Militia Arrests Derail Murder Schemes

Domestic Terrorism

Five men and a woman tied to militias and survivalist movements were arrested in early June in woodsy Clearfield and Clarion counties in north-central Pennsylvania after a task force made up of ATF, FBI and local law enforcement officers raided their properties, uncovering stockpiles of assault rifles, improvised explosives and peculiar but deadly homemade weaponry.

One of the men, identified as Pennsylvania Citizens Militia recruiter Bradley Kahle, 60, of Troutville, allegedly told undercover agents in April that he planned to shoot black people from the roof of a building in downtown Pittsburgh. He also said that he hoped Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. Hillary Clinton would be assassinated. If they weren't, Kahle reportedly said, "We will have a civil war."

At the time, according to a law enforcement affidavit, Kahle was harboring two AK-47 assault rifles and approximately 5,000 rounds of ammunition. During the raid of Kahle's property, agents found 16 "bean can grenades" made from empty cans filled with nails and M-1000 firecrackers.

Another defendant, 64-year-old Clarion County resident Morgan Jones, identified as the captain of the "91st Warriors Militia," was charged with illegally selling and transporting firearms. During a raid on his rural property, which local media described as a "compound," agents seized 73 weapons, including a homemade flame-thrower, a "lightning machine" said to shoot electricity bolts and a cannon launcher made from a car driver's shaft and gas-filled beer cans.

According to the FBI, Jones, the former Knox Township emergency management coordinator, also distributed extremist literature. Four such manuals, including Get America Up in Arms, were found. Jones allegedly discussed the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing with an undercover agent, boasting that he could make the same kind of bomb Timothy McVeigh detonated using materials found in chemical cold packs.

A third man, Marvin E. Hall, was also arrested, along with his girlfriend Melissa Huet, for illegally transporting firearms and being a felon in possession of a firearm. Hall served 27 months in a federal penitentiary after being convicted of unregistered firearms possession in 1999. During a raid of his residence, agents found an SKS assault rifle, a 12-gauge shotgun and two golf balls that had been converted to homemade grenades.

Also charged was Perry Landis, 61, of Clearfield County, who was found in possession of 25 guns, including Chinese assault rifles, and explosive blasting caps. Landis allegedly told undercover agents that he wanted to kill local magistrates and that if Clinton were elected president, he planned to assassinate her in order to set off an armed revolution.