Monday, August 3, 2009

Finally the Feds Crack Down on Right-Wing Terrorists


By James Ridgeway, Mother Jones Online. Posted August 3, 2009.

Government agents arrest a white separatist accused of a bombing. What took them so long?
When the Department of Homeland Security warned in April that the financial crisis and Barack Obama's election were inflaming right-wing extremists, many conservatives were outraged. But a spate of high-profile murders this year has prompted questions about whether the government should have been more proactive. In April, Richard Poplawski, a 22-year-old frequenter of white supremacist websites, was charged with fatally shooting three Pittsburgh cops. In May, former militiaman Scott Roeder was accused of gunning down abortion doctor George Tiller (he pleaded not guilty this week). In June, 88-year-old neo-Nazi James von Brunn allegedly killed an African American security guard at the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC. Only then did the government spring into action. Later that month, federal agents in three states moved against a prominent far-right leader and his associates, with almost no attention from the national press.

At 6:45 a.m. on June 25, agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) arrested Dennis Mahon on domestic terrorism charges stemming back to a crime committed more than five years ago. An indictment from a federal grand jury in Phoenix, unsealed in late June, charges Mahon with constructing a pipe bomb that exploded in Scottsdale city office that promotes racial and cultural diversity. The blast severely injured the office's director and hurt two other staffers. Mahon and his twin brother, Daniel, were also accused of conspiring to build and send the bomb, and with disseminating training materials on domestic terrorism.

Also on June 25, the ATF arrested Robert Joos -- a 56-year-old white supremacist preacher in Missouri -- in connection with the Mahon investigation. According to court documents, Dennis Mahon had told an undercover agent that Joos was an expert on bomb making. (In the end, Joos was only charged with illegal possession of weapons.) On the same day, ATF agents also raided the northern Indiana home of the 71-year-old Tom Metzger, the head of White Aryan Resistance (WAR) and a longtime associate of Dennis Mahon.

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