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Terrorism News

A collection of open-source terrorism news from around the world.
Keyword: domestic extremist threats & trends

Brian Cannon, 37, Terry Peace, 47, and Cory Williamson, 29, have been sentenced for conspiring to use weapons of mass destruction in attacks against federal government agencies. The defendants planned to attack critical infrastructure while motivating militia groups in other states to rise up and join them in removing government officials who they believed had exceeded their Constitutional power.

“In this case, anti-government ideology and rhetoric morphed into dangerous extremism and led these defendants to arm themselves and travel to a meeting to pick up pipe bombs and other explosives intended for attacks,” said U.S. Attorney John Horn of the Northern District of Georgia. “The attacks planned by the defendants, while rare, posed a serious threat to not only the safety of our public servants, but also all other members of the community.”

“This case illustrates the FBI’s commitment in preventing attacks instead of responding to their aftermath,” said Special Agent in Charge J. Britt Johnson for the FBI’s Atlanta Field Office. “The convictions and now federal sentencing of these individuals on conspiracy charges again represents that the juries and courts understand this shift in the law enforcement mindset in dealing with individuals or groups that wish to bring harm to the public or those who serve the public.”

Read more: Homeland Security News Wire

According to Ellicott City resident Angie Kozlowski, many people were taught to stop, drop and roll at a young age if their clothing were ever to catch on fire.  "I can talk to anyone who grew up in this country who is my age, or maybe younger, and ask, 'If your clothing caught on fire, what would you do?'" Ellicott City resident Angie Kozlowski said. "Every person would say, 'You stop, drop and roll.'"

But, as the number of active shootings, bombings and other forms of domestic terrorism rise, Kozlowski said its time for citizens to learn to "run, hide, fight," educating the citizens on what to do if they find themselves in the middle of tragedy.  "A lot more people are having their worlds shattered by violence with mass shootings than ever," Kozlowski said. "If I'm just the random person in the supermarket or in the movie theater, I don't have that benefit of [knowing what to do]."

That's why Kozlowski joined the National Center for Citizen Safety, working to close "the gap in the education and public awareness" in schools, businesses and other gathering places and potentially save lives. As an effort to raise funds for survivor programs, the nonprofit organization is continuing to spread the word in preparation for their Survivor Strong 5k Run & Walk on Aug. 30 in Columbia.

Read more: Emergency Management

Three North Carolina men fearing a government takeover and martial law stockpiled weapons, ammunition and tactical gear while attempting to rig home-made explosives, according to charges announced by the Justice Department on Monday.

The men from Gaston County, near Charlotte, were arrested by federal authorities on Saturday after more than a month's investigation.

Walter Eugene Litteral, 50, Christopher James Barker, 41, and Christopher Todd Campbell, 30, are accused of stockpiling guns and ammunition, as well as attempting to manufacture pipe bombs and live grenades from military surplus "dummy" grenades, according unsealed criminal complaints released Monday.

The close to 60 pages of information compiled by federal authorities since July include allegations Litteral planned to makes explosives out of tennis balls covered in nails and coffee cans filled with ball bearings.

According to the documents, both Litteral and Campbell spoke openly about their opposition to Jade Helm 15, a series of ongoing special forces training missions in several Southwestern states that has drawn suspicion from residents who fear it is part of a planned military takeover.

In addition to ammunition for a long-range .338 caliber rifle, the authorities said Litteral purchased hand-held radios, Kevlar helmets, body armor and face masks in preparation for an armed resistance to the feared military occupation.

Read more: Yahoo News

A man accused of igniting a pipe bomb outside the Colorado Springs branch of the NAACP in January is due in Denver's federal court Monday morning where he is expected to file a new plea.  In June, Thaddeus Cheyenne Murphy entered a plea agreement with federal prosecutors in the case.

Before the plea, Murphy faced up to 20 years in prison for a federal charge of igniting an incendiary or explosive device that damages or destroys a building and 10 years for a charge of being a convicted felon in possession of a weapon. He is being held without bail.

Murphy, of Colorado Springs, told investigators he bombed the building  because he was angry at his accountant, a motive that NAACP officials say they doubt.  The accountant in question, Steven Douglas DeHaven, had died six months earlier and building tenants say there were no tax preparation businesses there for at least 17 years before the bombing.

Records indicate DeHaven worked out of his house, not in the building that was bombed.  Murphy was indicted in the bombing in February.  At the time of the July 3 bombing at 603 S. El Paso St., a barber shop and the NAACP offices were the building's only occupants.  No one was hurt in the blast.

Source: Denver Post

Animal-rights activists Joseph Buddenberg and Nicole Kissane were arrested by the FBI today and charged with terrorizing the fur industry during cross-country road trips in which they released thousands of mink from farms around the country and vandalized various properties.

According to a federal grand jury indictment unsealed today, Buddenberg and Kissane caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage during the nationwide spree in the summer of 2013. The indictment alleges that the pair snuck onto farms and freed minks and destroyed breeding records in Idaho, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania during multiple trips, and in one case they released a bobcat from a farm in Montana.

The defendants were charged under the Conspiracy to Violate the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act. They were arrested in Oakland this morning by agents from the FBI’s San Francisco field office. The government will seek the removal of Buddenberg and Kissane to the Southern District of California to face charges.

In one instance described in the indictment, the defendants traveled from Oregon to San Diego in their 2012 Honda Fit on July 15, 2013 and used paint, paint stripper, a super glue-type substance, butyric acid, muriatic acid and glass etchant to vandalize Furs by Graf, a retail furrier located in San Diego, as well as the Spring Valley and La Mesa residences and personal property of the current and former owners of the business.

To publicize their crimes, the defendants drafted “communiqués” describing their conduct and posted them on websites associated with animal rights extremists, the indictment said.

Among some of the incidents of vandalism cited in the indictment: The defendants slashed tires of a meat distributor’s truck in San Francisco; smashed windows and glued the door locks at a furrier business in Minneapolis, Minnesota; vandalized and attempted to flood the Sun Prairie, Wisconsin home of an employee of the North American Fur Auctions.

According to the indictment, the unemployed defendants sold items on eBay and Amazon to finance their trips. To avoid detection by law enforcement, the defendants withdrew large sums of cash from their bank accounts immediately before setting off on a road trip. During the trips, they largely avoided the use of phones, used only cash for purchases and stopped logging in to known online accounts and email. Instead, they used public internet computers and encrypted email.

Once they returned from the trips, they resumed normal use of phones and computers and no longer relied solely on cash to make purchases.

“Whatever your feelings about the fur industry, there are legal ways to make your opinions known,” said U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy. “The conduct alleged here, sneaking around at night, stealing property and vandalizing homes and businesses with acid, glue, and chemicals, is a form of domestic terrorism and can’t be permitted to continue.”

“Today's indictment represents the collective efforts of several FBI Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTF) around the country,” said Eric S. Birnbaum, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI's San Diego Field Office.  “The FBI and our JTTF partners will continue to investigate and seek the prosecution of those who engage in similar criminal conduct for the purpose of advancing their own personal agenda.”

News source: Department of Justice