anti-government » ADL Blogs
Posts Tagged ‘anti-government’
September 1, 2015

Deadly Violence, Plots Mark Right-Wing Extremist Courtroom Dramas

Judges and juries in Kansas, California and Georgia have ruled in a trio of important criminal cases involving white supremacists, anti-government sovereign citizens, and militia groups who engaged in violence or conspiracies.

Brent Douglas Cole

Brent Douglas Cole

On Monday, August 31, a jury in Olathe, Kansas, convicted long-time white supremacist Frazier Glenn Miller (also known as Frazier Glenn Cross) on capital murder, attempted murder, assault and weapons charges for his 2014 shooting attack that killed three at Jewish institutions in the Kansas City suburb of Overland Park.

Miller, who defended himself, attempted to argue during his trial that he was justified in killing Jews, because they were committing “genocide” against white people. After the jury read its verdict, Miller shouted “Sieg Heil,” while giving a Nazi salute.

In federal court in Sacramento, California, meanwhile, another extremist learned of his fate. Brent Douglas Cole, an adherent of the sovereign citizen movement, received a 29-year, seven-month sentence for his role in a shootout in 2014. Sovereign citizens believe that the government is illegitimate, because a conspiracy long ago subverted the original government and replaced it with a tyrannical one, and that it has no authority over them.

In June 214, a Bureau of Land Management ranger discovered Cole had set up a campsite on public land and had a motorcycle at the campsite that had been reported stolen. When the ranger and a California Highway Patrol officer attempted to impound that motorcycle, as well as one with expired tags, Cole confronted the officers. When one attempted to place handcuffs on Cole, the sovereign citizen opened fire on the officers, injuring both of them, before subsequently giving himself up. He was convicted in February 2015 of assault on a federal officer which inflicted bodily injury and other charges.

Finally, a federal judge in Atlanta, Georgia, sentenced three members of a militia group to prison after they pleaded guilty to conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction. Brian Cannon, Terry Peace and Cory Williamson were members of a north Georgia militia cell that plotted terrorist attacks against the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other government targets, hoping that the government would over-react and, in turn, cause militia groups around the country to rise up in arms.

After an associate of the three men alerted the FBI to the plotters’ intentions, the FBI set up a sting operation. After Peace told the informant that he needed thermite charges and pipe bombs, the informant offered to get the explosives for him. In February 2014, FBI agents arrested the trio of militiamen as the received the (inert) explosive devices from the informant. Their would-be revolution was thwarted.

In many respects, these three incidents collectively highlight the major dangers coming from the extreme right in the 21st Century. Miller engaged in a deadly attack directed against Jews, a perceived “racial enemy.” The shooting spree presaged the even more deadly attack against African-Americans by Dylann Storm Roof in June 2015. Cole engaged in unplanned, spontaneous violence against law enforcement officers—one of the major threats posed by the sovereign citizen movement. And the militiamen in North Georgia engaged in a conspiracy to attack government targets; just the latest in a long series of such plots and conspiracies stemming from the militia movement.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

April 7, 2015

Right-wing Terror Attacks in U.S. Approach 1990s Levels

Recent terrorist attacks, plots and conspiracies by right-wing extremists in the United States are approaching the level of attacks in the mid-1990s when the Oklahoma City bombing occurred, based on a chronology of such attacks compiled by the Anti-Defamation League.  The chronology was released as part of ADL’s commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the April 19, 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.right-wing_plots_attacks_1995-2014

The list of right-wing attacks and attempted attacks chronicles 120 different incidents between January 1995 and December 2014, illustrating a steady stream of domestic terror incidents in the United States stemming from extreme-right movements over the past two decades.  Targets included ethnic and religious minorities, government officials and buildings, law enforcement officers, abortion clinics and their staff, and others.

Examined over time, the attacks illustrate the two major surges of right-wing extremism that the United States has experienced in the past 20 years.  The first began in the mid-1990s and lasted until the end of the decade.  The second surge began in the late 2000s and has not yet died down.

During both surges, the number of right-wing terror attacks and conspiracies outnumbered those in the intervening period.  From 1995 through 2000, 47 incidents occurred, while from 2009 through 2014, 42 incidents took place.  The eight-year intervening period of 2001-08 produced 31 attacks.  The surge of recent years has not produced a two-year period with as many incidents as the years 1995-1996, which had a high of 18 attacks, but it has come close, with 16 attacks for the years 2011-12.

When analyzed on the basis of perpetrator ideology, the list shows that the various white supremacist and anti-government extremist movements have produced the vast majority of the right-wing terrorist incidents over the past 20 years, with 50 each.  Anti-abortion extremists come in third place with 13 incidents.right-wing_terrorism_by_movement_1995-2014

Incidents on the list include terrorist acts and plots by white supremacists, anti-government extremists, anti-abortion extremists, anti-immigration extremists, anti-Muslim extremists, and others.  The list does not include spontaneous acts of violence by right-wing extremists, such as killings committed during traffic stops, nor does it include lesser incidents of extremist violence or non-ideological violence committed by extremists.

Some incidents had perpetrators who adhered to more than one ideological movement; in such cases, the movement that seemed most important to the perpetrator was used for categorization.  Categorization was by perpetrator ideology rather than type of target, a fact important to note, as different movements sometimes chose the same type of target (white supremacists and anti-abortion extremists both targeted abortion clinics, for example), while some perpetrators chose targets that did not closely tie in with their main ideology (such as anti-abortion extremist Eric Rudolph targeting the 1996 Atlanta Olympics).  The 2001 plot by the Jewish Defense League to attack Muslim-related targets in California is not listed, as ADL includes such incidents under Jewish nationalist extremism rather than right-wing extremism.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

December 17, 2014

Apparent Extremist Threatens Police Officers and a City Employee

brandon-gibbs

Bran­don D. Gibbs

Earlier this month, an apparent anti-government extremist in Louisiana allegedly threatened to pepper spray police officers after they attempted to serve him with an arrest warrant for purportedly threatening a city employee.

On December 2, Brandon D. Gibbs, 29, of Gonzales, Louisiana, allegedly attempted to walk towards a police officer with a pepper spray can before officers arrested Gibbs on aggravated assault, resisting an officer, possession of marijuana, unlawful use of or in possession of body armor, in possession of narcotics and improper telephone communications. Wearing a face mask, a helmet with pepper spray attached and a knife strapped to his full body amour suit, Gibbs barely opened his door and asked police officers to show their hands before he walked out of his house at the time of his arrest. This incident presumably stemmed from a disagreement regarding his city water service.

Prior to his arrest, Gibbs reportedly called the city’s utility department and threatened a clerk for the department’s decision to turn off his water after he didn’t pay his bill. During the call, Gibbs purportedly claimed that “if you come back on my property, I’m going to put a bullet in a tire or in somebody’s head.”

According to statements Gibbs made to police officers and to activity on his Facebook account, his actions towards law enforcement and public officials appear to be influenced by anti-government extremist beliefs. After police officers charged Gibbs with resisting arrest in May 2013, he allegedly told officers that he trained every weekend in Maurepas, Louisiana, with a 500-person militia on shooting and military techniques. In one of his Facebook posts, Gibbs claimed that he studied abroad “in @ home” to learn “emprovised [sic] weapons specializm [sic] and “hand to hand combat” in order “to defend myself and my land against any treat [sic]” and to “make your entinctions [sic] absolutly [sic] clear shoot to kill.” The likes on his Facebook page include eight different militias and he is part of the “Three Percenters for Constitutional Troops and Law Enforcement” Facebook group, which harbors anti-government extremist beliefs.

Former militia movement adherent Mike Vanderboegh of Pinson, Alabama, created the Three Percent concept in 2008, based on the belief that only three percent of Americans will not disarm during a future revolution against the alleged tyranny of the American government. The concept itself is based on a historically incorrect myth that only three percent of the American population fought against the British during the American Revolution. In 2012, Georgia militia man Frederick Thomas claimed that Vanderboegh’s on-line novel Absolved, a “technical manual” to overthrow the so-called totalitarian government, inspired him to plot to kill government employees and blow up government buildings.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,