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On Wednesday, veteran neo-Nazi threatmeister Hal Turner, who Hatewatch reported in 2008 may have been on the FBI payroll, was taken into custody by police in his hometown of North Bergen, N.J. According to Turner’s blog, the police tricked him into coming to the station by telling him about a possible death threat against him. Turner is scheduled to appear in court today to face extradition to Connecticut, where police reportedly intend to charge him with inciting injury to persons or property.
The charges stem from a posting on Turner’s blog that asked his readers to “take up arms” against two Connecticut state officials, Sen. Andrew McDonald and Rep. Michael Lawlor. The Connecticut State Capitol Police Chief, Michael Fallon, said Turner’s comments went “above and beyond the threshold of free speech.” “He is inciting others through his website to commit acts of violence and has created fear and alarm,” said Fallon.
Turner’s racist rants and violent threats are legendary. Railing against President Bush in 2007, he told his audience that, “a well-placed bullet can solve a lot of problems.” He has written that “we need to start SHOOTING AND KILLING Mexicans as they cross the border” and argued that killing certain federal judges “may be illegal, but it wouldn’t be wrong.”
In 2006, after he published an attack on New Jersey Supreme Court justices that also included several of their home addresses, state police massively beefed up security for the members of the court, checking on one justice’s house more than 200 times.
Never one to fear going over the top, in another post Turner dreamed of a mass attack on the Obama inaugural. He mused that it would be a good thing to use an unmanned drone carrying explosives to attack inaugural crowds and said a mass murder of those attending the festivities “would be a public service.”
“I won’t say what may happen Tuesday but I will say this,” Turner wrote. “After Tuesday, the name Hal Turner may live in infamy. Let it be known that I saw what was necessary and decided to do what had to be done. I make no apology to those affected or their families.”
Turner’s arrest is ironic given the evidence that it appears he has worked as a paid informant for the FBI. In January 2008, unidentified hackers electronically confronted Turner in the forum of his website for his radio program, “The Hal Turner Show.” After a heated exchange, they told Turner that they had successfully hacked into his E-mails and found correspondence with an FBI agent who is apparently Turner’s handler. Then they posted an alleged July 2007 E-mail to the agent in which Turner hands over a message from someone who sent in a death threat against Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wisc.). “Once again,” Turner writes to his handler, “my fierce rhetoric has served to flush out a possible crazy.” In what is allegedly a portion of another E-mail, Turner discusses the money he is paid.
When asked in 2008 about Turner’s relationship to the FBI, the agency declined comment. Agent Richard Kolko told Hatewatch, “Longstanding FBI policy prohibits disclosing who may or may not provide information.”