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

Feds Indict White Supremacists in Arizona Bombing

By Larry Keller on June 26, 2009 - 1:21 pm, Posted in White Supremacist

One of two brothers indicted this week in connection with the bombing of a Scottsdale, Ariz., diversity office was a former Klansman and leading skinhead recruiter with a predilection for explosives.

As part of a sweeping undercover investigation that led to the indictment, federal agents also raided the Indiana home of longtime white separatist Tom Metzger on Thursday, removing computers and other items, but not arresting him.

In another related move, a man described as a white supremacist with expertise in weapons and the making of napalm was arrested on his rural property in Missouri and charged with being a felon in possession of firearms.

Dennis Mahon, 58, and his twin brother, Daniel, were arrested Thursday following the search of a home in Davis Junction, Ill. A federal grand jury indictment in Arizona charges them with conspiring to damage and destroy buildings and property. “The object of the conspiracy was to promote racial discord on behalf of the ‘White Aryan Resistance,’” the indictment states. WAR is a white supremacist organization founded by Metzger more than a quarter century ago.

The Mahons each face up to 40 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if they’re convicted of conspiring to damage buildings and property by means of an explosive. Dennis Mahon also has been charged with two additional violations: malicious damage of a building by means of an explosive, which carries up to 40 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, and distribution of information related to explosives, which carries up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The charges against the Mahon brothers stem from an incident in February 2004 when a bomb was mailed to Scottsdale’s diversity office. Diversity Director Don Logan needed extensive surgery to repair injuries to his hands and arms. His secretary suffered injuries to her face and eyes. A third employee was treated on the site for her injuries.

The indictment maintains that in September 2003, Dennis Mahon called Logan’s office and left a message saying that “the White Aryan Resistance is growing in Scottsdale. There’s a few white people who are standing up.”

Dennis Mahon helped make the bomb, the indictment says. In 2005, both Mahons traveled to Catoosa, Okla., in an attempt to buy literature and components on bomb-making, and they discussed how to avoid detection by authorities, such as by splitting up and wearing disguises, the indictment alleges.

In October 2007, Dennis Mahon directed someone to go to Missouri to learn how to make improvised explosive devices – homemade bombs often placed on roadsides – and learn techniques for avoiding detection by police, the indictment says. The following year, he directed someone to “conduct violent action on behalf of the movement” and show him proof of the results with copies of newspaper articles, authorities say.

Dennis Mahon, who in 1988 was fired from TWA for his Klan involvement, is a veteran white supremacist organizer. He was active in Oklahoma’s White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan throughout the 1980s, even serving as imperial dragon until he stepped down in January 1991. That fall, he recruited neo-Nazis and skinheads in the former East Germany, reportedly helping to organize Klan groups. He also met and enlisted Ian Stuart Donaldson, the late leader of the British racist rock group Skrewdriver and the father of the skinhead movement in Europe. (He wasn’t always successful at recruiting skinheads in the United States, however. Several of them later stabbed and beat him at a Georgia gathering.)

During the Persian Gulf War in 1991, Mahon organized a small rally in Tulsa in support of Saddam Hussein. He later claimed to have received a couple of hundred dollars in an unmarked envelope from the Iraqi government.

In 1992, Mahon parted ways with the Klan, disgusted by the way informants had infiltrated the groups and by the nonviolent image that some Klan leaders were trying to project. He joined Tom Metzger’s White Aryan Resistance, which by the late 1980s “appeared to be the primary racialist organization in the United States,” according to Jeffrey Kaplan’s Encyclopedia of White Power. Mahon expressed his frustration with the popular perception of Klansmen as “an uneducated hick half drunk, in bib overalls, with tobacco juice dripping down his chin, burning a cross on some poor Blacks [sic] lawn.”

He wrote: “…After 12 years of proudly wearing the robe of the Invisible Order, I feel that Tom Metzger’s leadership and personal strategies fit my personality and mind set better at this time of my life. Also, I just got tired of seeing so many mistakes in tactics and ideology of the leaders of the other 25 or so Klan groups in Zoglandia [referring to ZOG, the Zionist-Occupied Government]. So many of these mini-fuhrers of these other Klans have embarrassed me with these displays of weakness and idiotic statements of ‘Niggers are the cause of all our problems — we got to kill the niggers — nigger this, nigger that.’ It’s like a broken record.”

Mahon and HoweBy August 1994, Mahon was calling himself the heartland director of WAR. That month, former debutante Carol Howe, an ardent racist who acquired a swastika tattoo on one arm, filed for a restraining order against Mahon after he allegedly raped her and threatened her. She agreed to become a paid informant for the ATF. Howe reported that Mahon wanted to bomb power lines in Oklahoma City to trigger a race war and that his group seemed to be amassing weapons, according to the Rocky Mountain News. Mahon boasted about his bomb-making prowess and said he once detonated an ammonium nitrate bomb beneath a truck. She also said that Mahon and Andreas Strassmeir, a German citizen who helped provide security at the white supremacist compound Elohim City in eastern Oklahoma, had mentioned a “Tim Tuttle” — the name Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh sometimes used as an alias.

Howe told the FBI two days after the Oklahoma City bombing that Mahon and Strassmeir had taken three trips to Oklahoma City in the months preceding the bombing, but that she doubted Mahon had been directly involved in the attack. Howe wasn’t allowed to testify during McVeigh’s trial. Mahon insisted he did not take part in the Oklahoma bombing.

But in 2001, Mahon announced his intention to move to Kingman, Ariz., where McVeigh lived while he plotted the Oklahoma City bombing. According to The Arizona Republic, Mahon liked Kingman because of the prevalence of anti-government types and wanted to develop links with white supremacist organizations in Phoenix. WAR would mainly go after undocumented immigrants from Mexico, he said.

At Aryanfest 2004, a gathering of skinheads near Scottsdale, he bragged about his connections to McVeigh. “Let’s just say he and I did some serious business together. And after Oklahoma City, the feds came after me big-time, boy, but they never proved a thing,” Mahon was quoted as saying in the Phoenix New Times.

Dennis Mahon also talked about destroying the nation’s capital. “You nuke D.C., you’re going to wipe out most of the politicians, plus a couple million crack head niggers,” he said.

“Terrorism works,” he added. “We did a lot of terrorism in Tulsa in the 1980s. We put heads in the road, and people paid attention. You have to give it to the Iraqis, they’re putting us to shame right now. I mean, I hate those cock-sucking towel heads, but they’re showing us how it’s done.”

Daniel Mahon, who was employed by American Airlines, was also involved in the movement, though not as prominently as his brother. He was also a member of WAR and in the early 90s served as grand kleagle (recruiter) of the White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.

The same day the Mahons were being arrested, ATF agents served a search warrant on Metzger’s home in Warsaw, Ind. On his 24-hour hotline, Metzger said that three computers and an address book were among the items taken. Noting that he has been called before grand juries and jailed in the past, Metzger – sounding nonchalant, almost jovial — called the raid “a little speed bump in the road.” He acknowledged knowing the Mahons since the early 1980s. “They’re friends of mine,” he said. “I’m sure the Mahon brothers are smarter than to do something like that.”

Something of an elder statesman in the white separatist movement, Metzger, 71, is a former John Birch Society member and former Klansman who made inroads into the skinhead movement. The Southern Poverty Law Center sued Metzger and his son, John, in connection with the beating death of an Ethiopian college student by skinheads in Portland, Ore., in 1988. The SPLC argued that the Metzgers should be found liable for intentionally inciting the skinheads to engage in violent confrontations with minorities. In October 1990, a jury returned a $12.5 million verdict against the Metzgers and WAR, with Metzger personally responsible for $5.5 million. He now advocates a “lone wolf” philosophy, maintaining that individuals acting alone or in small cells are the best hope for achieving a white revolution.

On Stormfront, the leading white supremacist web forum, some posters blasted the Metzger raid as yet another example of stepped-up government prosecution of white nationalists. “When the Obama feds begin taking down our leaders like this and attacking all our individual rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution, then how much longer do any of us have?” wrote one. “Will they come in the middle of the night and haul us all off to the camps as it was in Red Dawn? Were [sic] and when do we make our stand?”

Robert Joos, 56, the man arrested in Missouri, came to investigators’ attention when Dennis Mahon’s telephone records showed that the first call Mahon made the morning the package bomb was left in Scottsdale was to a cell phone in Joos’ name.

Joos has been identified as a pastor of the Sacerdotal Order of David Company. He has prior convictions of resisting arrest, carrying a concealed weapon and driving without a license. In 1984, some of his followers shot at a Missouri State Highway Patrol trooper. Joos was later charged with serving a false restraining order on the trooper, ordering him not to arrest one of the men involved in the shooting. Joos was ordered to serve one year in jail but was a fugitive until his arrest in 1994. He was then sentenced to two years.

Undercover ATF agents and a “cooperating individual” met with both Mahons in Catoosa, Okla., in February 2005, and the brothers told them about Joos’ “retreat” on more than 200 acres in Missouri, where members of the “movement” would train. One of the Mahons described Joos “as a longtime white supremacist associate and expert on weapons, explosives, bomb making and general survival skills,” according to a sworn affidavit by ATF Special Agent Kevin Farnsworth.

The undercover team met with Joos several times in 2008 and in January and February of this year, the affidavit says. He allegedly taught the informant how to make napalm and agreed to train others in the informant’s group.

Joos also told the undercover agents and the informant that he hid from law enforcement in the late 1980s and early 1990s in 18 caves on his property, which he said he still stockpiled with food, water and weapons “to avoid capture or attack by the government or other adversaries.”

The undercover operatives said they saw several weapons on Joos’ property, and that he told them he had a friend with a connection with a firearms dealer and that they were working to buy a dozen Russian-made sniper rifles.

Sonia Scherr contributed to this report.

  • Leslie

    The July 20, 2009 issue of the New Yorker magazine has a long article on Sheriff Arpaio. His dreadful treatment of prisoners would be against the Geneva Convention if they were POWS. I couldn’t believe that he had been re-elected for 5 terms. I thought Red States liked term limits. He assumes anyone with a Spanish surname is here illegally and his office harasses innocent people. (Obviously he hasn’t read the history of New Spain). Under his authority Maricopa county has settled many lawsuits over prisoner mistreatment to the tune of 43 million dollars. Yet, he tells voters he is saving them money by housing prisoners in tents that bake in the Arizona sun.

  • Carter

    If the functional level of the audience is low the gifts of an adult-level speaker would be wasted. If we sample to effective advertisements for some products that are aimed at young people perhaps, we see a commonality of simplicity of message.
    If you wear these clothes you will be the focus of admiration. If you consume this, people will like you or you will be accepted. If this beer is yours so is the opposite sex, bla, bla, bla.

    We both live in AZ; the message is a infantile one….IF you are overwhelmed by “crime” (a catch phrase) vote for “Joe”. He is a man who is “tough on criminals”.
    Remember if you’re tough, you can’t be a man of many words; you must be a “man of action”. It’s the John Wayne design of not being able to explain how you feel or what you think, etc.
    Of course in real life John Wayne was a Draft Dodger…..

  • GENO Valkyrie

    Good point.
    But sadly, that isn’t always the case. And I can sum up one great example of an infamous demagogue who isn’t so much of great communicator but still manages to win re-election after re-election. Anyone by now has heard of the self-proclaimed “toughest sheriff in America”–the notorious Sheriff Joe Arpaio. It is quite obvious to anyone who is aware of arpaio’s political ploys. The guy isn’t so much of a “gifted orator” or a “great communicator”, but rather he’s famous for his anti-immigration firebrand. Last years campaign for his re-election, the Sheriff has not engage in *ONE* effin’ debate. Not only because he would not participate in a civilized debate but he couldn’t. He just doesn’t possess the proper temperment nor can he manage his anger.
    For those who have seen his latest quarrels with the Rev. Al Sharpton who recently paid a visit to Maricopa County to detest him. Later that same day both the Rev. and the Sheriff went on the CNN Lou Dobbs show to duke it out. It was there on that show, that signify the evidence that the Sheriff could not have a rationale debate without retorting to scathing objurgation and the reiterated use of–“Garbage!!” in his inane utterance. But still he remains a popular figure on the anti-immigration front.

    So in hindsight, possessing the gift for oration, isn’t always the case. But rather the agendas and policies in which that political figure supports can explain their popularity as leaders et cetera. To remain in power.

  • Carter

    There is one issue that seems to have been less addressed than others here.
    That of being a powerful communicator.
    George Bush’s most powerful fault was not of having made mistakes but of being one of the worst communicators we have ever had in public office. While on the other hand the racist element has had some powerful communicators such as Metzger.
    It has often been said of Hitler, that at the time of his rise to power that he was a gifted orator. Well if we look at the threat of the Racists that have gained ground; they had gifted communications ability….
    Clinton made some serious mistakes while in office: Rhonda, the Balkans, etc as examples. However his ability to communicate was first rate. George W. Bush made enormous mistakes but his ability to communicate to the public was almost non-existent. He was a terrible orator. Therefore his mistakes or agenda that was unproductive – was highlighted by his inability to “smooth things over” in his public addresses & speeches.
    If one were to take this a step further, a fellow like Tom Metzger who had studied public communications can drive home a message that grotesque as it is, can gather from the public a particular affinity akin to the advertiser that made tobacco or “Fat Burgers” likable to a public that KNEW they would promote heart disease.

  • beholder

    @GENO Valkyrie

    You said it re McCain.

    Loved Obama’s speech in Egypt though — he said in no uncertain terms that Palestine must have a state, at the same time as he supported Israel. At the same time he didn’t sound like he was barking orders to the world. When I listened to that speech I kept thinking he said everything I wish W had said over the past 8 years (except “I made a mistake about Iraq and I resign”)!

  • GENO Valkyrie

    Perhaps I shouldn’t regard the U.S. Government as WOGlandia. Since Obama has occupied the White House. His administration has diversified the government by incorporating nonwhites into its ranks. Nonwhites have been confirmed to various posts overseeing different branches of government. Then again, I don’t see it as being ‘occupied by zionist” either. Since Obama isn’t exactly a bona fide pro-Isrealist. He demanded that Isreal halt and put an end to its illegal settlements on Palestanian lands. If grampa McCain were in office, there is no doubt we’d be preparing for another invasion, with the target being Iran.

  • beholder

    Hey Geno thanks for the link.

    Did you hear Cheney today talking about how moving troops out of Iraq will “waste the sacrifice” we made. In my view sacrifice means you get something in return. Better he should have said we’re letting our waste of life and money go to waste, it would be a perfect Cheney truism. I wonder what old Rummy has to say about it, haven’t heard too much from him lately.

    Meanwhile, the $3 trillion (at least) bill for the diabolical Iraq crusade has been forgotten and everybody is up in arms about spending money on health care.

  • beholder

    I’m floored by this.

    Could this be the mysterious John Doe number 3 of the Oklahoma City bombing?

    Yet more proof that right wing extremists pose a real and present terror threat to our country.

  • Larry W.

    I always thought Metzger was less in the hate game and more in the money game. Decades ago he shot his mouth off how the Skinheads would become his Brownshirts and he would build a huge power base to pass off to his son, the new Furor.
    I think his new line about small secret cells is just another marketing plan to allow this 71 year old a comfortable retirement, selling his trash and mouthing off to the secret cells from his radio show.
    I am focusing on Metzger here because out of the other parties arrested, Metzger suffers a nuisance search and is the “role model” for hate mongers. Despite the possible danger these potential bomb makers pose, they are less dangerous than Metzger. Consider the recent post of the preacher praying for our president’s death and evangelical power brokers like Pat Robertson.
    I wonder if we are spending far to much time and money following marginal players in the hate Olympics and not enough time closely watching for opportunities to litigate against those who have raised to cash to reach the wider audience. In short, follow the money.

  • Carter

    One lesson is clear: WN KEEP OUT of Arizona!
    You people are not wanted here. Where it be in upper-middle class suburbs like Scottsdale or little towns like Kingman, we like diversity & our neighbors.

    The other tidbit is that whether you are dealing with a “cooperating individual” or an in place informant: WN organizations are filled with agents & might as well get their medieval rear ends out of the country & move to some other place.
    Since the last election; the people have spoken!

  • GENO Valkyrie

    ‘During a Persian Gulf War in 1991. Mahon organized a small rally in Tulsa in support of Saddam Hussein.”

    This seditious act is very contradictory to what the current white supremacists are doing “in the army now” here:

    But regarding “ZOGlandia”, I guess its more like WOGlandia(White Occupied Government) since Obama first middle-eastern address in Egypt last month. In his address, it didn’t appear that he was pro-Zionist, given the content in his speech. Since he asked Isreal to stop its illegal settlements on Palestanian lands in order to proceed with mid-east peace. So far in his 5 months tenure, there hasn’t been any break-outs of conflict between the 2 states since the Emperialist Bush and warmonger Cheney left office.