The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.
FBI agents in Texas have arrested a man who allegedly was plotting to use C-4 explosives and weapons to kill police officers, rob banks and armored cars, and blow up government buildings and mosques, authorities announced today.
Robert James Talbot Jr., 38, of Katy, Texas, was arrested Thursday on federal charges of attempted interference with commerce by robbery, solicitation to commit a crime of violence and possession of an explosive material, the FBI said.
After setting up a Facebook page called American Insurgent Movement (AIM), Talbot allegedly sought to recruit five or six like-minded people who wanted “to restore America Pre-Constitutionally and look forward to stopping the Regime with action by bloodshed.” He wrote this year on the AIM page that he was seeking people interested in “walking away from your life … to stop the regime.”
The crimes Talbot was plotting to carry out — detailed in a six-page criminal complaint filed in the Southern District of Texas — sound eerily similar to a series of terrorist attacks carried out 30 years ago by members of an infamous neo-Nazi group called The Order, also known as the Silent Brotherhood (or Brüders Schweigen in German). There’s just one big difference: Talbot talked about some of his planned crimes on Facebook, the complaint says, while The Order committed murders, robbed armored cars, and carried out a number of other attacks.
Talbot was expected to be held without bond as a flight risk and danger to the community after an initial appearance today before a U.S. magistrate judge in Houston.
Court documents say the FBI opened an investigation into Talbot’s activities last August after learning of his desire to recruit others for terror attacks. The “like-minded” individuals he initially attracted worked for the FBI, it turns out. The FBI used a confidential informant and two undercover FBI agents assigned to the agency’s Joint Terrorism Task Force. ( continue to full post… )
To say that there is deep local antipathy to federal wolf recovery efforts in many of the Mountain West states where biologists are attempting to revive the endangered species would be an understatement. Sentiment against the big canine predators in places like Idaho and Montana, especially among cattlemen, often borders on sheer rage.
That has translated, politically, into a situation where lawmakers in Idaho recently approved $400,000 in funding to kill as many as 500 of the state’s estimated population of 650 wolves, leaving as few as ten breeding pairs. The bill was promptly signed into law by Gov. Butch Otter, who has made loathing of wolves a centerpiece of his political image.
Much of the antipathy is predicated on old-fashioned fear about wolves, particularly given their predilection for preying on livestock and family pets in areas where humans inhabit their range, not to mention the potential threat they represent to human life. But there is also a political element, particularly in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming, that is fueled by far-right antigovernment paranoia and conspiracy theories.
Wolf recovery efforts are frequently depicted as the imposition of the “New World Order” on residents of the rural areas where the creatures roam. A number of far-right outlets, including the John Birch Society’s magazine and the conspiracist website World Net Daily, have run pieces describing how wolf recovery is a key component of a plot by radical environmentalists on behalf of the United Nations to destroy private property rights in America. In the Mountain West, holding such views is not uncommon.
It was while I was covering a Tea Party event in western Montana, in fact, that I first encountered this melding of conspiracy theory paranoia about wolves and far-right political dogma. Several speakers at the event described how wolf-recovery efforts in the region were part of a United Nations-derived plot to control their lives and destroy their property and gun rights, and a booth at the event handed out literature describing the conspiracy. ( continue to full post… )
The Oath Keepers are going operational.
An article posted to the group’s website Tuesday announced the formation of “Civilization Preservation” units, basely loosely on the organization of U.S. Special Forces teams, to provide “community security and support during crisis” – but also “to assist in forming and training town and county militias.”
These comically named 12-person teams would consist of two communications experts, two medics, two combat engineers, two weapons experts, two operations leaders, a commander and his assistant – positions that would be filled by the law enforcement officers and former military personnel who comprise the Oath Keepers. The Oath Keepers imagines that these units would be scattered across the country, working with other veterans organizations such as the VFW, American Legion and Marine Corps League, to lead communities “in resistance to oppressive regimes.” ( continue to full post… )
Shocking news! By mid-October, President Obama plans to destroy the United States by creating federal regions that eliminate individual states.
Even in the overheated conspiracy world of the antigovernment Patriot movement this claim stands out as outlandish. “California to be absorbed into Mexico by October” is the headline on the advertising e-mail sent out this week by the Townhall website on behalf of Wall Street Daily, a financial publishing company. The far-right Internet tabloid WorldNetDaily sent out a similar e-mail titled “The America you know and love could look completely different in a matter of weeks.”
Townhall is a popular website where Tea Partiers and the Patriot movement intersect with conservative celebrities, media pundits and Republican Party operatives. WorldNet Daily is generously described as in a similar orbit, but the outlet typically features the more zany right-wing conspiracy theories. ( continue to full post… )
The police chief of a tiny borough in Pennsylvania’s coal country, who also heads a militia formed to oppose any new federal gun control measures, has been suspended for 30 days after he posted a series of profanity-laced videos to YouTube in which he angrily fires several automatic weapons and uses the word “libtards” in reference to liberals.
The Gilberton Borough Council voted 5-1 during an executive session last night to suspend Mark Kessler, saying he did not have permission to use the weapons he fired in the videos, The Patriot-News reported. The council did not suspend him because of the content of his videos. “It was just the misuse of borough property,” Gilberton Mayor Mary Lou Hannon said. ( continue to full post… )
In the wake of White House moves to implement some gun control by using executive orders, the antigovernment “Patriot” right has exploded with fury, claiming that virtually any regulation amounts to an infringement of the Constitution or even a prelude to a national “gun grab” by federal forces hoping to disarm citizens once and for all.
These and similar claims have come from nearly every corner of the radical right. But one of the most noteworthy recent responses comes from the Oath Keepers, a group of conspiracy-minded current and former members of law enforcement and the military who believe a tyrannical and gun-hating “New World Order” is planned by global elites. Vowing to fight any legislation to ban “assault weapons,” the Oath Keepers have announced rallies at state houses across the nation on Friday with the aim of sending a message to lawmakers that the “they will be held accountable if they choose to dishonor” their oath to the Constitution. ( continue to full post… )
The far right does not like President Obama. He’s been depicted as a Muslim (he’s not) and a terrorist sympathizer. He’s been called a fascist and compared to Hitler. He’s been pegged as a socialist and even a communist. And, of course, an entire cottage industry has been built around the false accusation that he’s not even an American.
His 2008 election also helped fuel an explosive resurgence of the antigovernment “Patriot” movement, whose sympathizers indulge themselves in all sorts of wild conspiracy theories about the federal government: It’s building concentration camps for dissidents, it’s selling out Americans to the dreaded “New World Order,” it’s planning to institute martial law, confiscate everyone’s guns and send in U.N. troops to keep order.
Of course, none of these fantasies have come true in the last four years. But therein lies the rub. The first term was nothing but an elaborate ruse to get re-elected. The second term, now that’s when everything hits the fan. Freedom itself, maybe even all of civilization, hangs in the balance. ( continue to full post… )
With last weekend’s mass killing at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin fresh in the public’s memory, the usual players on the conspiracy scene have begun crafting wild, alternative narratives of what really happened.
The theory has started to spread that the attack was orchestrated by some dark sector of the federal government in order to justify rolling back gun rights. This idea, of course, has long been used by the antigovernment right to explain acts of domestic terrorism: Oklahoma City, for example, and even the jihadist attack on the Twin Towers in 2001. The Wisconsin version has appeared on dozens of right-wing blogs and appears to be gaining traction.
Infowars, the conspiracist website maintained by Alex Jones, seems to have led the charge. In an article published earlier this week after neo-Nazi Wade Michael Page killed six people in Oak Creek, Wis., writer Kurt Nimmo accused the federal government – and, ludicrously, the Southern Poverty Law Center – of somehow being tied to the shootings. The proof? Only dubious claims pulled from Page’s life story. The alleged skinhead gunman was in a psychological operations unit in the Army during the 1990s. ( continue to full post… )
Nothing spooks antigovernment conspiracy theorists like the United Nations and its international treaties – particularly when it comes to perceived threats to their right to bear arms.
So naturally, far-right paranoiacs really have their panties in a twist over the proposed Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), which would establish standards for the international trade of weapons.
Since UN talks about the ATT began on July 2, FrontPage Magazine, Andrew Breitbart’s Big Government, WorldNetDaily, and myriad other far-right “news” outlets have issued panicked articles denouncing the treaty as plot to gut the Second Amendment, destroy America, and pave the way for the establishment of a one-world government. ( continue to full post… )
The Tea Party Nation, one of the more extreme factions of the Tea Party movement, has dipped deeper into the conspiratorial waters of antigovernment lore, most recently promoting the Oath Keepers and other antigovernment “Patriots” as the last line of defense for Americans increasingly confronted with “a government verging on evil.”
In a post published over the weekend on the Tea Party Nation’s website, regular blogger Alan Caruba painted a dire picture of the threats to freedom that lie in wait under President Obama, whom he calls a “red diaper baby” and a far-left functionary “raised from birth and mentored to embrace communism.”
“Obama’s disregard for the Constitution, its separation of powers, and Americans suffering greatly from his policies, suggests that he is not beyond making the greatest grab for power using a bogus ‘national emergency’ or manufactured ‘crisis’ to declare martial law,” Caruba wrote. He goes on to cite three recent executive orders as proof positive that Obama is setting up the nation to abandon its constitutional mandates and wage an all-out campaign against freedom. ( continue to full post… )