Michigan militia group training, April 3, 2010.
Rebecca Cook | Reuters
Hey, Rep. Peter King, how about some hearings to investigate this? [Via Media Matters]
Five people in the Fairbanks area were arrested Thursday by state and federal law enforcement on charges connected with an alleged plot to kidnap or kill state troopers and a Fairbanks judge, according to the Alaska State Troopers.
Francis "Schaeffer" Cox, Lonnie Vernon, Karen Vernon, Coleman Barney and Michael Anderson are accused of conspiring to commit murder, kidnapping, and arson, as well as weapons misconduct, hindering prosecution and tampering with evidence, according to trooper spokeswoman Megan Peters in a written statement late Thursday.
An investigation "revealed extensive plans to kidnap or kill Alaska state troopers and a Fairbanks judge," the statement said. The plans included "extensive surveillance" on the homes of two Fairbanks troopers, the statement said.
"Investigation also revealed that extensive surveillance on troopers in the Fairbanks area had occurred, specifically on the locations of the homes for two Alaska state troopers," the statement said. "Furthermore, Cox et. al. had acquired a large cache of weapons in order to carry out attacks against their targeted victims. Some of the weapons known to be in the cache are prohibited by state or federal law."
The targeted judge is U.S. District Court Judge Ralph Beistline, who is presiding over a tax-evasion case against two of those arrested, Lonnie and Karen Vernon.
Cox calls himself a "sovereign citizen," a movement that the Southern Poverty Law Center says is comprised of "hundreds of thousands of far-right extremists who believe that they—not judges, juries, law enforcement or elected officials—get to decide which laws to obey and which to ignore, and who don't think they should have to pay taxes." The FBI described the group as a domestic terrorism organization.
These arrests come just on the heels of the arrest of Kevin William Harpham, the alleged Spokane MLK Day parade bomber. The SPLC has identified Harpham as "a member of the National Alliance, for years the most prominent neo-Nazi organization in the United States." Since 2004, he has participated on he racist and anti-Semitic internet forum Vanguard News Network where he "fantasized about killing anti-racists."
Interestingly enough, there have been 22 congressional hearings "focusing on the problem of radicalized American Muslims plotting terrorist acts or joining Al-Qaeda and similar groups" in the last five years. Perhaps it's time for a hearing or two on the white people plotting terrorist acts.
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