TIME Magazine has just released the results of a six-month journalistic investigation of the many extreme militias that have emerged in America. Conducted by veteran reporter Barton Gellman, it chronicles chilling stories of American militias that are armed to the teeth and ready for war. Check out this excerpt:
Camouflaged and silent, the assault team inched toward a walled stone compound for more than five hours, belly-crawling the last 200 yards. The target was an old state prison in eastern Ohio, and every handpicked member of Red Team 2 knew what was at stake: The year is 2014, and a new breed of neo-Islamic terrorism is rampant in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio … The current White House Administration is pro-Muslim and has ordered a stand-down against Islamic groups. The mission: Destroy the terrorist command post — or die trying. The fighters must go in “sterile” — without name tags or other identifying insignia — as a deniable covert force. “Anyone who is caught or captured cannot expect extraction,” the briefing officer said.
At nightfall the raiders launched their attack. Short, sharp bursts from their M-16s cut down the perimeter guards. Once past the rear gate, the raiders fanned out and emptied clip after clip in a barrage of diversionary fire. As defenders rushed to repel the small team, the main assault force struck from the opposite flank. Red Team 1 burst through a chain-link fence, enveloping the defense in lethal cross fire. The shooting was over in minutes. Thick grenade smoke bloomed over the command post. The defenders were routed, headquarters ablaze.
This was a training exercise conducted by the “Ohio Defense Force,” a private militia that claims 300 members. Notice how they talk about “neo-Islamic terrorism” and that the Administration is “pro-Muslim,” thus necessitating their attack. And according to the article:
As militias go, the Ohio Defense Force is on the moderate side. Scores of armed antigovernment groups, some of them far more radical, have formed or been revived during the Obama years, according to law-enforcement agencies and outside watchdogs. A six-month TIME investigation reveals that recruiting, planning, trainin and explicit calls for a shooting war are on the rise.
But wait, there’s more:
Some groups, though not many overtly, embrace the white-supremacist legacy of the Posse Comitatus, which invented the modern militia movement in the 1970s. Some are fueled by a violent stream of millennial Christianity. Some believe Washington is a secondary foe, the agent of a dystopian new world order.
A small but growing number of these extremist groups, according to the FBI, ATF and state investigators, are subjects of active criminal investigations. They include militias and other promoters of armed confrontation with government, among them “common-law jurors,” who try to make their own arrests and convene their own trials, and “sovereign citizens,” who respond with lethal force to routine encounters with the law. In April, for example, Navy veteran Walter Fitzpatrick, acting on behalf of a group called American Grand Jury, barged into a Tennessee courthouse and tried to arrest the real grand-jury foreman on the grounds that he refused to indict Obama for treason. In May, Georgia militia member Darren Huff was arrested by Tennessee state troopers after telling them that he and other armed men intended to “take over the Monroe County courthouse,” free Fitzpatrick and “conduct arrests” of other officials, according to Huff’s indictment and his own account in an interview posted online. Investigators are keeping a wary eye on a related trend, which has yet to progress beyond words, in which law officers and military service members vow to refuse or resist orders they deem unconstitutional. About a dozen county sheriffs and several candidates for sheriff in the midterm elections have threatened to arrest federal agents in their jurisdictions.
One of these “Patriots,” as many of them call themselves, was even a “Dirty Bomber,” like Jose Padilla. His name was James Cummings, and after he was shot to death by his wife, chilling details emerged about his deeds and intentions:
Amber Cummings, then 31, shot her husband James, 29, to death, dropped the Colt .45 revolver and walked to a neighbor’s to dial 911. Evidence of her torment at the dead man’s hands during years of domestic abuse would later persuade a judge to spare her a prison sentence.
On the day of the shooting, Dec. 9, 2008, the story she told and an initial search of the house brought an FBI forensic team running. James Cummings appeared to have accumulated explosive ingredients and radioactive samples. He had filled out an application to join the National Socialist Movement and declared an ambition to kill the President-elect.
A much more sobering picture emerged from the dead man’s handwritten notes and printed records, some of which were recently made available to TIME. Fresh interviews with principals in the case, together with the documents, depict a viciously angry and resourceful man who had procured most of the supplies for a crude radiological dispersal device and made some progress in sketching a workable design. In this he was far ahead of Jose Padilla, the accused al-Qaeda dirty-bomb plotter, and more advanced in his efforts than any previously known domestic threat involving a dirty bomb. Cummings spent many months winning the confidence of online suppliers, using a variety of cover stories, PayPal accounts and shipping addresses. He had a $2 million real estate inheritance and spent it freely on his plot.
Maine state police detective Michael McFadden, who participated in the investigation throughout, says he came to believe that James Cummings posed “a legitimate threat” of a major terrorist attack. “When you’re cooking thorium and uranium under your kitchen sink, when you have a couple million dollars sitting in the bank and you’re hell-bent on doing something, I think at that point you become someone we want to sit up and pay attention to,” he says. “If she didn’t do what she did, maybe we would know Mr. Cummings a lot better than we do right now.”
The article is a must read. It is a frightening look into the world of America’s other homegrown terrorists, who are just as – if not much, much more – dangerous than the Faisal Shahzads and Nidal Malik Hassans.
Yet, there is one person who, apparently, does not pay attention to such things: why, the “Scholar” Robert Spencer. A look at his website revealed no such mention of the TIME investigation, even though it made national news. I mean, he is so quick to jump on any news of potential terrorist plots, or criminal acts committed by Muslims all across the world. In fact, he even reports on terrorist plots by Muslims and then fails to mention that the perpetrators had no religious motivation.
But, this time, there is not one peep from Spencer about these militia groups, not even about America’s own “Dirty Bomber,” who was
far ahead of Jose Padilla, the accused al-Qaeda dirty-bomb plotter, and more advanced in his efforts than any previously known domestic threat involving a dirty bomb.
Why would this be? Why the silence, Mr. Spencer? (Psst: they’re not Muslims!)