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June 20, 2013 0

Former Border Vigilante Leader Arrested For Child Molestation

chris-simcox

Credit: Mari­copa County Sheriff’s Office

Phoenix, Ari­zona police offi­cers arrested once-prominent vig­i­lante leader Chris Sim­cox, 52, on June 19 on child molesta­tion charges.  Author­i­ties have charged Sim­cox with two counts of child molesta­tion, one count of attempted child molesta­tion, and two counts of sex­ual con­duct with a minor.  Accord­ing to police, Sim­cox had allegedly molested sev­eral vic­tims, all girls under 10 years of age, within recent months.

The arrest marked a new low for Sim­cox, who at one point in the mid-2000s achieved national noto­ri­ety for his high-profile vig­i­lante patrols along the Arizona-Mexico bor­der as one of the founders of the Min­ute­man Project.  How­ever, his fall from grace was just as rapid as his ascent.

Sim­cox spent his early adult years as a kinder­garten teacher in Cal­i­for­nia, before mov­ing to Tomb­stone, Ari­zona, where he bought a tiny news­pa­per, the Tomb­stone Tum­ble­weed, in 2002.  Sim­cox used the news­pa­per as an out­let for his anti-immigration views and soon issued a call for a “Cit­i­zens Bor­der Patrol Mili­tia” to patrol the bor­der with Mex­ico.  Sim­cox sub­se­quently started an early bor­der vig­i­lante group, Civil Home­land Defense.  By 2004, he had received pro­ba­tion and a fine fol­low­ing a con­vic­tion for car­ry­ing a firearm onto a national park.

In 2005, Sim­cox banded together with Cal­i­forn­ian Jim Gilchrist to form the Min­ute­man Project, a high-profile effort to get main­stream sup­port for bor­der vig­i­lante activ­i­ties.  In this, Sim­cox and Gilchrist were at first quite suc­cess­ful, gar­ner­ing national atten­tion and spawn­ing var­i­ous “Min­ute­man” groups across the coun­try.  For a brief period of time, Sim­cox could hob­nob with politi­cians such as Arnold Schwarzeneg­ger and Rick Perry. 

How­ever, Sim­cox and Gilchrist could not get along and parted ways, split­ting the Min­ute­man Project into two sep­a­rate orga­ni­za­tions.  Simcox’s half became the Min­ute­man Civil Defense Corps (MCDC) and focused on bor­der vig­i­lante activ­ity.  Because of Simcox’s lack of lead­er­ship skills, as well as finan­cial scan­dals, the group went into decline, shed­ding mem­bers and chap­ters.  In 2009, Sim­cox attempted a dif­fer­ent tac­tic, step­ping down from MCDC lead­er­ship and announc­ing he would attempt to unseat Ari­zona Sen­a­tor John McCain.  This was no more suc­cess­ful; by early 2010, he dropped out of the race.

The molesta­tion charges against Sim­cox are the first such crim­i­nal charges against him, but not the first alle­ga­tions against him related to chil­dren.  In 2005, Deb­o­rah Crews, one of Simcox’s ex-wives, told the South­ern Poverty Law Cen­ter that in 1998 Sim­cox allegedly “tried to molest our daugh­ter when he was intox­i­cated.”  No charges were appar­ently filed.  A sec­ond ex-wife, Kim Dun­bar, filed a suc­cess­ful legal appeal for full cus­tody of their son.  She alleged that Sim­cox had vio­lent rages, includ­ing one inci­dent in which she said Sim­cox slapped his four-year-old son hard enough to leave a mark last­ing days.

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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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June 11, 2013 0

Massachusetts Lone Wolf Convicted Of First-Degree Murder

keith-luke

T.Correira/The Enterprise/GateHouse Media

On May 30, a Brock­ton Supe­rior Court jury found Mass­a­chu­setts white suprema­cist Keith Luke guilty of first-degree mur­der and related charges stem­ming from a Jan­u­ary 2009 racially-motivated killing spree that was one of the most heinous of sev­eral high-profile white suprema­cist “lone wolf” attacks that year. He sub­se­quently received two con­sec­u­tive life sen­tences with­out parole, plus an addi­tional 158 years in prison.

Luke shot and killed two women, immi­grants from Cape Verde, and sex­u­ally assaulted and attempted to mur­der a third, on Jan­u­ary 21, 2009. Fol­low­ing these killings, Luke led police on a brief chase before they appre­hended him—which pre-empted a planned racially moti­vated killing spree directed at Jews and non-whites.  After his appre­hen­sion, Luke told police that he had planned to con­tinue his mur­der­ous ram­page at a syn­a­gogue later that evening.

Author­i­ties charged Luke with two counts of mur­der, two counts of armed assault with intent to mur­der, aggra­vated rape, kid­nap­ping, armed home inva­sion, unlaw­ful pos­ses­sion of a firearm, and unlaw­ful pos­ses­sion of ammu­ni­tion. Accord­ing to the police, dur­ing his inter­ro­ga­tion Luke said that he had planned to kill as many “non­white peo­ple” as he could in an effort to “fight” for his “dying race.”

Luke was a lone wolf white suprema­cist, with no ties to any orga­nized extrem­ist group.  In the weeks lead­ing up to the mur­ders, Luke was a con­stant on-line pres­ence, mak­ing racist com­ments, racially harass­ing other on-line posters, and espe­cially view­ing white suprema­cist videos on YouTube.  Luke viewed more than 2,300 videos in the two weeks before the mur­ders.  Nearly all of the videos Luke tagged as his “favorites” were anti-Semitic or white suprema­cist in nature, with titles such as “Aryans Rise – They Seek Your Death.” Luke’s com­ments on var­i­ous on-line forums were sim­i­larly typ­i­cally extreme, such as “racial equal­ity is a [J]ewish lie.” And “Hitler was right.  Fuck all non whites.”

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