The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.

West Virginia Klan Leader Claims Returning Military Will Help Them Train for ‘the Upcoming Battle’

Posted in Extremists in the Military, Klan by David Neiwert on June 13, 2014 - 1:34 pm
A scene from the documentary

A scene from the documentary

A British television crew filming a gathering of Ku Klux Klansmen in West Virginia this spring recorded one of the group’s leaders discussing a plan to use returning military veterans to train KKK members in combat techniques for “the upcoming battle” – presumably the “coming race war” that the Klan and other white supremacists have long predicted.

The nine-minute video documentary by Barcroft TV is a striking portrait of the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, an organization based in Pelham, N.C., with chapters throughout the South, including this one in West Virginia. It includes some appalling insights into their children’s upbringing and their certainty about a looming social apocalypse.

But most disturbing is the segment in which the hooded Klansman leading the rally tells the crowd about the group’s future plans:

We’re looking at something a little different for probably the next couple of years, trying to get our men and women ready for the upcoming battle that we’re about to take upon us. And this is something that no Klan has ever done, and we’re going to start it. All our boys are finally coming back home from the military, which is good. And we’re getting a lot more military members joining, which is good, as we’re going to start doing a lot more military training.

Now that we got our Marines and our Army back, they’re going to start showing us how to skin, how to survive off the land. We’re going to try to move in another direction with the Loyal White Knights, and that is starting armed training, hand-to-hand combat, and stuff like that, just for the upcoming battle.


The Klansman is not correct, of course – this has been attempted previously by other KKK organizations. Indeed, the presence of far-right extremists within the military is a longstanding problem and frequently involves a Klan recruiter joining the armed forces.

The plan described by the Klan leader in the video is exactly the type of scenario that the Department of Homeland Security warned about in a 2009 law enforcement bulletin: ( continue to full post… )

Judge Finds Georgia Militia Leader Guilty of Murdering Pregnant Wife

Posted in Antigovernment, Domestic Terrorism, Extremists in the Military by Bill Morlin on March 27, 2014 - 3:28 pm
Isaac Aguigui

Isaac Aguigui

The leader of a secret, murderous militia group, already serving life in prison for murder, today was found guilty in an Army court of the earlier murder of his wife and their unborn child.

Immediately after finding U.S. Army Private Isaac Aguigui guilty of the murder of his pregnant wife, the military judge who heard the case began the penalty phase in a military courtroom at Fort Stewart, Ga.

Sgt. Deirdre Wetzker Aguigui, an Army linguist, was found dead in her home on the Georgia Army base on July 17, 2011, about the time her husband began forming a militia he named FEAR – Forever Enduring, Always Ready. An autopsy concluded the woman was either choked or smothered.

Investigators determined Aguigui used the $500,000 proceeds from his wife’s life insurance to buy weapons for the video-game inspired militia. Many of the weapons were purchased from a firearms store in Washington state, near where Aguigui was raised.

Before arrests were made, investigators say Aguigui and members of his FEAR militia – all with ties to the military – discussed bombings, kidnappings and political assassinations.

Aguigui pleaded guilty last July in a civilian courtroom for his involvement in the murders of Tiffany York, 17, and her boyfriend, Michael Roark, 19, a former soldier who served with Aguigui. They were shot to death, execution style, in a wooded area just beyond the federal boundaries of the sprawling military base.

Roark was killed “to be silenced,” investigators said, because Aguigui believed the militia group had been betrayed by Roark, who left the military two days before the murders on Dec. 5, 2011.

Five days later, authorities arrested Aguigui and three of his Army buddies and fellow FEAR members – Pfc. Michael Burnett, Sgt. Anthony Peden and Pvt. Christopher Salmon. Ultimately, Army and civilian investigators identified seven other current or former military members who were affiliated with the secret militia group.

Last August, the families of the murdered teenagers filed a $30 million wrongful death lawsuit against the U.S. Army. The plaintiffs alleged the Army failed to correctly investigate the death of Sgt. Deidre Aguigui, waiting two years to determine it was a homicide. If that had been done and arrests promptly made, the families contend their teenagers wouldn’t have been murdered by Aguigui and his gang.

Minnesota Militia Leader Arrested in Military ID Ripoff

Posted in Extremist Crime, Extremists in the Military, Militias by Bill Morlin on December 12, 2013 - 3:19 pm

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… )

Army Secretary Wrong to OK Participation in Anti-LGBT Hate Groups

Posted in Anti-LGBT, Extremists in the Military by Josh Glasstetter on December 12, 2013 - 12:00 pm

The U.S. Army, in its guide on extremist activities, notes that the “Department of Defense has a longstanding policy of intolerance for organizations, practices, or activities that are discriminatory in nature.” It also notes that “[h]igher and more restrictive standards of conduct distinguish military personnel from their civilian counterparts.” As a result, “[p]articipation in extremist organizations and activities by Army personnel is inconsistent with the responsibilities of military Service.”

Unfortunately, recent actions by Army Secretary John McHugh have worked to undermine this standard. Facing sustained pressure from prominent anti-LGBT hate groups, McHugh has thrown open the doors for service members to actively participate in such groups – and worse.

McHugh and the Army came under fire in October when Todd Starnes, a commentator on Fox News Radio, wrote an article about an equal opportunity briefing at Camp Shelby in Mississippi. The briefing, which apparently drew from Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) materials, correctly listed the American Family Association (AFA) as a hate group.

Starnes’ sensationalized pieces suggested that the Army had “labeled Christians as extremists” “because of their support for traditional marriage.” That couldn’t be further from the truth. First off, it’s laughable for Starnes to equate all Christians with a viciously anti-LGBT group. Secondly, the SPLC’s designation of AFA as a hate group had nothing to do with biblical beliefs or opposition to same-sex marriage and everything to do with the group’s demonization and lies about LGBT people. The group routinely smears gays as pedophiles and claims, incredibly, that “homosexuals in the [German] military gave us the Brown Shirts, the Nazi war machine and six million dead Jews.” ( continue to full post… )

Families of Slain Couple in FEAR Militia Case File Claim Against U.S. Army

Posted in Antigovernment, Domestic Terrorism, Extremists in the Military by Don Terry on August 29, 2013 - 5:18 pm
Victims Tiffany York and Michael Roark

The families of two teenagers shot to death execution-style in the Georgia woods in 2011 by a gang of American soldiers trying to cover up their criminal enterprise and delusional plot to overthrow the government took the first step today in a $30 million wrongful death lawsuit against the U.S. Army.

Charging the Army with a long list of negligent acts, the families are seeking $15 million for each murdered loved one: Tiffany York, 17, a high school junior, and her boyfriend, Michael Roark, 19, a former soldier who was discharged three days before he was killed.

The Army’s negligent acts and omissions – particularly its handling of an earlier investigation into the death of the gang ringleader’s wife – “directly and foreseeably caused the deaths of Claimants’ children,” says the document. ( continue to full post… )

Leader in Georgia Antigovernment Terror Plot Pleads, Gets Life in Prison

Posted in Antigovernment, Domestic Terrorism, Extremists in the Military, Patriot Groups by Don Terry on July 19, 2013 - 1:21 pm

LUDOWICI, Ga. – The suspected leader of a murderous militia of military men was the last to be interrogated that mild Georgia winter evening 18 months ago. Although he was only 20 at the time, United States Army Pvt. Isaac Aguigui played it cool and defiant. “You can go to hell,” he told an agent from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI). His tough-guy act didn’t last long. Within 20 minutes, Aguigui deserted his rigid military discipline and whimpered, “I’m just going to end up in a jail cell alone for the rest of my life.”

Today, his tearful prophecy came true.

The now 22-year-old soldier was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole after pleading guilty to the murder of Tiffany York, 17, and her boyfriend, Michael Roark, 19, a former soldier who served with Aguigui at the Fort Stewart Army base in Hinesville. Georgia state prosecutors say the young sweethearts were shot to death in the woods not far from the sprawling military facility to keep secret Aguigui’s video-game inspired militia and its delusional plans to overthrow the government of the United States through a torrent of bombings, kidnappings and political assassinations. ( continue to full post… )

After Hatewatch Story, Maryland Military Engineer is Suspended

Posted in Anti-Black, Extremists in the Military, White Nationalism by Bill Morlin on July 8, 2013 - 2:37 pm

The U.S. Army is not commenting on its decision to suspend with pay one of its chemical and biological research engineers while he is investigated for his reported close ties to two racist groups espousing white nationalist views.

John Stortstrom, a mechanical engineer who worked for the Army at its Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (ECBC) in Maryland, was suspended May 28 after published reports disclosed he was among 150 white nationalists who attended the American Renaissance conference in early April in Tennessee. American Renaissance is a journal dedicated to race and intelligence, with a heavy focus on the “psychopathology” of black people. Its editor has written that black people are incapable of sustaining any kind of civilization. ( continue to full post… )

Alleged Leader of Soldiers’ Terror Gang Faces Murder Hearing Today

Posted in Antigovernment, Domestic Terrorism, Extremists in the Military by Don Terry on July 1, 2013 - 9:43 am

HINESVILLE, Ga. – FEAR goes on trial today.

Court-martial proceedings against Pvt. Isaac Aguigui (right), the accused ringleader of FEAR, an antigovernment gang of active-duty American soldiers, are scheduled to begin here this morning on the Fort Stewart Army base where, military prosecutors charge, the young soldier murdered his wife nearly two years ago.

Sgt. Deirdre Wetzker Aguigui, a promising Army linguist, was found unconscious on July 17, 2011, on the sofa in the living room of the Aguiguis’ home on the sprawling base and later pronounced dead at a post hospital. She was 24 years old and five months pregnant.

Aguigui allegedly financed the Fort Stewart-based gang – including a frantic two-month buying spree of $87,000 worth of military-grade weapons – with $500,000 in life insurance money he received shortly after his wife’s death.

A few months later, state prosecutors say, the gang murdered two teenagers to keep secret its plot to overthrow the government through a torrent of kidnappings, bombings and political assassinations. The murder weapon was one of the guns purchased with Deirdre Aguigui’s insurance proceeds. ( continue to full post… )

Engineer at Elite Army Weapons Lab Tied to Racist Groups

Posted in Anti-Black, Extremists in the Military, White Nationalism by Bill Morlin on May 23, 2013 - 9:53 am

A young research engineer at the U.S. Army’s elite chemical and biological research laboratory in Maryland has close ties to two racist groups espousing white nationalist views, one of which has called for a homeland for white people.

John Stortstrom, a mechanical engineer who works for the Army at its Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (ECBC), was among 150 white nationalists, many of them young, who attended the American Renaissance conference held in early April in Tennessee. American Renaissance is a journal dedicated to race and intelligence, with a heavy focus on the “psychopathology” of black people. Its editor has written that black people are incapable of sustaining any kind of civilization. ( continue to full post… )

Army Veteran Pleads Guilty in Fort Stewart Militia Case

Posted in Antigovernment, Extremist Crime, Extremists in the Military, Militias by Don Terry on January 23, 2013 - 11:37 am

Another former soldier has pleaded guilty for his role in an anti-government militia authorities say is responsible for the execution-style murder of two teenagers in the Georgia woods in late 2011.

Timothy Joiner, a 22-year-old Iraq War veteran, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Liberty County, Ga., to more than 30 charges of burglary, financial-transaction-card thefts, and violations of the Georgia Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act among other crimes, according to the Associated Press.

The AP quoted the lead prosecutor in the case, Isabel Pauley, as saying Joiner’s crime wave was an attempt to raise enough money to bail another member of the militia out of jail. Joiner was arrested before that could happen. ( continue to full post… )