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Updates on Extremism and The Law

The Blotter

Dec. 22 - A Massachusetts federal judge sentenced Michael F. Jacques, 27, to almost 14 years in prison and ordered him to pay nearly $1.6 million in damages for the racially motivated arson of a predominantly black church in Springfield, Mass., the night of President Obama’s election in 2008. Two other men earlier pleaded guilty.

Dec. 29 - Ex-convict Danny Lee Warner, 37, was arrested in Lake Havasu City, Ariz., in connection with allegedly plotting to murder Anti-Defamation League National Director Abe Foxman. Warner, who led a branch of the Silent Aryan Warriors while in a Utah prison, allegedly sent his wife a letter saying he was going “South to kill some niggers and Jews until the government gets me.” He was charged with violating parole and illegally possessing a gun and ammunition.

Jan. 27 - Jason Walter Barnwell, 37, was sentenced to 20 years in prison for his role in the January 2011 firebombing of an interracial couple’s home in Hardy, Ark. Barnwell, a one-time leader of a “combat division” of the racist skinhead gang Blood & Honour, pleaded guilty in August. His partner, a fellow skinhead who reportedly led the attack, pleaded guilty in December and was to be sentenced in June.

Feb. 6 - After pleading guilty to making and transporting illegal explosive devices that he apparently intended to supply to an anti-immigrant group patrolling the U.S.-Arizona border, neo-Nazi Jeffrey Harbin, 29, of Apache Junction, Ariz., was sentenced to two years in prison. Harbin is a member of the National Socialist Movement and the son of movement stalwart Jerry Harbin. A prosecutor said he built the devices “in such a way as to maximize human carnage.”

Bobby Joe Rogers

Feb. 23 - Police shot and killed white supremacist Jeremiah Barnum, 38, in a parking lot in Englewood, Colo., after an officer saw him reach for a gun. In 1997, Barnum and fellow skinhead Nathan Thill notoriously murdered Oumar Dia, a West African immigrant they encountered at a Denver bus stop. Thill is serving life without parole, but Barnum was convicted as an accessory and served 12 years in prison, where he joined the white supremacist prison gang 211 Crew.

Feb. 24 - White supremacist Dennis Mahon, 61, was found guilty of the 2004 mail-bombing that maimed the hands of a city diversity officer in Scottsdale, Ariz. Long-time associates of White Aryan Resistance (see also story, p. 40), Mahon and his twin brother Daniel were arrested in 2009 after a five-year undercover investigation. Dennis Mahon boasted to an attractive female informant about making bombs and faces seven to 100 years in prison when he is sentenced this spring.

March 10 - Jared Taylor (second from left), the proprietor of Virginia-based American Renaissance magazine and one of the most important white nationalist leaders in America, spoke at a conclave of some 700 people gathered for a diversity- and immigrant-bashing conference called “France in Danger.” Lecturing in French, Taylor warned his listeners to “not make the terrible mistakes we have made in America. Avoid at all costs the cult of diversity.” The event was hosted by the far-right groups Nationality, Identity, Citizenship, headed by Catherine Blein (second from right), and Bloc Identaire, which was co-founded by Fabrice Robert (right). Blein told the conferees that foreigners in France needed to return to their native lands so that Europe will be “once again European,” while Robert called racial and ethnic diversity a “new age of slavery” and a “crime against humanity” that will “transform humanity into a uniform mush.” Jean-Yves Le Gallou (left), founder of the Club de l’Horloge, said that to be French is to be “white and European.” The gathering was the latest contact between the radical right in Europe and the United States — contact that was frequent in the 1990s, but has become less so recently.

March 13 - Ron G. Wilson, a former national commander of the Sons of Confederate Veterans who appointed several extremists to the group’s governing boards and oversaw a purge of anti-racist members, was accused by the South Carolina attorney general of running a Ponzi scheme that defrauded investors in his Atlantic Bullion & Coin. Secret Service agents seized silver, files and computers from Wilson’s business and that of his daughter, but did not immediately file charges.

March 16 - Confessed killer David “Joey” Pedersen, 31, was sentenced to life in prison for the September slayings of his parents in Everett, Wash. Together with girlfriend Holly Ann Grigsby, he may face additional charges for the Oregon murder of Cody Myers, who the couple apparently believed was Jewish, and the California murder of Reginald Clark, a disabled black man reportedly victimized because of his race.