances should freedom of speech be abridged. Yes, there is hate speech — yes, we (my partner and I) belong to one of the groups sometimes victimized by hate speech — but neither of us, ever, support abridging freedom of speech. Not on the Right, not on the Left, not anywhere.

    Furthermore, we are much better off having the speech out there where people can hear it — it is in the hidden places, the basements of homes and the silent woods that real problems arise (as we see in this story). Far better to have it out in the open where it can be rationally discussed and countered by other people practicing their free speech.

    I may disagree with anyone’s opinion, but I will fight to the death for their right to have that opinion.

    Kind thoughts

  • John Lloyd Scharf

    The depleted uranium used by the military is mostly U238, a very high mass projectile with a half-life of 4.46 billion years. You are more likely to be affected by radon in your basement. We are exposed to carbon-14, which we absorb into our cells, every day. That is the point of C14 testing. U238 has a possible use as shielding from radioactivity and is being considered as a material to store radioactive wastes.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uranium-238

    Most people think of lead as not being radioactive, but in nature all different levels of various isotopes are possible with several of the isotopes being radioactive.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isotopes_of_lead

    The “But of course the military are not to be confused with terrorists,” is sarcasm and hate speech. If you want to go toe-to-toe on that issue, as a Vietnam Vet, I would relish the challenge, both in regard to vets of my era and the ones of the wars since then.

    The subtlies of such sarcasm are no different than I have heard from Aryan airheads.

  • Miles

    While uranium and thorium compounds are toxic and radioactive substances, natural beryllium compounds while toxic are not radioactive substances. Radioisotopes of beryllium are known but I doubt that they are available to amateur bomb makers. In passing, I would like to point out that the military use of elemental uranium in armour piercing shells does a better job of spreading radioactive and toxic substances than this amateur bomb maker could likely have manufactured. But of course the military are not to be confused with terrorists.

  • John Lloyd Scharf

    Your article is incorrect. – wrong. Beryllium is not radioactive. It is a very nasty carcinogen, but it is not radioactive.

  • GENO the Shadow Wolf

    Daniel I think its fair yet imperative to point out that anyone who is a member of the WN movement is a terrorist. Regardless if they have no intentions of carrying out terroristic activities, its the guilt by association that deems them as such.
    This is becoming an alarming trend and I have yet to hear from the federal government to start declaring the WN, neo-Nazi, or the white supremacist movement a terrorist organization much less like the Islamic radical sleeper cells, worthy of prosecution under federal, state and local laws.

  • Daniel

    The internet does do some good things for us, websites such as stormfont.org are not one of them. Its 2009and our laws need to change with the times. i think there is time when we need to look at these threats as serious, b/c in the end these groups aim to OVERTHROW the US Government. That is their aim. It begins with websites and then moves on to meetings and eventually shootings at places such as Jewish Daycare centers!!!freedom of speech can only go so far.

  • Carter

    In times past, a pamphleteer in an area was very effective: today we have the internet which can make one idiot appear like an organization. I have serious doubts that the levels of hate groups are as entrenched as they appear to be. VERY often people come to their senses and abandon hate rhetoric. From their very lips we hear the numbers are not all that large. HOWEVER one committed individual can cause untold levels of hardship & heartache.
    This concept is a tough call because the worst mistake often made is underestimating one’s enemy.

  • Daniel

    From my experience, it is hard to recognize these people as terrorists whenever they are everywhere, especially in congress. We all know they are terrorists, but only few choose to recognize this fact. What these individuals choose to do is not different than what goes on in Waziristan, Pakistan the home of the Taliban. They foster their own hatred and brand of “religion” that preaches to destroy anything different. The scariest proposition to me is that these people blend in quiete well. they could be the type of Neo-Nazi with swastikas and SS tatooed all over, or they could be the type which sports a suit, tie and and Ivy League diploma. I think the latter is much more dangerous. Think about it, the first is nothing more than a “soldier”, they just live for a cause. They will never live a normal life, many come from impoverished broken homes and scapegoat anyone to compensate for their own lack of accomplishment. They are in an eternal, self inflicted incarceration.The latter goes by completely undetected. They pften change their tune with the time, whatever it takes to push their real agenda in the end. This has been going on for some time. Strom Thurmund, Trent Lott, Dukes of Louisiana. There are far more twisted minds out there than we think. Am I speaking of a conspiracy, oh yes…… This is no theory this is plain as day.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    Look you guys have to stop stroking NSM’s ego by calling them the country’s largest Neo-Nazi organization and such. They may have 69 chapters- but how many people are in each chapter? Many of those chapters could just be some teenager on the internet who met the guys through the forum and sent in an application. Given Jeff Schoep’s habit of pathological lying, how does one know they really have those 69 “chapters” in the first place? I would not put it past him to invent chapters that never existed, or to include chapters which closed down a long time ago.

  • daemonesslisa

    Thus far, the Secret Service has been doing its job investigating all known threats to the President.

    Turns out, this guy had an application to join NSM.

    My question is this: is the government FINALLY going to take these thugs down? I mean, what’s it gonna take for those in power to see that these people are the real terrorists?