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August 17, 2012 33

Possible Extremist Connection to Louisiana Police Shootings

Two Louisiana sheriff’s deputies were killed on Thurs­day in LaPlace in two sep­a­rate but related inci­dents.  One or more of the sus­pects in the killings may have ties to extremism.

Terry Lyn Smith

The first shoot­ing inci­dent occurred at a Valero cor­po­ra­tion facil­ity, when a gun­man opened fire on a St. John the Bap­tist Parish sheriff’s deputy, wound­ing him.  Deputies fol­lowed a vehi­cle to a trailer park.  How­ever, another per­son exited a nearby trailer with an assault rifle and opened fire on the offi­cers.  Two deputies were killed and another was wounded.

Seven peo­ple have been arrested in con­nec­tion with the mur­ders:  Terry Lyn Smith, 44; Brian Lyn Smith, 24; Der­rick Smith, 22; Chanel Skains, 37; Kyle David Joekel, 28; Teniecha Bright, 21; and Brit­tney Keith, 23.  All except Keith and Skains have been charged with prin­ci­pal to attempted first degree mur­der of a police offi­cer.  Keith and Skains face charges of being acces­sories after the fact to attempted first degree mur­der of a police officer.

Reports emerged in early media cov­er­age from law enforce­ment sources that one or more of the peo­ple arrested may be involved with an extrem­ist group or move­ment, includ­ing pos­si­bly the extreme anti-government sov­er­eign cit­i­zen move­ment.   Author­i­ties in Nebraska have said that Joekel was on an FBI watch­list.  Joekel is wanted in Nebraska and Kansas on mar­i­juana charges and on alle­ga­tion of mak­ing ter­ror­is­tic threats regard­ing attack­ing law enforce­ment offi­cers.  In June 2012, while still a fugi­tive, Joekel posted his resume as a welder and pip­efit­ter to an on-line jobs site, includ­ing an address and phone num­ber.  Terry Lyn Smith is also a pipefitter.

The sus­pects had recently been under police sur­veil­lance in DeS­oto Parish after the sheriff’s office had received reports of peo­ple at a trailer park enter­ing and leav­ing vehi­cles with assault weapons.  How­ever, they left the trailer park in June.

As of this writ­ing, no infor­ma­tion has emerged to clearly con­firm the alle­ga­tions of sov­er­eign cit­i­zen con­nec­tions, but one of the sus­pects, Terry Lyn Smith, has indi­ca­tors of anti-government extrem­ist lean­ings on his var­i­ous social net­work­ing pro­files.  In par­tic­u­lar, on a Myspace pro­file Smith lists, as either “heroes” or peo­ple he’d “like to meet,” Alex Jones, the Texas-based conspiracy-oriented and anti-government radio talk show host; Randy Weaver, the white suprema­cist at the cen­ter of the 1992 Ruby Ridge, Idaho, stand­off; and David Koresh, the leader of the Branch David­i­ans dur­ing the 1993 Waco, Texas, stand­off.   Those two stand­offs were the main sparks for the resur­gence of right-wing extrem­ism in the mid-to-late 1990s, includ­ing the Okla­homa City bombing.

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June 26, 2012 0

Suspected Pipeline Bomber Has Anti-Government Extremist Ties, Admired Joseph Stack

Anson Chi on YouTube

Anson Chi, the north Texas man author­i­ties sus­pect bombed a nat­ural gas pipeline sta­tion in Plano, Texas, on June 18, is an anti-government extrem­ist active in the tax protest move­ment.

Chi, 32, a for­mer engi­neer who claimed to have “retired” but was liv­ing with his par­ents, sup­ported many causes, includ­ing envi­ron­men­tal and ani­mal rights causes, but the con­vic­tions he expressed most strongly in on-line writ­ings were anti-government ones. He rou­tinely posted anti-government com­ments to his Face­book Wall, col­lect­ing them from both the right and left.

How­ever, state­ments by Chi in recent years reveal a strong con­nec­tion with the right-wing “patriot move­ment,” espe­cially its tax protest branch. The tax protest move­ment claims Amer­i­cans aren’t required to pay fed­eral income taxes and a gov­ern­ment con­spir­acy is hid­ing this fact. “There is no law for the aver­age Amer­i­can to pay the income tax,” Chi claimed in 2010, “as stated over and over again by the Supreme Court—case closed!”

In 2010, after fel­low tax pro­tester Joseph Andrew Stack flew his plane into an IRS build­ing in Austin, Texas, in a sui­cide attack, Chi posted a link to Stack’s sui­cide note while pro­claim­ing, “Bring down the IRS!”

Chi’s post­ings reveal famil­iar­ity with the movement’s pseudo-legal argu­ments, as well as key fig­ures. Chi eas­ily rat­tled off the names of tax protest gurus and court cases involv­ing tax pro­test­ers. Say­ing he was a “para­le­gal,” Chi claimed to be friends with tax protest move­ment attor­neys Tom Cryer and Larry Becraft, and to have attended the trial of Sherry Jack­son, a for­mer IRS employee who joined the tax protest move­ment and was con­victed in 2007 of fail­ing to file income tax returns.

Chi was also famil­iar with the pseudo-legal argu­ments of the sov­er­eign cit­i­zen move­ment, pro­claim­ing in late 2010 that he knew “all about admi­ralty mar­itime law and the straw­man the­ory.”

Chi’s other fix­a­tion was on the bank­ing sys­tem; like many anti-government extrem­ists, he was obsessed with “inter­na­tional bankers” and the Fed­eral Reserve. “Your life is under con­trol by greedy pri­vate bankers,” he told vis­i­tors to his Face­book page, “espe­cially since they print YOUR money based on noth­ing but thin air!”

Chi liked the movie Zeit­geist, as well as other recent pop­u­lar on-line movies that com­bined New World Order and Fed­eral Reserve con­spir­acy the­o­ries with New Age con­cepts. Chi’s post­ings reflected the the­o­ries advanced by such movies. “The pri­vate cen­tral bankers like the Rothschilds—changed from Jew­ish name Bauer, like Henry Kissinger changed from Heinz Loeb,” he wrote in 2010, “are…a bunch of con artists, work­ing as the finan­cial gatekeepers…for the Vatican.”

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May 1, 2012 0

Five Apparent Anarchists Arrested In Plot To Bomb Cleveland Bridge

Update — June 13, 2013: Joshua Stafford was con­victed of con­spir­ing to use a weapon of mass destruc­tion on June 13. He faces up to life-in-prison. The other four sus­pects have all pleaded guilty and were sen­tenced to between six and ten years in prison. 

Five Ohio men were arrested Mon­day night after allegedly attempt­ing to blow up a Cleveland-area bridge “to send a mes­sage to cor­po­ra­tions and the United States government.”

The five men, Dou­glas Wright, Bran­don Bax­ter, Anthony Hayne, Con­nor Stevens, and Joshua Stafford, had been con­sid­er­ing acts of vio­lence for months, accord­ing to fed­eral agents. Two of the men placed what they believed to be explo­sive devices at the bridge and tried to remotely det­o­nate it. The devices, how­ever, were inert and pro­vided by the FBI as part of a sting operation.

Wright, Bax­ter, and Hayne have been charged with con­spir­acy and attempted use of explo­sives; charges against Stevens and Stafford are pending.

All five men were appar­ently involved in Occupy Cleve­land protests and have been char­ac­ter­ized by law enforce­ment or self-identify as anar­chists. Hayne, Stafford, and Bax­ter list the move­ment as their “employer” on their Face­book pages.

In recorded con­ver­sa­tion with the FBI, Bax­ter dis­cussed the impact of blow­ing up a bridge. “Tak­ing out a bridge in the busi­ness dis­trict would cost the…corporate big wigs a lot of money,” he said. Wright believed that the Occupy Move­ment had been coopted by “cor­po­rate Amer­i­can and law enforce­ment” and that there­fore they needed new recruits from out­side the movement.

The media coor­di­na­tor for Occupy Cleve­land denied any knowl­edge of the planned attack, but acknowl­edged that some mem­bers of the move­ment are acquainted with the suspects.

Baxter’s anti-capitalist views were voiced in inter­view last month dur­ing a protest in Cleve­land against home fore­clo­sures. “…I feel the pow­ers that be, who­ever they might be — on all lev­els of gov­ern­ment and those who hold cor­po­rate power — are not lis­ten­ing because not enough peo­ple are actu­ally tak­ing a stance…”

The five men allegedly con­sid­ered other tar­gets for attack, includ­ing the local Fed­eral Reserve Bank and law enforce­ment Fusion Cen­ter, before set­tling on the bridge. Bax­ter inquired into tar­get­ing the Klan or other neo-Nazi groups in Ohio, but was dis­suaded when he was told they were not in Cleve­land. He claimed to have pre­vi­ously par­tic­i­pated in a protest against the Klan in Oak­land, California.

The planned attack was allegedly timed to coin­cide with May Day, a cel­e­bra­tion of Inter­na­tional Work­ers Day that has been seized upon by anar­chist and anti-capitalist groups around the world. May Day events around the world have often fea­tured prop­erty destruc­tion and arrests.

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