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June 20, 2013 0

FBI Arrest Two In Bizarre Alleged Radiation Plot

FBI agents arrested two upstate New York men on June 18, charg­ing them with con­spir­ing to pro­vide mate­r­ial sup­port to ter­ror­ists for an alleged plot to build a “mobile, remotely oper­ated, radiation-emitting device” to kill peo­ple at a dis­tance with X-ray radi­a­tion.  Arrested were Glen­don Scott Craw­ford, 49, from Prov­i­dence, and Eric Feight, 54, from Stockport.

crawford-criminal-complaint

Selec­tion from crim­i­nal complaint

Accord­ing to the crim­i­nal com­plaint filed by the FBI in court, Craw­ford, with help from Feight, spent more than a year attempt­ing to obtain the com­po­nents for con­struct­ing such a radi­a­tion device, which they allegedly hoped to sell. To obtain money for financ­ing the con­struc­tion, Craw­ford allegedly approached both Jew­ish insti­tu­tions in New York (they quickly con­tacted the author­i­ties) as well as the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan in North Carolina.

The crim­i­nal com­plaint alleges that Craw­ford him­self var­i­ously claimed to be or to have been a mem­ber of the United North­ern and South­ern Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, a Midwest-based Klan group that does not have an orga­nized pres­ence in New York, though it may have iso­lated mem­bers in the region. In recent years, Klan activ­ity in New York has been min­i­mal at best. Pub­licly, Craw­ford tended to align him­self not with white suprema­cist groups but with con­ser­v­a­tive and Tea Party causes and groups.

It is very unusual that a pur­ported Klan mem­ber would approach Jew­ish orga­ni­za­tions for help (espe­cially with regard to ille­gal activ­ity), but Crawford’s ire seems to have been directed pri­mar­ily at Mus­lims. The crim­i­nal com­plaint pro­vides a num­ber of alleged instances of anti-Muslim sen­ti­ments on the part of Craw­ford, as well as sug­ges­tions that Mus­lims (includ­ing a “Mus­lim orga­ni­za­tion”) were one of the intended targets. 

Other tar­gets allegedly dis­cussed included a “polit­i­cal party” and “a polit­i­cal fig­ure.”  The lat­ter two seem to have been the Demo­c­ra­tic Party and Barack Obama. Accord­ing to the crim­i­nal com­plaint, both Feight and Craw­ford inde­pen­dently made state­ments express­ing their unhap­pi­ness with the 2012 elec­tions. In April 2013, Craw­ford allegedly sent a text mes­sage to some­one in which he claimed that Obama (“your trea­so­nous bed­wet­ting mag­got in chief”) has been bring­ing Mus­lims (“muzzies”) into the United States with­out back­ground checks.  “This admin­is­tra­tion has done more to enable a gov­ern­ment spon­sored inva­sion than the press can cover up,” Craw­ford allegedly sent.

FBI agents were aware of Crawford’s alleged activ­i­ties from an early stage and brought in numer­ous under­cover agents and con­fi­den­tial informants—including allegedly a mem­ber of the Loyal White Knights—to act as pur­ported back­ers of Crawford’s plans.  At no point does it seem that Craw­ford and Feight had the means with which to con­struct a radi­a­tion weapon or use it.

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March 20, 2013 0

Ultra-Conservative Event to Feature Quran-Burning Pastor

Quran-burning Pas­tor Terry Jones of the Dove World Out­reach Cen­ter is sched­uled to join a lineup of ultra-conservatives, Tea Party and anti-Muslim activists at the “Con­ser­v­a­tive Call to Action” con­fer­ence. The event is planned for March 23 in Col­orado Springs, Colorado.

The con­fer­ence is intended to pro­mote and dis­cuss issues of impor­tance to ultra-conservatives. Top­ics include “oppos­ing abor­tion, fight­ing Islam, and defend­ing the First and Sec­ond Amend­ments.” Sched­uled speak­ers include polit­i­cal pun­dit Dinesh D’Souza, a once well-respected con­ser­v­a­tive author and polit­i­cal com­men­ta­tor who has been increas­ingly wel­comed by ultra-conservative cir­cles and anti-Muslim con­spir­acy theorists.

D’Souza is the for­mer pres­i­dent of The King’s Col­lege in New York and, in 2012, he co-directed the conspiracy-laden doc­u­men­tary, “2016: Obama’s Amer­ica,” in the run-up to the U.S. pres­i­den­tial elec­tions. In the film, D’Souza con­spir­a­to­ri­ally alleges that Pres­i­dent Obama plans to imple­ment social­ist poli­cies that will result in the dimin­ish­ment of America’s global power, and sug­gests that Obama will more fully adopt harm­ful poli­cies in a sec­ond term.

Giv­ing the con­fer­ence a dis­tinctly anti-Muslim tone will be Pas­tor Terry Jones, the vir­u­lently anti-Muslim, anti-gay leader of an apos­tolic church in Gainesville, Florida. Jones sparked inter­na­tional out­rage in July 2010, when he announced his inten­tion to hold an “Inter­na­tional Burn a Koran Day” [sic] on the anniver­sary of the 9/11 attacks. Through his web­site Stand Up Amer­ica, Jones con­tin­ues to gal­va­nize Amer­i­cans with his anti-Muslim, anti-abortion and anti-homosexuality agenda.

In addi­tion to Jones and D’Souza, oth­ers sched­uled to speak at the event include Tea Party video blog­ger and Islam “expert” known as “Wild Bill for Amer­ica,” anti-abortion activist Melissa Ohden, for­mer Con­ser­v­a­tive Party USA mem­ber Seth Rig­gio, and local con­ser­v­a­tive activist Michelle Morin.

On his per­sonal web­site, Wild Bill claims to have had a career as a Duty Sher­iff and a Deputy U.S. Mar­shal, and is “one of the first Tea Party mem­bers.” Cit­ing his back­ground in law enforce­ment, Wild Bill claims that he has “seen how [Islam] oper­ates first hand,” and, “is well qual­i­fied to speak out about the dan­gers this reli­gion presents.

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March 4, 2013 0

Anti-Immigrant Activist Writes Vicious Anti-Muslim Screed

Frosty Wooldridge, a Colorado-based anti-immigrant activist and radio show host, wrote an arti­cle for the right-wing news site, News With Views,  that con­tained a num­ber of vehe­mently anti-Muslim com­ments. The arti­cle, “Islamic Butch­ery Man­i­fests in Amer­ica with Mus­lim Immi­grants,” which appeared on the site on Feb­ru­ary 22, 2013, attacked and dis­torted mul­ti­cul­tur­al­ism, pro­moted anti-Muslim stereo­types and fea­tured other big­oted remarks.

Wooldridge began the arti­cle by crit­i­ciz­ing mul­ti­cul­tur­al­ism and focus­ing on a num­ber of stereo­types of Mus­lims by assert­ing, “Amer­i­cans must ask them­selves if Muslim-style ‘mul­ti­cul­tur­al­ism’ fits into the United States of Amer­ica. Can our coun­try tol­er­ate behead­ings, be-handings, female gen­i­tal muti­la­tion, arranged mar­riages of 12 year old girls and mur­ders of gays?” Wooldridge went on to claim that Mus­lim immi­grants “advo­cate for Sharia Law within Amer­ica” and “as their num­bers grow, they will imple­ment it with the power of the vote.”

Wooldridge con­tin­ued his dia­tribe by focus­ing on the city of Detroit, declar­ing, “Detroit, Michi­gan har­bors mas­sive Islamic cover-up of Mus­lim rit­u­als. It’s become so iso­lated that no Amer­i­can law can be adju­di­cated. Detroit has become an Islamic coun­try within our coun­try.” Wooldridge fol­lowed this by voic­ing a con­spir­acy the­ory often reserved for Jews but in this case directed towards Mus­lims, claim­ing, “Wher­ever their num­bers grow, Mus­lims slowly and method­i­cally over­whelm the host nation.”

Wooldridge also voiced his fears about increases in pop­u­la­tion, some­thing that attracted him to the anti-immigrant move­ment.  Wooldridge, like John Tan­ton, the founder of the modern-day anti-immigrant move­ment, and oth­ers see immi­gra­tion as the biggest cause of pop­u­la­tion growth. Wooldridge asserted that “smaller coun­tries like Bel­gium and Hol­land suf­fer com­plete dis­place­ment of their cul­tures, lan­guages and peo­ple because Mus­lims out-breed them at an astound­ing rate of speed.”

In 2011, the Fed­er­a­tion for Amer­i­can Immi­gra­tion Reform (FAIR), one of the largest and most estab­lished anti-immigrant groups in the coun­try, appointed Wooldridge to its advi­sory board. Today he sits on that board along with John Tan­ton, FAIR’s founder. Another group Tan­ton helped found, the Cen­ter for Immi­gra­tion Stud­ies (CIS), cir­cu­lated Wooldridge’s anti-Muslim rant in its weekly roundup of immi­gra­tion opin­ion pieces.

Wooldridge’s anti-Muslim rhetoric is just the lat­est exam­ple of groups and indi­vid­u­als within the anti-immigrant move­ment tar­get­ing Mus­lims. Wooldridge’s posi­tion on FAIR’s advi­sory board and CIS’s pro­mo­tion of his racist dia­tribe fur­ther demon­strate that the anti-immigrant move­ment rou­tinely accepts big­ots into its ranks.

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