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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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March 28, 2012 2

Alleged Cop-Killer May Be Anti-Government Extremist

Source: Ogden Standard-Examiner
In the lat­est twist to a deadly shootout that stunned the res­i­dents of Ogden, Utah, a recently revealed search war­rant affi­davit pro­vides evi­dence that sug­gests the defen­dant, Matthew David Stew­art, 37, may have been an anti-government extremist.
The shootout began on Jan­u­ary 4, 2012, after police launched a raid on Stewart’s res­i­dence to exe­cute a search warrant—an infor­mant had alleged he was grow­ing mar­i­juana (16 plants were report­edly later found).  Accord­ing to police, Stew­art hid, open­ing fire on offi­cers as they searched his res­i­dence.  Six offi­cers were hit, some more than once, and Ogden police offi­cer Jared Fran­com was wounded fatally.  Stew­art allegedly con­tin­ued fir­ing as the offi­cers fled the res­i­dence.  Police even­tu­ally wounded and sub­dued him in a back­yard shed. 
Stew­art was charged with aggra­vated mur­der, seven counts of attempted aggra­vated mur­der, and pro­duc­tion of a con­trolled sub­stance in a “drug free zone,” along with a dan­ger­ous weapons enhancement.
In March, author­i­ties released an affi­davit explain­ing the results of the search.  Accord­ing to the affi­davit, Stewart’s for­mer girl­friend said that Stew­art was “into” con­spir­acy the­o­ries and that he believed the fed­eral gov­ern­ment had no right to col­lect taxes (the pri­mary belief of the anti-government extrem­ist tax protest move­ment).  She claimed that he had not paid his own fed­eral or state taxes since 2005 and that, if he were “forced” to pay taxes, he would “kill IRS employ­ees.”  Accord­ing to the girl­friend, Stew­art claimed that Okla­homa City bomber Tim­o­thy McVeigh was “misunderstood.”
The affi­davit fur­ther claimed that police recov­ered “computer-generated doc­u­ments” related to anti-government extrem­ism, anti-police Web sites, Okla­homa City bomb­ing Web sites, instruc­tions for mak­ing potas­sium chlo­ride (used in explo­sives), and a map to the clos­est IRS build­ing (where Stew­art once worked as a secu­rity guard), among other items.  Accord­ing to the affi­davit, police also dis­cov­ered “what appeared to be the mak­ings of a bomb,” which were later removed and det­o­nated by the bomb squad. 
Last sum­mer, accord­ing to police, Stew­art had allegedly told some­one that if police ever raided him, he would “go out in a blaze of glory and shoot to kill.”  After the release of the affi­davit, a neigh­bor of Stewart’s told a local tele­vi­sion sta­tion that Stew­art had allegedly talked about mov­ing to Mon­tana and “get[ting] myself a compound.”
Offi­cer Fran­com was the first police offi­cer to have been killed by a sus­pected domes­tic extrem­ist since May 2010, when two West Mem­phis, Arkansas, offi­cers were killed by anti-government “sov­er­eign cit­i­zens.”  Since 2000, 27 police offi­cers have been killed in the United States by domes­tic extremists. 

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February 24, 2012 0

Denver-area Shooting Latest in String of Extremist-Related Violent Confrontations with Police

 Police inves­ti­gat­ing a stolen vehi­cle in the Den­ver sub­urb of Engle­wood on Feb­ru­ary 23, 2012, unex­pect­edly found them­selves fac­ing an armed white suprema­cist with a his­tory of violence—an encounter that even­tu­ally turned fatal. 
Jere­miah Barnum’s Col­orado Depart­ment of Cor­rec­tions photo
Source: Den­ver Westword
Ear­lier that day, Engle­wood police took two sus­pects into cus­tody in con­nec­tion with an allegedly stolen vehi­cle. Two offi­cers remained behind to fin­ish up paper­work, when they allegedly spot­ted a vehi­cle parked nearby whose dri­ver was a “known asso­ciate” of the arrested sus­pects. The dri­ver, later iden­ti­fied as Jere­miah Bar­num, a long-time white suprema­cist with a his­tory of vio­lence, allegedly threat­ened police, who report­edly noticed that he had a “weapon” in his waist­band (a gun was later found in the car). Accord­ing to offi­cers, Bar­num “made a move like he was reach­ing for a gun” and the offi­cers opened fire, wound­ing Bar­num fatally.  An inves­ti­ga­tion into the shoot­ing is pending.
In 1997, Bar­num had briefly been infa­mous in Den­ver, after he and another white suprema­cist, Nathan Thill, were arrested for the bru­tal hate crime mur­der of an African immi­grant, Oumar Dia. Thill even­tu­ally pleaded guilty in return for a sen­tence of life with­out parole. Bar­num was ini­tially con­victed of mur­der, but his con­vic­tion was over­turned by a judge. He even­tu­ally pleaded guilty to acces­sory to mur­der and received a 12-year sen­tence. Dur­ing his stint in prison, he fre­quently appeared on lists of “Aryan Pris­on­ers of War” cir­cu­lated by white suprema­cists to get sup­port for impris­oned fel­low racists. He also became a mem­ber of the 211 Crew, a Colorado-based racist prison gang (Thill also became a 211 Crew member).
This shoot­ing inci­dent was merely the lat­est in a long string of con­fronta­tions across the coun­try in which shots were fired between police and adher­ents of extrem­ist move­ments.  Since 2009, ADL has iden­ti­fied some 24 such inci­dents, most of them related to white suprema­cists or anti-government extremists. 
The bulk of the inci­dents involved actual shootouts or exchanges of fire between police and extrem­ists, while a hand­ful of inci­dents were officer-involved shootings—typically after extrem­ists attempted to draw weapons on the offi­cers (or, in one instance, actu­ally attempted to fire at police, only to have the gun jam). Six police offi­cers have died in such con­fronta­tions, as well as a num­ber of extrem­ists, while oth­ers have been wounded or injured.

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