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Briefcase Bombers Caught

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  • ummyakoub
    Feds: What did Texas couple plan to do with cyanide? USA Today January 30, 2004 http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2004-01-30-texas_x.htm NOONDAY, Texas (AP)
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 4, 2004
      Feds: What did Texas couple plan to do with cyanide?
      USA Today
      January 30, 2004

      NOONDAY, Texas (AP) — William Krar and Judith Bruey assembled a
      frightening arsenal in three rented storage units in this East Texas
      town, and federal authorities are trying to figure out why.

      Authorities found nearly half a million rounds of ammunition, 60
      pipe bombs, machine guns, and remote-controlled bombs disguised as

      A raid in April found nearly two pounds of a cyanide compound and
      other chemicals that could create enough poisonous gas to kill
      everyone inside a space as large as a big-chain bookstore or a small-
      town civic center.

      Authorities also discovered nearly half a million rounds of
      ammunition, more than 60 pipe bombs, machine guns, silencers and
      remote-controlled bombs disguised as briefcases, plus pamphlets on
      how to make chemical weapons, and anti-Semitic, anti-black and anti-
      government books.

      The findings have led to one of the most extensive domestic-
      terrorism investigations since the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.

      Federal investigators believe conspirators may remain free, and one
      question lingers: What did the couple intend to do with the weapons?

      "There's no other reason for anyone to possess that type of device
      other than to kill people," said Brit Featherston, a federal
      prosecutor and the government's anti-terrorism coordinator in Texas'
      eastern district. "The arsenal found in those searches had the
      capability of terrorizing a lot of people."

      In November, Krar, 62, pleaded guilty to possessing a dangerous
      chemical weapon. He could go to prison, but the law does not specify
      a minimum or maximum. Bruey, 54, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to
      possess illegal weapons and could get up to five years in prison.
      The couple remain in jail. Sentencing is expected sometime in

      Krar and Bruey moved to a house in Tyler from New Hampshire about
      two years ago, though federal authorities do not know why.

      They soon rented space at Noonday Storage and for more than a year
      visited their units each morning, spending hours unloading U-hauls
      of military surplus items or picking through piles of bathing suits
      and beer coolers they said they resold at shops and markets.

      "We never had any problems out of them and never suspected anything
      out of them," said Teresa Staples, who owns the storage business in
      this community of 500 people about 100 miles southeast of Dallas.

      A mistake led the FBI to Krar two years ago.

      Krar mailed a package to a self-described militia member in New
      Jersey. The package included several phony documents — U.N. and
      Pentagon ID cards, a Social Security card, birth certificates from
      three states — and a note: "We would hate to have this fall into the
      wrong hands."

      But that was exactly what happened.

      The package was mistakenly delivered to a man in New York City, who
      notified authorities. It was traced back to Krar, and the intended
      recipient, Edward Feltus, 56, of Old Bridge, N.J., pleaded guilty to
      aiding and abetting the transportation of false identification
      documents. He could get up to 15 years in prison.

      Krar's attorney, Tonda Curry, acknowledges that Krar owned illegal
      weapons, but said there is no evidence he planned to use them.

      "It was not a situation where they were at arm's reach, ready to
      respond to some invasion. They were miles away stored," she
      said. "Nothing I've seen from the government or from him indicates
      that the United States as a country had any reason to be afraid of
      Bill Krar."

      But federal investigators believe Krar's past behavior indicates his
      potential for domestic terrorism.

      In 1985, Krar was arrested in New Hampshire for impersonating a law
      enforcement officer, according to the FBI. He stopped paying federal
      income taxes in 1989. His ties to New Hampshire's white supremacist
      and anti-government militia groups in the mid-1990s were
      investigated by federal agents.

      Firefighters battling a blaze at a New Hampshire storage building in
      June 2001 discovered thousands of rounds of ammunition and four
      guns. Some belonged to Krar.

      An employee at another New Hampshire storage company told
      investigators she feared Krar because he was "wicked anti-American,"
      often ranting about government corruption and how he hated police
      officers and Americans in general because they were "money-hungry
      grubs," according to an FBI affidavit.

      Last January, a Tennessee state trooper stopped Krar for a traffic
      violation and found in his rental car two handguns, a grenade,
      handcuffs, a gas mask, 16 knives and 40 wine-like bottles filled
      with an unknown substance.

      Most curious were handwritten notes that listed "meeting places,"
      including hospitals or Wal-Marts in Pennsylvania, Virginia,
      Tennessee, Mississippi and Louisiana. The notes also outlined a code
      for referring to the level of danger, from "Lots of light storms are
      predicted" to "Tornadoes are expected in our area — Things very hot.
      Lay low or change your travel plans."

      Krar told investigators the code was part a plan to help his
      girlfriend escape her ex-husband.

      Despite the warning signs, Krar was not fully investigated until the
      fake documents went to the wrong address. And even that red flag may
      have been ignored if not for the heightened attention after Sept.
      11, Featherston said.

      Some contend the government is so focused on foreign terror threats
      that it overlooks domestic dangers.

      "I have no doubt whatsoever that had these men been affiliated with
      al-Qaeda, we would have heard more," said Daniel Levitas, author of
      the book "The Terrorist Next Door: The Militia Movement and the
      Radical Right." "There is something of a blind spot within the
      Justice Department in Washington, D.C., when it comes to the violent
      potential of America's own homegrown version of al-Qaeda."

      Featherston said hundreds of subpoenas were issued and the Texas
      case was investigated just as thoroughly as foreign cases.

      "There's international terrorism and domestic terrorism, but they're
      all terrorism," he said. "I don't care which one it is or what color
      their skin is. If their intention is to do harm to the citizens of
      this country, then all the resources necessary from the local level
      to the federal level will be put into the case."




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