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

‘Delusionally Dangerous’ Alaska Militia Leader Gets 26 Years

Posted in Domestic Terrorism, Militias by Bill Morlin on January 9, 2013 - 4:21 pm

Alaska Peacemaker Militia founder and gun-rights advocate Francis Schaeffer Cox — described by federal investigators as a “delusionally dangerous man” — will serve almost 26 years in federal prison, despite his show of last-minute contrition.

The 28-year-old defendant, who became a modern-day poster boy of sorts for the militia movement, was convicted by an Alaska jury last June of nine federal charges – seven of them illegal firearms counts — related to a conspiracy to kill a judge and law enforcement officers. He was acquitted of charges of carrying a handgun while conspiring to purchase destructive devices and possession of a handgun while discussing the murder conspiracy. ( continue to full post… )

Washington Bomb-Maker Who Tried to Help Jihadists Pleads Guilty

Posted in Domestic Terrorism, Extremist Crime, Muslim Extremism by Bill Morlin on September 26, 2012 - 10:26 am

A terrorist sympathizer, a college dropout who idolized both American terrorist Timothy McVeigh and Islamic jihadists while learning the hard way how to build bombs, likely faces a lengthy prison sentence after confessing to two terrorism-related crimes.

Joseph Jefferey Brice, 22, who nearly died when one of his eight-pound homemade bombs exploded in April 2010, pleaded guilty Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Spokane to illegally making the device and later providing bomb-making instructions online to potential foreign terrorists.

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SPLC Urges U.S. Government to Take Domestic Extremism Seriously

Posted in Domestic Terrorism, Extremist Crime, Hate Crime, Hate Groups by Booth Gunter on September 19, 2012 - 12:48 pm

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin is convening an important hearing in Washington today to examine the threat of domestic extremism and hate crime in the wake of the horrific attack on Sikh worshippers in Wisconsin last month.

If the hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights does nothing else but put additional pressure on the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to take far-right extremism seriously, it will be worthwhile. ( continue to full post… )

Five More Suspects Indicted in FEAR Militia Terror Plot

Posted in Domestic Terrorism, Militias by Bill Morlin on September 11, 2012 - 4:04 pm

Three former U.S. Army soldiers are among five additional suspects indicted Tuesday in Georgia for their alleged roles in a secret militia plot that led, allegedly, to a double homicide.

The group, calling itself the FEAR Militia, was secretly formed by soldiers stationed at Fort Stewart. Its members armed themselves with $87,000 in assault weapons and discussed taking over the military base, poisoning fruit crops and blowing up a dam in Washington state, and assassinating President Obama, authorities say.

There are now 10 defendants facing state charges in Georgia in connection with the alleged militia plot and murders. No federal charges have been filed, but the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force is closely monitoring the case. ( continue to full post… )

Prosecutors: Secret ‘Militia’ in Army Planned to Blow Dam, Poison Apples

Posted in Domestic Terrorism, Militias by Bill Morlin on August 27, 2012 - 3:48 pm

Four members of a secret militia group, now facing murder charges in Georgia, operated inside the ranks of the U.S. Army and discussed blowing up a dam and poisoning fruit crops in Washington State, authorities said Monday. The motives of the alleged plotters remained murky.

The revelation came as Army Pfc. Michael Burnett, 26, struck a plea bargain with prosecutors in Long County, Ga., agreeing to testify against three other soldiers who called themselves the FEAR militia (Forever Enduring Always Ready). ( continue to full post… )

Wisconsin Temple Attack: Authorities Chose to Look the Other Way

Posted in Domestic Terrorism, Racist Music, Racist Skinheads by Mark Potok on August 13, 2012 - 10:02 am

Editor’s Note: This essay by Hatewatch Editor Mark Potok was originally posted Sunday night in The New York Times online opinion section as part of a “Room for Debate” feature that also included articles from four other contributors. The essays were meant to address the question, “Is the Threat From Hate Groups Overlooked?”

One of the most troubling aspects of the mass murder of Sikhs near Milwaukee last week is that the man who carried it out was well known to groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center that monitor the radical right. The shooter, Wade Michael Page, had long been a fixture on the white supremacist music scene and was associated with seriously violent skinhead groups like the Hammerskin Nation.

But the almost certain reality is that there was little that law enforcement officials or others could have done to foresee or forestall the racist attack. Page does not seem to have done anything to suggest that he was planning a slaughter, and his views, fully protected by the First Amendment, were no different from those of thousands of other angry white nationalists.

Still, the attack occurred in the context of a sharp rise in the number of hate groups and antigovernment “patriot” organizations, mostly spurred by the changing racial demographics of our country, which are personified in our first black president. Domestic, non-Muslim terrorism has been on the rise since Barack Obama took office in 2009. Given that reality, is there something more that law enforcement should be doing? ( continue to full post… )

Radical Right Theories Flourish in Aftermath of Sikh Killings

Posted in Antigovernment, Conspiracies, Domestic Terrorism, New World Order, Patriot by Ryan Lenz on August 9, 2012 - 4:56 pm

With last weekend’s mass killing at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin fresh in the public’s memory, the usual players on the conspiracy scene have begun crafting wild, alternative narratives of what really happened.

The theory has started to spread that the attack was orchestrated by some dark sector of the federal government in order to justify rolling back gun rights. This idea, of course, has long been used by the antigovernment right to explain acts of domestic terrorism: Oklahoma City, for example, and even the jihadist attack on the Twin Towers in 2001. The Wisconsin version has appeared on dozens of right-wing blogs and appears to be gaining traction.

Infowars, the conspiracist website maintained by Alex Jones, seems to have led the charge. In an article published earlier this week after neo-Nazi Wade Michael Page killed six people in Oak Creek, Wis., writer Kurt Nimmo accused the federal government – and, ludicrously, the Southern Poverty Law Center – of somehow being tied to the shootings. The proof? Only dubious claims pulled from Page’s life story. The alleged skinhead gunman was in a psychological operations unit in the Army during the 1990s. ( continue to full post… )

Neo-Nazi Killer Wade Page was Member of Hammerskin Nation

Posted in Domestic Terrorism, Extremist Crime, Hate Crime, Hate Groups, Neo-Nazi, Racist Music, Racist Skinheads by Ryan Lenz on August 8, 2012 - 3:11 pm

Wade Michael Page, the racist skinhead who killed six people last weekend at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin before turning the gun on himself, was a “patched” member of the Northern Hammerskins, a regional chapter of the larger Hammerskin Nation, the Southern Poverty Law Center has learned.

Page became a full, or patched, member of the Hammerskin chapter last October and appeared to be rising quickly in the organization, according to postings on Crew 38, the online forum for Hammerskin Nation (HSN). This year, in fact, his girlfriend, using the name “LuluRoman” on the forum, directed all regional inquiries regarding Northern Hammerskin events to Page. ( continue to full post… )

Bulletin: Alleged Sikh Temple Shooter Former Member of Skinhead Band

Posted in Domestic Terrorism by Mark Potok on August 6, 2012 - 7:29 am

The man who allegedly murdered six people at a Sikh temple in suburban Milwaukee yesterday, identified in media reports as Wade Michael Page, was a frustrated neo-Nazi who had been the leader of a racist white-power band.

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In 2010, Page, then the leader of the band End Apathy, gave an interview to the white supremacist website Label 56. He said that when he started the band in 2005, its name reflected his wish to “figure out how to end people’s apathetic ways” and start “moving forward.” “I was willing to point out some of my faults on how I was holding myself back,” Page said. Later, he added, “The inspiration was based on frustration that we have the potential to accomplish so much more as individuals and a society in whole.” He did not discuss violence in the interview. ( continue to full post… )

Convicted Alaska Militia Leader Fires Attorney

Posted in Antigovernment, Domestic Terrorism, Extremist Crime, Militias by Bill Morlin on July 10, 2012 - 12:12 pm

Alaska militia leader Francis Schaeffer Cox has fired his attorney, likely laying the groundwork for an appeal of his nine convictions, which include conspiring to kill a judge and law enforcement officials.

In a two-sentence document filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Anchorage, the 28-year-old leader of the Alaska Peacemakers Militia said he had discharged defense attorney Nelson Traverso. “I do so voluntarily and intelligently and will seek other counsel,” Cox said.

The basis for the firing, Cox contends, is that Traverso was ineffective and didn’t provide a proper defense, leading to Cox’s jury conviction and, quite likely, a lengthy prison sentence. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 14, but that date could be postponed to allow his new attorney time to review the case. ( continue to full post… )