The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.
American Renaissance editor Jared Taylor and Sam Dickson, Council of Conservative Citizens member and lawyer for the Ku Klux Klan, joined some of Europe’s most extreme right-wing fringe at the International Russian Conservative Forum in St. Petersburg last weekend.
The event, which took place at a Holiday Inn on Sunday, centered around the preservation of “national identity and culture” by embracing Christian traditions and denouncing globalism, multiculturalism and American influence. But in reality, it was further evidence of a strengthening alliance between American extremists and their European counterparts.
Sharing the dais with Taylor and Dickson were more than 30 representatives from groups including Greece’s Golden Dawn, the National Democratic Party of Germany, Italy’s Forza Nuova, the Russian Imperial Movement, as well as the former head of the British National Party (BNP), Nick Griffin.
A 67-year-old self-described “Patriot” has been charged with building two improvised explosive devices found last November near Atlanta in a backpack stuffed with material suggesting the bomb-builder was a Muslim.
Michael Conrade Sibley, of Marietta, Ga., was being held on a $100,000 bond after he was arraigned yesterday in U.S. District Court in Atlanta on one charge of possessing explosives on federal property.
Sibley confessed to FBI agents during an interview on Friday, four days after he was initially interviewed about his involvement with planting a bomb-packed backpack in Vickery Creek Park in Roswell on Nov. 4, court documents said.
It is unclear what initially led authorities to question Sibley over the explosives, which were discovered by a mother and her daughter who were hiking in the park, located on federal property, north of Atlanta. A bomb-squad destroyed the backpack in place.
Evidence subsequently recovered by investigators likely included the suspect’s DNA. Also recovered were components of two potentially deadly pipe bombs, a Koran and a list of potential terrorist targets, including hospitals, schools and Jewish facilities in the Greater Atlanta area.
The Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta was among those listed and put on a heightened state of security after the backpack was discovered.
Various media outlets have reported that the backpack bomber’s intention apparently was to frighten the public and spread fear of Islamic terrorism.
The charging documents say Sibley bought the backpack at a garage sale, and constructed the explosive devices in the garage of his home in Marietta. He admitted placing a Quran and the book The Rape of Kuwait in the backpack, along a copy of the Atlanta Falcons football schedule. He also “wrote the name, ‘Mina Khodari,’ in the backpack because it looked foreign,” the court documents say.
Sibley told FBI agents “he is a ‘patriot’ and he felt no one was paying attention to what was going on the world,” federal documents say. He also expressed the belief that if he planted the backpack bomb in a Roswell Park, “people would finally get that this type of activity could happen anywhere.”
Talking Points Memo: FBI looking into Florida cops linked to racist video depiction of President Obama.
Right Wing Watch: Tony Perkins warns that a favorable Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage could lead to a full-blown revolution.
Oregonian: Feds indict Coos County ‘sovereign citizen’ for filing phony liens against federal judges, prosecutors.
DiversityInc: AOL.com’s comments section becoming a haven for hate mongers.
Clarion-Ledger (Jackson, MS): Corinth police investigating brutal assault as an anti-gay hate crime, which aren’t designated in Mississippi.
Argus-Leader (Sioux Falls, SD): South Dakotans worried that polygamist FLDS group wants to expand its presence.
Al Jazeera America: Muslim police officers allege harassment, ‘constant suspicion.’
Orange County Register (CA): Garden Grove woman, part of white supremacist gang, gets 20 years for kidnapping, assault.
Raw Story: AFA’s Sandy Rios warns her Christian listeners to prepare for ‘martyrdom’ if Supreme Court sanctions same-sex marriage
Rolling Stone: Meet Alex Jones, the most paranoid man in America, and the leader of the conspiracist right.
Raw Story: Joyful white guys finish ahead of struggling woman, black man in promotional shot for Georgia college’s catalog.
E&E News: Minnesota lawmaker calls Bundy supporters ‘thugs,’ urges BLM to seek justice for standoff behavior.
Raw Story: Gay lawmaker shames Idaho colleagues for legislation calling for the impeachment of federal judges who legalize same-sex marriage.
Army Times: Army investigates vicious ‘Racial Thursdays’ tradition at battalion in Alaska.
Salon: Laura Ingraham’s compares Arabic version of Pledge of Allegiance to a neo-Nazi version.
Los Angeles Times: FBI says ‘community deserves answers’ in hanging of black Mississippi man, as preliminary autopsy suggests suicide.
Right Wing Watch: Peter LaBarbera claims gays ‘seeking to penetrate the minds of youth,’ just like Hitler.
While most militia organizers in the United States focus their energies on combating what they see as domestic enemies — particularly the federal government and other alleged participants in a nefarious “New World Order” scheme to enslave Americans — in recent weeks there have been a handful of so-called “Patriots” who have decided it’s more worthwhile to focus their attention overseas. They say they are organizing to fight Islamic State (ISIS) radicals in the Middle East.
The men behind of these efforts — one based in Arkansas, one in Florida — claim to be forming armed squads of militiamen to fly into ISIS hotspots in Iraq and Syria and combat the enemy on the ground. Neither, however, appear to be anything more than a fundraising operation built around pure fantasies.
Their grandiose claims verge on the utterly ridiculous. One promoter, a man who will only identify himself by the alias Swandog, says he’s building a multi-billion dollar operation, will soon have a force of 7,000 specialized military and intelligence operators, and will pay each of them more than $100,000. There is not a shred of known evidence to suggest there’s anything real behind the swaggering talk.
Swandog, a “commander” so brave he refuses to identify himself by name, described for a credulous local Arkansas TV news report his plans for assembling a multi-billion-dollar effort to combat ISIS with volunteers to his “private militia.” With a straight face, the TV station asserted that Swandog “reportedly already has men on the ground in the Middle East” and has raised “tens of millions of dollars.” It even presented a local “expert” who said the effort “seems to be genuine” and could work. In the report, the designated expert, a local criminology professor and former Green Beret, offers no evidence at all for his belief.
“Team Swandog currently numbers just under 500. We are recruiting actively,” Swandog told KTHV-TV reporters from nearby Little Rock. “Right now we do have six advance teams in the theater of operation; they’re in non-combat roles just doing prep work for our arrival.”
He told the reporter that he is recruiting former Special Operations and intelligence personnel, as well as snipers, medics and support staff. He also claimed that he was offering them a base annual salary of $120,000.
Swandog makes some big claims about money: “Most of our funding comes from businesses and churches, we don’t do very much individual fundraising at all. Depending on how fast we want to do this operation, we can do it in the course of two years on about $10 billion, now that’s going to be a fraction of the cost of a full-fledged military operation.”
Without a hint of irony, he also claimed that the team was being selective about just who could sign up. “The challenge is: we deal with a lot of posers, we deal with a lot of people who claim to be a former Navy SEAL or former CIA and we can weed them out just through the interview process,” he said.
Swandog could be describing himself. After a little sleuthing, Hatewatch learned that Swandog’s real name is David Paul Brennan, and he is a Searcy, Ark., man who has at various times in his career has described himself as a “professional badass” and boasted about his supposedly high intelligence-test scores, but who has in fact never served in the military, and has never worked for any intelligence-gathering service.
Brennan acknowledged all this in an interview with Hatewatch. “I do not have a military background,” he said. “About all I’m willing to put out there is having ties to the intelligence community.”
He claimed that he actually represents a team of more than two dozen people who have worked together to formulate a citizens’ strategy for defeating ISIS overseas. “We kind of all met a few years back. We didn’t even know each other until a few years ago; we met at a tattoo shop — the core group — and then kind of added to our little group since then. And when we noticed what was going on with the Islamic State, and we started to research it and realize that everything America does plays into exactly what it is that radicalizes these people and makes more of them, we felt like we needed to try to do something about it.”
Brennan claimed that the group has so far assembled more than $40 million in support from his network, and has already deployed some of its team into the “theater of operations” in the Middle East.
“We are putting together an actual combatant force, which is going to be 3,000 strong, and we’ll have 2,000 in reserve here plus a support element, for a total of 7,000 paid positions for us. And when you get an operation that large, it does take a lot of funding.
“We have raised a considerable amount of money that is funding our advance teams that are in the theater now. And they’re pretty well getting the lay of the land for us. … It’s a pretty robust human-intelligence operation. And that is ongoing. That has funding through the end of April.”
Brennan said these advance-team members are all American citizens. “Most of them come from either the intelligence community, whether it’s defense intelligence agencies, Central Intelligence Agency, or one of the other agencies, or they come from a private security background,” he told Hatewatch.Brennan has created a “Team Swandog” website that lays out their strategy. In a video posted to the site, he described the grand strategy in greater detail.
“We are rising up to destroy the Islamic State and eradicate radical fundamentalist Islam from the face of the planet and we have a strategy to do it with a relative handful of guys compared to a full-scale military invasion. We’re going to do it with a strategy of unconventional warfare, guerrilla tactics,” he boasts.
“Now how do we destroy the Islamic State? We do it by using guerrilla tactics—by unconventional warfare. That’s how we do it. We go in with very inferior numbers as to what is on the ground there to the number of Islamic State fighters there are. But we use superior tactics and superior training. Now our strategy will result in the destruction of the Islamic State by three avenues. One, by tactical victories on the ground; two, by eroding the morale of the Islamic State; and three, by undermining the legitimacy of the Islamic State.”
Calling the fight against ISIS a “religious war,” he continued: “I’m asking you to help Team Swandog on behalf of the United States of America, on behalf of a people who have lost faith in their government to protect them. I’m asking you to help us destroy the Islamic State now. Sooner rather than later, and eradicate this evil ideology of radical fundamentalist Islam from the face of the earth.”
He made a plea for volunteers, too: “Even if you’re just a good old boy who happens to be really good with a high-power rifle, I need you. I can put you to work as a sniper, killing these Islamic State douchebags.” ( continue to full post… )
CNN: FBI investigating death of African-American man found hanging from a tree in Mississippi.
Media Matters: Bill O’Reilly resorts to string of anti-Semitic tropes in making attack on George Soros.
Arizona Republic: Sheriff Joe Arpaio admits to contempt of court in racial-profiling case, offers to make public acknowledgement.
SFGate: California initiative calling for homosexuals to be shot will likely be presented to voters.
Talking Points Memo: In interview on Fox News, white parents condemn Black History Month at their child’s school.
Gawker: New op-ed writer for New York Times has a colorful history of associations with far-right, racist publications.
DiversityInc: Missouri’s lieutenant governor says Justice Department is ‘staffed with Marxists and black radicals.’
New York Daily News: Aryan Brotherhood member reportedly threatens to kill O.J. Simpson in Nevada prison for cutting in line.
OC Weekly: Neo-Nazis try to turn St. Patrick’s Day concert into a brawl, but band drop-kicks them off the stage.
In the past decade, David Joseph Lenio has gone from a Michigan high school cross-country runner called “Dave” to a hate-filled accused criminal who told the world on Twitter: “I am a potential terrorist. I know the truth about 9/11.”
Along the way, he also expressed the desire to shoot a rabbi in the head, shoot 100 schoolchildren and engage in a shootout with police in order to end his life in a “suicide by cop.”
Before he could fulfill his threats, Lenio was arrested Feb. 16 at a Montana ski resort — a day when schools were closed for the President’s Day holiday – just one day after he taken two of his rifles and a quantity of ammunition out of a storage locker in Kalispell, Mont.
Today, the 28-year-old graduate of Forest Hills Northern High School, in Grand Rapids, Mich., will be led in handcuffs from a jail cell in Flathead County, Mont., to a courtroom.
Lenio is scheduled to be arraigned before District Court Judge Heidi J. Ulbricht — herself a mother — on two felony charges, intimidation and criminal defamation, for using his Twitter accounts to publish assorted death threats.
Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Stacy Boman told Hatewatch she will ask that Lenio remain in jail under a $500,000 bond until he stands trial.
Court documents detail the chilling threats allegedly made by Lenio.
“I bet I could get at least 12 unarmed sitting ducks if I decide to go on a killing spree in a #school Sounds better than being a wage slave,” Lenio wrote on Twitter on Feb. 12, the court filings allege.
“What do you think costs more in most U.S. cities? A gun with enough ammunition to kill 100 school kids or the security deposit on an apartment,” he posted later. A short time after that, he wrote: “What would I rather do? Be a #wage slave for the rest of my life or tell society fuck you & do your kids a favor by shooting up a #school?”
On Feb. 14, after sending tweets filled with anti-Semitic comments and expressing a desire to copy other mass shootings, Lenio wrote: “I bet I’d take out at least a whole #classroom & score 30+ if I put my mind to it #Poverty is making me want to kill folks #mental health’#
That was followed by this: “This working and not have a god damn thing to show for it [is] bullshit [and] makes me wanna execute grade #school #kids til the cops take me out too.” He also wrote about his hatred of Jews and called the Holocaust a “lie beyond a reasonable doubt. It is now time to hunt the Nazi hunters.”
When Twitter spotted his hateful messages in January, the social media provider shut down Lenio’s account, but he opened another, then another, mockingly displaying the ease with which he worked around Twitter’s policing.
Some of the 90 tweets Lenio fired off in mid-February came in response to an anti-gun violence tweet by Jonathan Hutson, a spokesman for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. Hutson provided information to state and federal authorities that led to Lenio’s arrest. ( continue to full post… )
Bloomberg: Conspiracy theorist’s question at security conference about supposed Obama plot to nuke Charleston leaves Rick Santorum confused.
Raw Story: Feds say Missouri man plotted to kill President Obama with informant posing at Aryan Nations leader.
New Republic: How the Oklahoma fraternity scandal and the Ferguson protest shootings expose a racial double standard.
American-Statesman (Austin, TX): Stickers proclaiming shops ‘Exclusively for White People’ placed on local businesses.
Flathead Beacon: A year later, fallout from Kalispell women’s clinic destroyed by anti-abortion extremist lingers.
AlterNet: Florida teacher suspended for calling teenage Muslim student a ‘raghead’ and ‘terrorista.’
USA Today: Swastikas spray-painted inside Jewish fraternity house at Vanderbilt University.
Crooks and Liars: Ex-employee says James O’Keefe demanded he incite violence in Ferguson, then fired him after he refused.
Think Progress: Far-right Nevada lawmaker Michelle Fiore claims racism is over, then refers to colleague as ‘colored.’
The man reportedly arrested in the aftermath of a shooting spree in Mesa, Ariz., today sports tattoos that identify him as a neo-Nazi. What’s more, a local retired detective says he is a longtime white supremacist skinhead associated with major racist groups.
Ryan Giroux, who allegedly murdered one person and wounded five others earlier today and was arrested after a frenzied manhunt, was released from prison in Arizona in 2013. According to prison records, he has convictions for attempt to commit aggravated assault, marijuana, theft, and second degree burglary. Records indicate that he was sentenced to a total of about 14 years in prison.
The Arizona prison system’s mug shot of Giroux shows his face covered in white supremacist tattoos: where his shaven eyebrows used to be, the words “SKIN” and “HEAD”; and on his left temple, the number “88,” which is neo-Nazi code for Heil Hitler (because H is the 8th letter of the alphabet); and, on his chin, a “Thor’s Hammer,” a symbol used by adherents of Odinism, a pre-Christian faith that has been adopted by many white supremacists.
A retired Mesa Police detective who once infiltrated local skinhead groups told Hatewatch that he knew Giroux from previous encounters, and that Giroux was a member of Hammerskin Nation, a notoriously violent racist skinhead group, and an associate of the Aryan Brotherhood, a national prison gang with a long list of murders to its credit. “He’s a violent guy,” said the former detective, who knew Giroux as a young skinhead in the 1990s and early 2000s . “I think his time in prison contributed to that.”
Giroux, 41, has been in and out of Arizona prisons since 1993, when he was arrested for burglary and marijuana possession. His most recent prison stint, for an attempt to commit aggravated assault, began in 2007 and ended in October 2013.
According to early reports, the rampage apparently began before 9 a.m. at the Tri City Inn, a Mesa motel, when three people were shot in a room by the suspect. One of those, a male, died at the scene; two women in the room were wounded by the shooter.
The suspect then apparently ran across the street to a nearby bistro café and shot a man there. That victim then ran across the street to the motel, where medical personnel had arrived to treat the first victims, and he received treatment there.
The shooter then hijacked a car from a woman at the parking lot of an adjacent technical school and drove down a nearby boulevard for about a mile, and then pulled into a large apartment complex. Once there, he apparently shot and wounded a man outside in the parking lot. He then crossed the street to a nearby apartment and broke into it. The occupant of the apartment he invaded was left unhurt.
About two hours after the rampage began, Mesa police successfully cornered Giroux and captured him with the use of Tasers. He was led away from the scene in a DNA suit designed to preserve evidence on his person.
During the search for Giroux, officials at nearby Adams Elementary School put the school on shutdown, and officials at nearby Pima Medical Center similarly locked down their facility. After his arrest, there was a flood of cars from the area as people who had been put under lockdown fled, and parents arrived to take their children home from the school.
Talking Points Memo: South Dakota gun show vendor sells racist ‘Official Runnin’ Nigger’ targets.
Charlotte Observer: Muslim’s family home targeted by late-night gunfire, woman inside injured.
Right Wing Watch: AFA’s Bryan Fischer claims that discrimination against homosexuality is not discrimination against people.
Raw Story: Texas lawmaker says anti-gay sodomy law is needed for public health, and to stop ‘bestiality.’
AOL: Young Memphis girl’s parents keep her from attending classmate’s birthday party because she is black.
Newsweek: D.C.’s Crime Museum assembles exhibit on domestic terrorism and hate crimes.
AlterNet: Son of Alabama chief justice Roy Moore claims his drug arrest is a liberal plot to destroy his family.
Think Progress: Penn State fraternity suspended after police discovered their repulsive Facebook page featuring unsuspecting women’s nude images.