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May 1, 2012 Off

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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February 28, 2012 Off

White Supremacist Dennis Mahon Found Guilty in 2004 Bombing

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A jury in Ari­zona found Den­nis Mahon, 61, a long­time white suprema­cist and anti-Semite, guilty in the 2004 mail bomb­ing that severely injured Don Logan, an African-American who was direc­tor of Scottsdale’s Diver­sity and Dia­logue Office at the time. The jury, how­ever, stopped short of call­ing the inci­dent a hate crime.
The jury found Den­nis Mahon guilty on three charges: con­spir­acy to dam­age build­ings and prop­erty by means of explo­sives, mali­cious dam­age of a build­ing by means of explo­sives, and dis­tri­b­u­tion of infor­ma­tion related to explo­sives. Also charged in the case was Mahon’s twin brother Daniel, but the jury found Daniel not guilty of the one charge against him: con­spir­acy to dam­age build­ings and properties.
Police orig­i­nally arrested the Mahon broth­ers in June 2009. The arrests fol­lowed a lengthy inves­ti­ga­tion of the mail bomb­ing, which occurred on Feb­ru­ary 26, 2004, when a box addressed to Logan exploded when he tried to open it at his Scotts­dale office.

Both broth­ers have a long his­tory of involve­ment in the white suprema­cist move­ment. Den­nis Mahon held lead­er­ship posi­tions within var­i­ous white suprema­cist groups in the Mid­west in the 1980s and 1990s, includ­ing the Ku Klux Klan and White Aryan Resis­tance (WAR), a now-defunct group led by well-known racist Tom Met­zger. Met­zger has long advo­cated “lone wolf” activ­ity. Accord­ing to the lone wolf model, indi­vid­u­als and small cells engage in activ­ity that leave behind the fewest clues for law enforce­ment author­i­ties, decreas­ing the chances that activists will end up get­ting caught. 

Den­nis Mahon report­edly moved to Ari­zona from the Mid­west in 2001 to estab­lish WAR’s pres­ence in the area. His brother Daniel joined him in Arizona.

Daniel Mahon was also an active white suprema­cist. In May 1999, accord­ing to court papers, Amer­i­can Air­lines fired him after he vio­lated writ­ten work rules that “pro­hib­ited threat­en­ing and intim­i­dat­ing behav­ior toward other employ­ees and con­duct detri­men­tal to other employ­ees and Amer­i­can Air­lines.” Mahon was under inves­ti­ga­tion by the com­pany for his activ­i­ties related to his par­tic­i­pa­tion in a “Cau­casian Employee Resource Group.”

ADL pro­vided assis­tance to inves­ti­ga­tors through­out the lengthy case.

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February 21, 2012 Off

Underwear Bomber Asserts Terror Attacks are Driven by Hatred of Israel

At his sen­tenc­ing last week, Umar Farouk Abdul­mu­tal­lab, also known as the under­wear bomber and Christ­mas Day bomber, threat­ened that ter­ror attacks would con­tinue “until the Jews are dri­ven out of Pales­tine.”
Abdul­mu­tal­lab pre­vi­ously linked his failed 2009 attack to Israel. When he pleaded guilty in Octo­ber 2011, Abdul­mu­tal­lab admit­ted that he planned the attack “in retal­i­a­tion for U.S. sup­port of Israel and in retal­i­a­tion of the killing of inno­cent and civil­ian Mus­lim pop­u­la­tions in Pales­tine, espe­cially in the block­age of Gaza” and “in retal­i­a­tion for… Israel [sic] mas­sacres of inno­cent Palestinians.”
In a video released by Al Qaeda in the Ara­bian Penin­sula in 2010, appar­ently made as a mar­tyr­dom video for the upcom­ing attack, Abdul­mu­tal­lab jus­ti­fied Al Qaeda’s actions against Jews and Chris­tians. “Broth­er­hood of Mus­lims in the Ara­bian Penin­sula have [sic] the right to wage Jihad,” Abdul­mu­tal­lab said, “because the enemy is in your land with their armies, the Jews and the Chris­tians and their agents.” Abdul­mu­tal­lab and other appar­ent Al Qaeda fight­ers are fea­tured in the video fir­ing auto­matic weapons at tar­gets bear­ing the Jew­ish star, the British Union Jack, and the let­ters “UN.”
Abdul­mu­tal­lab was sen­tenced to mul­ti­ple life sen­tences for attempt­ing to blow up an inter­na­tional flight from Ams­ter­dam to Detroit on Decem­ber 25, 2009.

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