|Fugitive David Bugert |
Alaska Peacekeepers Militia leader Francis "Schaeffer" Cox is locked up in Fairbanks, Alaska, awaiting trial on state and federal charges of conspiring to murder judges and State Troopers, along with a slew of illegal weapons crimes.
Yet Cox is still having an impact on the resurgent antigovernment militia movement well beyond his home state. This coming Saturday for example, the Montana-based militia group Flathead Liberty Bell, which Cox helped get off the ground in 2009, is sponsoring a survivalist "Preparedness Expo" at the Valley Victory Church in Kalispell, Montana.
Scheduled workshops include Political Structures, Wild Foods and Herbal Remedies, Home Schooling, Animal Care, Self-Defense...and much more.
Also featured will be Special Presentations by radical right luminaries including Ruby Ridge icon Randy Weaver, who will be autographing copies of The Federal Siege at Ruby Ridge, and Stewart Rhodes, ex-Ron Paul aide and founder of the Oath Keepers, a national organization of police and soldiers who've sworn to disobey orders they deem unconstitutional.
Presumably not in attendance will be longtime Montana militia leader David Burgert, who's the subject of a state and federal manhunt after he allegedly fired shots at Missoula County deputies two days ago.
Flathead County Undersheriff Jordan White tells Media Matters that Burgert has been associating with Flathead Liberty Bell members since Burgert was released from federal prison last March.
The Flathead Liberty Bell directs prospective members to watch a video of a presentation called The Solution that Cox delivered before a December 1, 2009 militia gathering in Hamilton Montana.
"Our government is not going to hear us until we speak to them in their language, which is force," Cox said. "Now that doesn't necessarily mean violence. And don't get me wrong--I'm not against violence. I am not against violence, okay? I am not against spilling blood for freedom. I will kill for liberty. You know, everybody asks, 'Would you die for liberty?' That's not really the right question to ask. The right question to ask is, 'Would you kill for liberty?' Because if you would kill for liberty, it assumes that you would die for liberty."
Yesterday, as conservative media hyped the commencement of Rep. Peter King's contentious hearings on Muslim radicalization in America, details continued to emerge about Kevin William Hardham, the 36-year-old Army field artillery veteran accused of planting a "weapon of mass destruction," along the route of a Martin Luther King Day unity parade route in Spokane, Washington earlier this year.
The backpack bomb Hardham allegedly planted contained shrapnel dipped in rat poison. It was discovered just minutes before hundreds of MLK Day marchers arrived. Hardham appears to have a long track record of fantasizing about politically and racially motivated violence in various online extremist forums.
The attempted MLK Day bombing in Spokane was hardly an isolated incident. Right-wing domestic terrorist plots and extremist violence are on the rise in America. Earlier this year the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) released a report analyzing domestic terrorism statistics reported by the FBI and other crime agencies since the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The MPAC report shows that since 9/11, right-wing extremists including neo-Nazis and other white supremacists have been involved in 63 domestic terror plots, while radical Muslims have been involved in 45.
Meanwhile, the number of hate groups tracked by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) topped 1,000 this year for the first time since the SPLC began counting such groups in the mid 1980s, and the resurgent antigovernment militia movement is exploding, with more than 300 new groups forming in the last year alone.
SPLC Intelligence Project director Mark Potok attributes this dramatic increase in right-wing extremist activity to three factors: "Resentment over the changing racial demographics of the country, frustration over the government's handling of the economy, and the mainstreaming of conspiracy theories and other demonizing propaganda aimed at various minorities."
July 27, 2008
Unemployed truck driver Jim David Adkisson opens fire on the congregation of a Unitarian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee, killing two people and seriously wounding six. Adkisson tells police he targeted the congregation because its members included gay men and mixed-race couples. A suicide note that Adkisson left in his car outside the church describes the attack as a "hate crime," "a political protest," and "a symbolic killing."
"I'd like to encourage other like-minded people to do what I've done," Adkisson wrote. "If life ain't worth living anymore don't just kill yourself. Do something for your country. Go kill liberals."
Adkisson pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison.
October 22, 2008
Two white power skinheads are arrested for allegedly plotting a multi-state robbery and murder spree that would have culminated in an attempt to assassinate then-Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama.
Daniel Cowart, 20, and Paul Schlesselman, 18, were later charged with conspiracy, possessing a sawed-off shotgun and threatening to kill and inflict bodily harm upon a major presidential candidate. Both pleaded guilty and were sentenced to 14 years and 10 years, respectively.
The skinheads told police they formulated their plot in Bells, Arkansas, after shooting out the windows of a black church. According to a written statement they provided to investigators, the skinheads planned to rob gun stores and kill 88 non-whites, beheading 14 of their victims.
Those numbers are significant in the white supremacist movement. Eighty-eight stands for "Heil Hitler," as H is the eighth letter of the alphabet. The number 14 refers to the number of words in the white supremacist catchphrase coined by domestic terrorist David Lane: "We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children."
"The final thing we had discussed was dressing in white tuxs [tuxedos] with a top hat and trying to assassinate Obama. We did not plan on living past that day," Cowart wrote in his statement. "One day, while riding in my car, Paul told me that he wanted to go to a predominately [predominantly] black school and kill as many as he could."
A Secret Service agent testified at Cowart's sentencing hearing that in dozens of chat messages found on his computer he discussed wanting to kill African-Americans and start a race war.
December 9, 2008
Law enforcement investigators find radioactive materials and other components for making a "dirty bomb" in the home of Belfast, Maine neo-Nazi James Cummings after Cummings is shot to death by his wife, who told police she killed her husband after years of physical and mental abuse.
According to an FBI field intelligence report from the Washington Regional Threat and Analysis Center, investigators found containers of uranium, thorium, lithium metal, thermite, aluminum powder, beryllium, boron, black iron oxide and magnesium ribbon, along with neo-Nazi materials, including a completed application to join the National Socialist Movement, a major neo-Nazi group.
A local painter who worked inside the Cummings residence earlier in 2008 told police that Cummings expressed admiration for Adolf Hitler and showed off the swastika flag hanging in the house.
Amber Cummings reportedly told police that her husband was "very upset" over the election of President Obama, was in contact with white supremacist groups, and had been mixing chemicals in their kitchen sink.