Skip to comments.Backwoods militias suspected of being behind biowar threat
Posted on 10/15/2001 5:44:48 PM PDT by Merovingian
Backwoods militias suspected of being behind biowar threat IAN BRUCE
THE FBI's domestic terrorism unit is investigating the possible role of illegal militia groups in the spate of anthrax outbreaks in Florida and New York.
Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma bomber who killed 168 people when he blew up a federal building in 1995, was a supporter of one such group, the National Alliance.
Others have threatened to use biological weapons, including anthrax, botulism, and ricin, in their struggle against what they see as a global conspiracy between the US administration and the United Nations to disarm and enslave them. Every state has its own "patriot" group of disaffected right-wing Christian radicals opposed to central government and federal regulations. Most are organised along paramilitary lines.
The FBI estimates their numbers at up to 40,000, with the larger militias in backwoods country areas. They claim they are mobilising to fight the "New World Order".
In places like Idaho, Texas, Montana and West Virginia, they wear army surplus camouflage uniforms and train with assault rifles and explosives against the day when they might have to defend themselves against direct interference from the federal authorities.
They range in outlook from Pat Robertson, a failed 1988 presidential candidate, with his vision of a "Christian America" to the sinister Posse Comitatus, Aryan Nations and Minnesota Patriots' Council, who favour armed insurrection.
All have links with the National Rifle Association, the influential lobby group which represents weapons' manufacturers, hunters and gun clubs and campaigns for the right of all Americans "to own and bear arms".
There is some doubt as to whether this right is enshrined legally in the American constitution but the NRA has powerful supporters in both senate and congress and no-one has yet managed successfully to challenge the all-pervasive nationwide gun culture.
Most of the militias' philosophy is based on white-supremacist principles, looking down on blacks as "mud people" and Jews as instigators of the global plot against them and manipulators of the world economy for their own benefit.
Despite their redneck reputation, they have developed a sophisticated communications network using computer e-mail, shortwave radio, and fax. The North American Patriots, a group with members from California to Kansas, publish a newsletter entitled Firearms and Freedom.
After the disastrous FBI storming of the Branch Davidian headquarters in Waco, Texas, and the Ruby Ridge stand-off fiasco, where an FBI sniper killed an unarmed woman in a mountain cabin, the militias have turned to the threat of biological weapons to up the ante.
In January 1999, police and security forces responded to 30 anthrax hoaxes in southern California alone. Since then, there have been thousands of false alarms across the country.
Many aimed at government buildings, including deliveries of envelopes containing suspicious white powder, were militia inspired. Others targeting schools, hospitals or newspapers were sent by disgruntled former employees or jilted lovers.
However, the FBI has never discounted the possibility someone might lay hands on lethal biological agents. In 1992, two members of the Minnesota Patriots' Council were arrested carrying vials of ricin, an extremely dangerous toxin. They intended to use the substance to kill police officers over a local feud.
Larry Wayne Harris of the Aryan Nations managed to buy samples of bubonic plague over the internet. Fortunately, the plague bacteria were inert.
Three members of the Republic of Texas bought what they thought was anthrax in 1998. It turned out to be anthrax serum, the liquid used to inoculate people against the infection.
An FBI source said yesterday that up to 80% of the weapons of mass destruction inquiries carried out in the last few years involved the threat of anthrax.
Before the death of a British-born newspaperman in Florida last week, only 28 people in the US had died from effects of the bacterium in the last 100 years.
Before biowar became a potentially popular hobby, anthrax was known as "wool-shearer's disease" because it had been contracted only by farmworkers in close contact with sheep, a prime carrier of the infection.
An FBI source said: "We can never rule out al Qaeda's possible role in the current deliberate spread of anthrax. It is causing more panic than anything else and has not, thankfully, been disseminated in a very efficient way if the object was to inflict casualties.
"But our own militias may also have a hand in some or all of the incidents. Copycats and hoaxers could also be having a field day. The problem is, we just can't afford to drop our guard."
I skimmed through this article as it was very quickly seen that it was utter b.s. Did the writer mention that they also were 100% from the "red" portion of the 2000 electoral map and rabid supporters of George W. Bush?
Actually, about 50% of the population might generally fit into this definition.
With nothing but innuendo.
I'm no fan of militias or "The Republic of Texas" type groups, but, frankly, most of these guys would rather target Arabs than their own countrymen.
Yes, you smarmy UK one world/royalists/socialists -- that right was DEFINITELY enshrined in the US Constitution because of the likes of YOU! There is no doubt!
No excuse to defend these scum like Aryan nations and this Harris fellow.
They are suspects. They have attemtped to get such bio-agents.
But I doubt they are mailing things from Malaysia.
Again, if you defend these people you are wrong.