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Recommended: "The terror threat at home, often overlooked"

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  • leftinidaho@hotmail.com
    _________________________________________________________________________ leftinidaho@hotmail.com has recommended this article from The Christian Science
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 1, 2004
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      leftinidaho@... has recommended this article from
      The Christian Science Monitor's electronic edition.

      Weapons of Mass Destruction found in Bushit's Texas!Still NO WMD's in Bushit's W-ar in Iraq! American Media Whores ignore domestic terrorists!

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      Headline: The terror threat at home, often overlooked
      Byline: Kris Axtman Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor
      Date: 12/29/2003

      (HOUSTON)It began as a misdelivered envelope and developed into the most
      extensive domestic terrorism investigation since the Oklahoma City
      bombing.

      Last month, an east Texas man pleaded guilty to possession of a weapon
      of mass destruction. Inside the home and storage facilities of William
      Krar, investigators found a sodium-cyanide bomb capable of killing
      thousands, more than a hundred explosives, half a million rounds of
      ammunition, dozens of illegal weapons, and a mound of white-supremacist
      and antigovernment literature.

      "Without question, it ranks at the very top of all domestic terrorist
      arrests in the past 20 years in terms of the lethality of the arsenal,"
      says Daniel Levitas, author of "The Terrorist Next Door: The Militia
      Movement and the Radical Right."

      But outside Tyler, Texas, the case is almost unknown. In the past nine
      months, there have been two government press releases and a handful of
      local stories, but no press conference and no coverage in the national
      newspapers.

      Experts say the case highlights the increased cooperation and quicker
      response by US agencies since Sept. 11. But others say it points up
      just how political the terror war is. "There is no value for the Bush
      administration to highlighting domestic terrorism right now," says
      Robert Jensen, a journalism professor at the University of Texas in
      Austin. "But there are significant political benefits to highlighting
      foreign terrorists, especially when trying to whip up support for war."

      Mr. Levitas goes even further: "The government has a severe case of
      tunnel vision when it comes to domestic terrorism. I have no doubt
      whatsoever that had Krar and his compatriots been Arab-Americans or
      linked to some violent Islamic fundamentalist group, we would have
      heard from John Ashcroft himself."

      The case began in the fall of 2002 when a package bound for New Jersey
      was misdelivered to a New York address. The family inadvertently opened
      the package and found fake identification badges, including Department
      of Defense and United Nations IDs. The FBI eventually tracked the
      package back to Mr. Krar in Noonday, Texas.

      The cache of weapons and bombs was found when the FBI served a search
      warrant in April of this year. Krar and his common-law wife, Judith
      Bruey, and the receiver of the package, New Jersey Militia member
      Edward Feltus, were arrested.

      All three have pleaded guilty to separate counts and are awaiting
      sentencing.

      Brit Featherston, the assistant US attorney in charge of the case, says
      it was Krar and Ms. Bruey's connections to white-supremacist groups
      that prompted further investigation. "Any little town has worse
      criminals on paper than these two. But because of their background, the
      red flags were flying all over the place - especially after Sept. 11,"
      says Mr. Featherston, in the eastern district of Texas.

      Before Sept. 11, he says, the case most likely would have been worked
      as a false-ID case and ended there. Instead, dozens of law-enforcement
      agencies were involved and hundreds of subpoenas were served. "This
      case was very high priority," says Featherston.

      Still, investigators have been unable to answer questions such as:
      Where was the sodium-cyanide bomb destined? And were the weapons being
      prepared for a group or sold individually? Featherston says the
      investigation is ongoing and won't end until these questions are
      answered.

      Experts say the case is important not only because of what it says
      about increased government cooperation, but also because it shows how
      serious a threat the country faces from within. "The lesson in the Krar
      case is that we have to always be concerned about domestic terrorism.
      It would be a terrible mistake to believe that terrorism always comes
      from outside," says Mark Potok at the Southern Poverty Law Center in
      Montgomery, Ala.

      The fact is, the number of domestic terrorist acts in the past five
      years far outweighs the number of international acts, says Mark
      Pitcavage of the fact-finding department at the Anti-Defamation League.
      "We do have home-grown hate in the United States, people who are just
      as ill-disposed to the American government as any international
      terrorist group," he says.

      Levitas estimates that there are approximately 25,000 right-wing
      extremist members and activists and some 250,000 sympathizers. The
      Southern Poverty Law Center counted 708 hate groups in 2002.

      While Mr. Pitcavage was surprised the Krar case did not receive more
      attention, "It is a fact that a lot of stories involving domestic
      extremists get undercovered," he says. He points to a case he calls one
      of "the major terrorist plots of the 1990s" in which militia from
      around the country converged in central Texas allegedly to attack a
      military base. They were arrested at a campground near Fort Hood on the
      morning of July 4, 1997, with a large collection of weapons and
      explosives. "There was virtually no media coverage of that incident
      either," says Pitcavage.

      Featherston speculates that the Krar case got little attention because
      the arrests were made just after the war began in Iraq. "Excuse me, a
      chemical weapon was found in the home state of George Bush," says
      Levitas. "I'm not saying the Justice Department deliberately decided to
      downplay the story because they thought it might be embarrassing to the
      US government if weapons of mass destruction were found in America
      before they were found in Iraq. But I am saying it was a mistake not to
      give this higher profile."

      For his part, Krar has remained silent. He will most likely be
      sentenced sometime in February, and could receive up to life in prison.
      His attorney, Tonda Curry, says the US government has no reason to be
      afraid of him. "It looks a whole lot worse than it is. He had a lot of
      things that most people would never have any desire to have, but much
      of what he had was perfectly legal."





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