The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.
A horrific tragedy in which hundreds could have died was narrowly averted in Seattle on New Year’s Eve, stopped by patrons of an iconic gay bar who managed to extinguish a raging arson fire at the bar’s entrance before the flames spread. Now Seattle police are investigating the case as a possible hate crime, although they say that so far there is no evidence that it was one beyond the fact that gay people appear to have been targeted.
The fact that the bar was a famous Capitol Hill nightclub called Neighbours immediately raised suspicions in Seattle. In 1990, the same establishment was targeted by a group of neo-Nazis from Idaho who plotted a bombing attack there intended to kill large numbers of people.
The New Year’s Eve arson was thwarted by the swift action of a patron who found the stairway into Neighbours engulfed in flames shortly after midnight. The patron grabbed a fire extinguisher and managed to douse the worst of the flames; at about the same time, someone pulled a fire alarm and set off the building’s sprinkler system. Everyone managed to evacuate the building safely, and the damage caused by the flames and the water was relatively minor. ( continue to full post… )
For a cool million bucks – cash – Craig Cobb, the not-so-white white supremacist, can ring in the New Year without handcuffs or shackles.
Since his arrest on Nov. 16 for terrorizing the tiny North Dakota town of Leith that he hoped to turn into an all-Aryan enclave, Cobb has been locked up without bond in the Mercer County Jail in Stanton, N.D.
His only glimpses of freedom have been his trips to court or to a psych ward where he was sent for a few days after refusing to eat, the first step on what he described as a spiritual journey that would end in his death.
The journey didn’t last long. Cobb ended his hunger strike and was returned to jail, still without bond.
But on Friday, after the North Dakota Supreme Court issued a Christmas Eve order that the 62-year-old neo-Nazi was entitled to a “reasonable” bond, a North Dakota district court judge set the price of Cobb’s semi-freedom at $1 million cash. ( continue to full post… )
Four members of a white supremacist prison gang and a female accomplice were arraigned this afternoon in Tacoma, Wash., on charges related to the brutal stabbing death last month of a fellow gang member.
Derek Wagner was stabbed multiple times, including once in the heart, and bled to death after he was confronted with accusations of having a sexual relationship with one of the defendants’ wives and associating with a rival gang, authorities said.
“This is a case of white supremacists killing one of their own,” Pierce County prosecutor Mark Lindquist said at midday in announcing the charges. “The victim was murdered for violating the gang’s own code.”
Those charged were Jeffrey Allen Cooke, 32, Melissa Ann Bourgault, 33, Mark Michael Stredicke, 37, Eric Michael Elliser, 33, and Shanne Thomas McKrittrick, 32, all residents of the Tacoma area. They each were arraigned on charges of second-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder in the second degree.
Authorities say Bourgault is McKittrick’s girlfriend.
A member of the Hammerskins, a neo-Nazi skinhead gang, was wearing a bullet-proof vest and carrying an assault rifle with 1,200 rounds of ammunition and drugs when he was arrested this week in Minnesota, court documents say.
Samuel David Shoen, 35, of Hastings, Minn., told his associates that he wouldn’t be arrested without a gun battle. He shouted, “I’m not going to jail, I’m not going to jail,” after he saw police following them on Tuesday, court documents say.
He is being held under $1 million bail in the Ramsey County Jail in St. Paul on state charges of felony possession of controlled substances and possession of a firearm by an ineligible person, records show.
A warrant was issued after authorities in Minnesota learned from an informant that Shoen reportedly was carrying a fully automatic Uzi submachine gun with a silencer and had dozens of grenades he was trying to sell for $375 apiece, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported in yesterday’s editions.
A criminal complaint says Shoen was affiliated with the Hammerskins and, when he previously was in prison, had close ties to a prison gang called the Native Mob. ( continue to full post… )
An Ohio neo-Nazi who amassed a huge illegal stockpile of weapons, along with an apparent hit list of Detroit-area Jewish and African-American leaders, was given a six-year sentence Thursday by a federal judge in Toledo, Ohio. Civil rights leaders in Detroit, including one on the man’s list, expressed their outrage at what they saw as a light sentence.
Richard Schmidt, a 48-year-old with an earlier felony manslaughter conviction to his credit (he was found guilty of murdering a Latino man outside a bar in 1989), pleaded guilty in July to a variety of federal weapons charges. Even though he was forbidden from owning firearms by virtue of his record as a felon, Schmidt had amassed a cache of 18 guns, 40,000 rounds of ammunition, and a full complement of body armor.
That wasn’t all police found. The most chilling piece of evidence was a detailed list of civil rights leaders in the Detroit area: their home addresses, as well as other personal information. Additionally, his personal writings indicated that he intended “to assassinate members of religious and cultural groups based only on their race, religion and ethnicity and to broadcast those murders to like-minded supporters,” according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Duncan Brown, the chief prosecutor in the case.
“This defendant, quite simply, was a well-funded, well-armed and focused one-man army of racial and religious hate,” Brown wrote in a sentencing memorandum. ( continue to full post… )
A recently concluded criminal case in Nevada details how a teenager and aspiring U.S. Marine amassed an arsenal of weapons, built bombs, talked about shooting school kids, disparaged women and formed a militia cell.
Steven Matthew Fernandes, 19, was sentenced yesterday in Las Vegas to 15 months in prison for possessing an illegal firearm – a homemade bomb – as part of a plea bargain that saw prosecutors dismiss two other charges. The teen avoided an “exceptional sentence” and what could have been several years in prison.
In entering his guilty plea two months ago, Fernandes confessed to transporting and exploding his homemade bombs in Nevada, Utah and Arizona.
His attorney, Crystal Eller, argued in court filings that Fernandes was “brainwashed” while attending a military preparedness school, D.O.A. Tactical, based in St. George, Utah, about 120 miles from Las Vegas.
But the owner of the business, Brent Roberts, told Hatewatch those arguments are “outrageous falsehoods.”
“This young man was heading down this road long before he and his mother enrolled in our courses,” Roberts said. “This kid’s problems rest in the family setting.” ( continue to full post… )
Legal problems for neo-Nazi Bill White keep piling up. Already in jail for one crime and awaiting sentencing for another, the 36-year-old racist was just indicted in Florida on six counts of using the Internet to make violent threats against investigators and a judge.
One of those threats, according to the indictment, was sent to this blog after Hatewatch on May 14, 2012, reported the arrest of members of the American Front, a militia-style white supremacist group.
White made the extortion threats, the indictments alleges, in an attempt to get charges dismissed against 14 American Front members.
The dates of the alleged offenses coincide with times when White, a former real estate developer, was living as a fugitive in Mexico. He fled to that country after being convicted of soliciting violence against the foreman of a jury that convicted Matthew Hale, leader of a neo-Nazi group then called the World Church of the Creator (now called the Creativity Movement). ( continue to full post… )
The arrest in late November of a prominent “Freeman” leader in Canada has underscored the recent rise of the “sovereign citizens” movement north of the border, as well as law-enforcement authorities’ concerns about that development.
Dean Clifford, a self-described “contractor from Winnipeg” who tours Canada giving lectures to paying audiences on how to avoid paying taxes by declaring oneself a “Freeman on the Land,” was arrested by Canadian authorities on Nov. 24 at a hotel in Hamilton, Ontario, shortly after giving one of his talks. He was charged with failing to show up for court hearings regarding his July 19 arrest for alleged traffic violations, and remains under arrest today.
Clifford is well known in the Canadian movement of sovereign citizens, which is composed of antigovernment activists who generally believe they do not have to follow most tax and criminal laws (many sovereigns, in both the United States and Canada, refer to themselves as “freemen.”) His videos, featuring Clifford holding forth on various means by which ordinary people can “divest” themselves of government control and taxation, are popular among followers in both Canada and the United States, where the sovereign citizen movement has long been associated with right-wing extremists and antigovernment violence. ( continue to full post… )
The “commander” of an antigovernment Minnesota militia — a man who was trained in intelligence gathering by the U.S. Army and currently serving in the National Guard — was arrested yesterday by the FBI on charges of stealing the classified personnel roster of 400 members of his former military unit.
Keith Michael Novak, 25, who served in Iraq with the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division before joining the Minnesota Army National Guard, stole the identity information in a scheme to fund and provide fake identities for his militia unit, according to a federal criminal complaint.
The case was the latest example of extremists in military units, a problem that the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has focused much public attention on over the years. In 2006, the SPLC’s Intelligence Report detailed a large number of extremists in the military, eventually leading to a tightening of military regulations. ( continue to full post… )
As he sits in a mental health ward in a state hospital in North Dakota, Craig Cobb, the neo-Nazi who recently discovered on national television that he is 14 percent black, must be thinking there’s no loyalty among thieves – or his fellow racists.
The white nationalists at the Occidental Dissent website posted two silly and embarrassing 13-minute YouTube videos today of Cobb and his racist acolyte and roommate, Kynan Dutton, “patrolling” the streets of Leith, N.D., the tiny town Cobb had hoped to turn into a white enclave.
The videos are tagged on the Occidental site as “humor,” probably because there was no category for “pathetic.” ( continue to full post… )