Neo-Nazis Held in Bomb and Gun Busts
No major domestic terrorist attack has been successfully carried out since the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, which left 168 people dead.
But judging by the litany of arrests and incidents over the last few months — a list that includes the discovery of huge amounts of explosives — that is not for want of trying.
In cases spanning the country from New York to Colorado, officials have found arsenals of weaponry in the hands of people who are apparently hardened white supremacists or antigovernment extremists. In two incidents, authorities say, members of well-known neo-Nazi groups were involved.
The cases include:
In Denver, authorities say Rex Rabou and Carl Carlson thought they were joining the top-secret "National Militia" when they allegedly sold 31 steel pipe bombs to an ATF agent and promised to recruit friends into the group.
The agent, it turned out, was the only other "member."
Court documents identify Carlson as regional organizer for the neo-Nazi National Alliance and Rabou as his second-in-command. If convicted on federal charges of transferring unregistered destructive devices, they could face 10 years in prison.
In Golden, Colo., two men allegedly sold 138 homemade explosive devices to undercover agents, reportedly saying on tape that they were engaged in making hundreds more.
Paul Graham, former leader of the Colorado State Defense Force Reserve militia, was one of those arrested. He and his alleged partner were indicted for manufacturing and selling explosives.
In Ft. Worth, Texas, three self-described white supremacists and one other person allegedly concocted explosive devices and narcotics while holed up in a hotel room. The hotel's staff grew suspicious because the room received phone calls at all hours of the day and night.
When the hotel refused to extend the group's stay, the four grew hostile, prompting staff to call police, who discovered guns and cigarette packs rigged as bombs, along with a suspicious white powder and drug paraphernalia.
Three of those arrested claimed membership in the Aryan Circle prison gang, and they bore tattoos that seemed to back them up. The foursome faces a variety of drug and weapons charges.
In Cambridge, N.Y., Brian Davis was allegedly swilling a beer in his car when police pulled him over. Inside the car, police said, were three loaded weapons, hundred of rounds of ammunition, and literature from the neo-Nazi World Church of the Creator (WCOTC).
Police reported that Davis and his passenger Bruce Silvernail — who had swastikas and a portrait of Adolph Hitler tattooed on his back — both said they were WCOTC members. The men, who now face federal weapons charges, appeared to be heading for a training session.
In Milwaukee, two pipe-bombs were left in a bag at an Air National Guard base, near graffiti condemning U.S. involvement in the bombing of Kosovo — a common theme on the radical right. Although an arrest of a former Guard pilot was made after the incident, the FBI later exonerated him. The FBI, which says the bombs were capable of killing people, continues to investigate.