Thirty Terror Plots Foiled Since Oklahoma City Bombing
1/16/97 -- Two anti-personnel bombs explode outside an abortion clinic in Sandy Springs, Ga., a suburb of Atlanta. Seven people are injured. Letters sent by the "Army of God" will claim responsibility for this attack and another, a month later, at an Atlanta lesbian bar.
Authorities later say that these attacks, the 1998 bombing of a Birmingham, Ala., abortion clinic and the 1996 Atlanta Olympics bombing, were all carried out by Eric Robert Rudolph, who eludes capture.
1/22/97 -- Authorities raid the Martinton, Ill., home of former Marine Ricky Salyers, an alleged white supremacist and Ku Klux Klan member, discovering 35,000 rounds of heavy ammunition, armor piercing shells, smoke and tear gas grenades, live shells for grenade launchers, artillery shells and other military gear.
Salyers, an alleged member of the underground Black Dawn group of extremists in the military, will be sentenced later in the year to serve three years for weapons violations.
3/26/97 -- Militia activist Brendon Blasz is arrested in Kalamazoo, Mich., and charged with making pipe bombs and other illegal explosives. Blasz allegedly plotted to bomb the federal building in Battle Creek, the IRS building in Portage, a Kalamazoo television station and federal armories.
Prosecutors will recommend leniency on his explosives conviction after Blasz renounces his antigovernment beliefs and cooperates with them. In the end, he is sentenced to more than three years in federal prison.
4/22/97 -- Three Ku Klux Klan members are arrested in a plot to blow up a natural gas refinery outside Fort Worth, Texas. The three, along with a fourth arrested later, planned to blow up the refinery, killing hundreds of people including children at a nearby school, as a diversion for a simultaneous armored car robbery. All four will plead guilty to conspiracy charges and be sentenced to terms of up to 20 years.
4/23/97 -- Florida police arrest Todd Vanbiber, an alleged member of the neo-Nazi National Alliance and the shadowy League of the Silent Soldier, after he accidentally sets off pipe bombs he was building. Officials find a League terrorism manual and extremist literature in Vanbiber's possession. He is accused of plotting to use the bombs as part of a string of bank robberies.
Vanbiber later pleads guilty to weapons and explosives charges and is sentenced to more than six years in federal prison.
4/27/97 -- After a cache of explosives stored in a tree blows up near Yuba City, Calif., police arrest Montana Freemen supporter William Robert Goehler. Investigators looking into the blast arrest two Goehler associates, one of them a militia leader, after finding 500 pounds of petrogel explosives — enough to level three city blocks — in a motor home parked outside their residence.
Six others are arrested on related charges. Goehler, who had previously been convicted of rape, burglary and assault, will be sentenced to 25 years to life in prison. An associate will be sentenced to three years.
7/4/97 -- Militiaman Bradley Glover and another heavily armed antigovernment activist are arrested before dawn near Fort Hood, in central Texas, hours before they allegedly planned to invade the Army base and slaughter foreign troops they mistakenly believed were housed there.
In the next few days, five other people will be arrested as part of the alleged plot to invade a series of military bases where the group thought United Nations forces were massing for an assault on Americans. All seven are part of a splinter group of the Third Continental Congress, a kind of militia government-in-waiting.
In the end, Glover is sentenced to two years on Kansas weapons charges, to be followed by a five-year federal term in connection with the Fort Hood plot. The others will draw lesser terms.
August '97 -- Packages containing fake bombs, carrying return addresses of Southwest Indian Nations and All Nations Militia, are mailed to prosecutors and federal judges in Colorado and New Mexico. The perpetrators are not caught.
12/12/97 -- A federal grand jury in Arkansas indicts three men on racketeering charges for allegedly plotting to overthrow the government and create a whites-only Aryan People's Republic, which they intended to boost through polygamy. Chevie Kehoe, Daniel Lee and Faron Lovelace are accused of crimes in six states, including murder, kidnapping, robbery and conspiracy.
Kehoe and Lee also face state charges of murdering an Arkansas family, including an 8-year-old girl. Kehoe will ultimately receive life on that charge, while Lee will be sentenced to death. Separately, Kehoe's brother, Cheyne, will be convicted of attempted murder in a shootout with police and sentenced to 11 years in prison, despite his role in helping authorities arrest his brother.
1/29/98 -- An off-duty police officer is killed and a nurse is critically injured when a nail-packed bomb explodes outside a Birmingham, Ala., abortion facility, the New Woman All Women clinic. Letters to media outlets and officials claim responsibility in the name of the "Army of God," the same group that took credit for the bombing of a clinic and a lesbian bar in the Atlanta area.
The attack also is linked by authorities to the 1996 bombing at the Atlanta Olympics. Eric Robert Rudolph, who will be charged in all four attacks, will remain at large, although some officials suggest that he has very likely died.
2/23/98 -- Three men with links to a Ku Klux Klan group are arrested near East St. Louis, Ill., on weapons charges. The three, along with three other men arrested later, allegedly plotted to assassinate a federal judge and civil rights lawyer Morris Dees, blow up the Southern Poverty Law Center that Dees co-founded and other buildings, poison water supplies and rob banks.
In the end, all six plead guilty or are convicted of weapons charges, drawing terms of up to seven years in prison.