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

Authorities Find Bomb Apparently Targeting Immigrants in Arizona

By Leah Nelson on June 27, 2011 - 4:18 pm, Posted in Anti-Immigrant, Extremist Crime

Roadside bomb found near Tucson, ArizonaA U.S. Border Patrol agent found a live pipe bomb while patrolling a known smuggling route west of Tucson on May 30, 2009, a classified memo released by a group that hacked the Pima County, Ariz., sheriff’s department reveals.

The device, described in an intelligence bulletin issued by the department’s bomb squad as “moderately complex,” exploded during the course of the squad’s investigation. The memo does not say whether anyone was hurt or speculate about who was responsible. It does caution agents working remote roads near the border to “be vigilant” and look out for “suspect items.”

The memo, released by the hacker group known as LulzSec, states that the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigated the incident but does not describe the results of the investigation.

Although its provenance apparently remains unknown, the bomb’s discovery is not entirely surprising in light of the anti-immigrant tensions that have plagued the region around Arizona’s border with Mexico for years.

In another part of Arizona on precisely the same day the pipe bomb went off, former Minuteman American Defense (MAD) leader Shawna Forde orchestrated a home invasion that culminated in the murder of a Latino man and his 9-year-old daughter in Arivaca, Ariz. Forde and one of her accomplices were sentenced to death earlier this year; a third accused accomplice is currently on trial.

On Jan. 14, 2011, a member of the neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement (NSM) named Jeffrey Harbin was arrested with three improvised explosive devices, explosive powders and other bomb-making materials that he allegedly intended to offer to anti-immigration groups patrolling the border. Harbin’s trial is set for August 2.

In June 2010, J.T. Ready — who now describes himself as a former member of the NSM — led a group of armed extremists into the Arizona desert to apprehend immigrants and drug smugglers. According to the Heat City website, Ready during the same month handed out fliers calling for a bombing campaign against immigrants. “We all should be actively advocating daily to mainstream America the most humane, non-racist, fair border security plan available,” the fliers reportedly read. “Namely, A MINEFIELD!”

In 2005, vigilantes wearing plastic “Undocumented Border Patrol Agent” badges converged on Cochise County’s aptly named Border Road to play army and listen to a rousing speech by immigrant-bashing former U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.).

  • April Scheller


  • ruben

    american wetback….you are right…..imagine the entire u.s government being run like it is in arizona!….all i can say is that major chaos will ensue….the white elite is using facist tactics/blame game to scapegoat minorities for the problems that they have created with there GREED and wrapped it all up in the b.s ” we are being patriotic nonsense “……but unfortunatly most of blue collar white america buys into it.the world has seen what happens when racist hysteria governs and hopefully it will never happen again.the racist right wing leaders in arizona are like a cancer in our society and i just hope that the people of this country do not allow it to spread.

  • Dakotahgeo

    Sam Molloy said, on June 27th, 2011 at 11:57 pm:
    “These minutemen are the ones who should be deported.”
    Absolutely, but who th devil would want them? Iran, Pakistan? North Korea? We’d never hear from them again. (OOOhhhhhh…. that’s the point! Silly me!) Sounds like a plan!

  • american wetback

    this is every right-wing extremists wet dream, to start a race war and they are so close. if we dont stop them now, there will be hell to pay. they are in the halls of power. they are the white protestant elite and their minions who want this country to be race based with only certain whites at the top and the rest of us homeless. dont think that because you think you are means that you are by their standards. they like to use people and then toss out when not usefull. they do so many stories on muslims who look scary that they have us in daze and we dont recognize the real threat facing this country, this is an internal crisis. they have finally infiltrated the state governments and now they cant go any farther without the white house and that is why they are pouring everything they have into 2012. fascism will hopefully not prevail. we cant afford it. we are at a turning point in our history, we will prevail because we are more of them. just dont drink the kool-aid. we will get through this and it will be a fine day for the future of humanity.

  • MrsCaptJack

    In any article such as this, only details that are approved for release are included. I am quite certain that there are details that the investigating departments kept to themselves. It’s standard procedure.

  • Todd

    Couldn’t be from a Mexican drug cartel mule could it?

    Remember the stories of wire being draped across trails to act as a guilletene against border patrol while on quads?

    Who’s a racist now?

  • punkmar77

    Lex said,
    on June 29th, 2011 at 8:54 am
    “Anything from Lulzsec should be taken with a grain of salt”

    Its not from Lulzsec, its from an interdepartmental memo that should have been made immediately public in order to save lives…but the complicity of Arizona Law Officials is a big stinking kettle of rotten fish, isn’t it?

  • PSzymeczek

    The border should not be mined. Not only does the border bisect the Tohono O’odham nation, separating relatives from each other, there are wildlife migration corridors all along the border. There is also the San Pedro River, which flows north from its headwaters in Mexico. Hundreds of species migrate seasonally from the U>S> to Mexico and back and are dependent on the San Pedro for habitat and water.

  • Willie Salas

    This is the same mentality of hate that was directed towards Blacks in the the South. In time the Blacks prevailed with passage of the civil rights act of 1964. Immigrants will also prevail against hate and bigotry. The minutemen is basically a hate group that is supported by right wing Republician extremist .I would like to see the minutemen monitored by the justice department with much the same consistency that crumbled KKK. It’s time to eliminate Hate and Racism in this country.

  • ruben

    its hard to believe that the right wing/republican morons running the government in arizona actually think that a poor migrant worker is more of a threat to our society then these hard core racist pukes…..but then again it ain’t since most of the right wing/republican factions that are in control of the government there would probably have a copy of mein kampf in there home libraries….they are like in the movie ” oh brother where art thou” where one of the candidates running for the governors office is also the grand wizard of the kkk,but in arizonas case those racists actually took office.

  • Lex

    Anything from Lulzsec should be taken with a grain of salt

  • Sam Molloy

    These minutemen are the ones who should be deported.

  • Aron Levy

    LulzSec? Oh, boy. This is not going to end well. Yet another offshoot of the notorious ‘anonymous’ group of Internet dinks from 4Chan.

    Something tells me this will not be taken all that seriously. And it really should be.


  • Anon.

    I love what the SPLC does, but that headline is misleading and irresponsible. Though I agree that it is possible, given past events that the bomb was placed in the desert to target clandestine border crossers, it could also–again, given past events–been set there to target Border Patrol agents. If we are going to win this struggle against hate, we have to do it honestly and carefully. Jumping to conclusions without empirical evidence weakens our position and makes us no better than the opposition.

  • Matthew Bright

    I find the thought of immigrant families of men, women and children coming face to face with armed Nazis in isolated locations without the presence of law enforcement, to be frightening. These Minutemen types need to be monitored and need to know they’re being monitored, so they understand that if they commit violence against these helpless people there will be hell to pay. Unfortunately, when law enforcement is in the hands of people like that Sheriff Joe Arpaio character, I don’t hold much hope for some sort of relief. I think the Feds better step in.