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May 2009


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Archive for May 12th, 2009

Five of Six Convicted in Miami Terrorism Trial After 2 Mistrials

Suspects allegedly plotted to blow up the Sears Tower/istock photo
Suspects allegedly plotted to blow up the Sears Tower/istock photo

Talk about determination on the part of the government. First off, there were two mistrials. Then in this third trial, deliberations were interrupted after a juror got sick. Then came another interruption: another juror refused to deliberate and the judge finally dismissed her.

Miami Herald
MIAMI — After two previous mistrials, a federal jury Tuesday finally reached verdicts in the Bush-era terrorism case of six Miami men charged with conspiring with al Qaeda — convicting five and acquitting one.

The racially mixed jury convicted the Liberty City Six’s ringleader, Narseal Batiste, 35, along with four of his colleagues: Patrick Abraham, 29, Stanley Grant Phanor, 33, Rotschild Augustine, 25, and Burson Augustin, 24.

The only freed man: Naudimar Herrera, 25, who hugged the other defendants and his attorney, Richard Houlihan, after the verdicts, then cried outside the courtroom where he embraced his girlfriend.

”God is real,” said Herrera, who condemned the guilty verdicts for his fellow defendants. “It’s not right. They don’t deserve this. All of us were supposed to be innocent. It’s all B.S.

“They’re going to come back and fight this. It ain’t over.”

For Full Story

Hundreds of Employees Gather to Commemorate the Deaths of 54 FBI Agents Killed In the Line of Duty

By Allan Lengel
WASHINGTON — Hundreds of employees and a host of Washington luminaries including the current and former FBI directors gathered Tuesday at FBI headquarters to commemorate the deaths of 54 agents killed in the line of duty.

“We come together today because we have not forgotten the cost of freedom. We have not forgotten the sacrifices these men and women have made on our behalf, nor have we forgotten the sacrifices borne by the families and friends of those we have lost,” FBI Director Robert Mueller III said in his remarks.

The gathering, part of National Police Week, was attended by Attorney Gen. Eric Holder, Dep. Attorney Gen. David Ogden and former FBI directors William H. Webster and Louis J. Freeh.

The gathering marked the 30th year the ceremony has been held at FBI headquarters.

The FBI said the names of the following special agents were read while their photos were displayed during the service (click on each photo to read more about each agent):

Photograph of Edwin C. Shanahan

Edwin C. Shanahan
1898 – 1925

Photograph of Paul E. Reynolds

Paul E. Reynolds
1899 – 1929

Photograph of Raymond J. Caffrey

Raymond J. Caffrey
1902 – 1933

Photograph of W. Carter Baum

W. Carter Baum
1904 – 1934

Photograph of Samuel P. Cowley

Samuel P. Cowley
1899 – 1934

Photograph of Herman E. Hollis

Herman E. Hollis
1903 – 1934

Photograph of Nelson B. Klein

Nelson B. Klein
1898 – 1935

Photograph of Wimberly W. Baker

Wimberly W. Baker
1910 – 1937

Photograph of Truett E. Rowe

Truett E. Rowe
1904 – 1937

Photograph of William R. Ramsey

William R. Ramsey
1903 – 1938

Photograph of Hubert J. Treacy, Jr.

Hubert J. Treacy, Jr.
1913 – 1942

Photograph of Joseph J. Brock

Joseph J. Brock
1908 – 1952

Photograph of John Brady Murphy

John Brady Murphy
1917 – 1953

Photograph of Richard Purcell Horan

Richard Purcell Horan
1922 – 1957

Photograph of Terry R. Anderson

Terry R. Anderson
1924 – 1966

Photograph of Douglas M. Price

Douglas M. Price
1941 – 1968

Photograph of Anthony Palmisano

Anthony Palmisano
1942 – 1969

Photograph of Edwin R. Woodriffe

Edwin R. Woodriffe
1941 – 1969

Photograph of Gregory W. Spinelli

Gregory W. Spinelli
1949 – 1973

Photograph of Jack R. Coler

Jack R. Coler
1947 – 1975

Photograph of Ronald A. Williams

Ronald A. Williams
1947 – 1975

Photograph of Johnnie L. Oliver

Johnnie L. Oliver
1944 – 1979

Photograph of Charles W. Elmore

Charles W. Elmore
1945 – 1979

Photograph of Jared Robert Porter

Jared Robert Porter
1935 – 1979

Photograph of Robin L. Ahrens

Robin L. Ahrens
1952 – 1985

Photograph of Jerry L. Dove

Jerry L. Dove
1956 – 1986

Benjamin P. Grogan

Benjamin P. Grogan
1933 – 1986

Photograph of L. Douglas Abram

L. Douglas Abram
1942 – 1990

Photograph of John L. Bailey

John L. Bailey
1942 – 1990

Photograph of Martha Dixon Martinez

Martha Dixon Martinez
1959 – 1994

Photograph of Michael John Miller

Michael John Miller
1953 – 1994

Photograph of William Christian, Jr.

William Christian, Jr.
1946 – 1995

Photograph of Charles Leo Reed

Charles Leo Reed
1951 – 1996

Photograph of Leonard H. Hatton

Leonard W. Hatton
1956 – 2001

Photograph of Albert L. Ingle

Albert L. Ingle
1903 – 1931

Photograph of Percy E. Foxworth

Percy E. Foxworth
1906 – 1943

Photograph of Harold Dennis Haberfeld

Harold Dennis Haberfeld
1912 – 1943

Photograph of Richard Blackstone Brown

Richard Blackstone Brown
1916 – 1943

Photograph of Trenwith S. Basford

Trenwith S. Basford
1916 – 1977

Photograph of Mark A. Kirkland

Mark A. Kirkland
1944 – 1977

Photograph of Robert W. Conners

Robert W. Conners
1946 – 1982

Photograph of Charles L. Ellington

Charles L. Ellington
1946 – 1982

Photograph of Terry Burnett Hereford

Terry Burnett Hereford
1948 – 1982

Photograph of Michael James Lynch

Michael James Lynch
1947 – 1982

Photograph of James K. McAllister

James K. McAllister
1951 – 1986

Photograph of Scott K. Carey

Scott K. Carey
1952 – 1988

Photograph of Stanley Ronquest, Jr.

Stanley Ronquest, Jr.
1939 – 1992

Photograph of Paul A. Leveille

Paul A. LeVeille
1959 – 1999

Photograph of and link to Robert R. Hardesty

Robert R. Hardesty
1965 – 2005

Photograph of and link to Gregory J. Rahoi

Gregory J. Rahoi
1968 – 2006

Photograph of Barry Bush

Barry Bush
1955 – 2007

Photograph of Samuel Hicks

Samuel Hicks
1974 – 2008

Photograph of Sang T. Jun

Sang T. Jun
1972 – 2008

Photograph of Paul M. Sorce

Paul M. Sorce
1964 – 2009

The State of the White Supremacists

art by Sean McCabe
art by Sean McCabe

On the 8th floor of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, not far from the nation’s Capitol, Tom O’Connor, a veteran FBI agent on the domestic terrorism squad, recently sat down in a little office with editor Allan Lengel.

O’Connor, a former Northampton, Mass., police officer, who has been with the FBI since 1997, talked about the state of the white supremacist movement, the success some members have had running racist recording companies, the lack of leadership nationwide, the infighting and the impact of the Obama factor and the ailing economy.

“As the economy goes longer in a downturn, I think you’re going to see the recruitment being more successful just because people are angry at the government or angry at themselves more than anything else, but they blame everybody else,” O’Connor says.

“Guys who get involved in this stuff pretty much have pretty crappy lives. But they don’t take any responsibility for that crappy life that they have. They blame everybody else.”

The following is a condensed interview. The questions were edited for clarity. (O’Connor requested that his photo not be taken because he’s still working active cases).

After Sept. 11, the FBI shifted its focus to international terrorism. What has happened since then in terms of domestic terrorism and white supremacist groups?
The squads that had the primary investigative goal to work domestic groups, we’re still working those domestic groups. I’ve been on a domestic terrorism squad since 1997. And that hasn’t changed. Our thought is you don’t take your eye off the ball just because you have another ball on the court.

The White Power recording industry, how prominent is that in the whole movement?
They have their own style of music, white power music and there’s several white power recording labels that sell stuff, that normal everyday recording companies won’t do. Real hate music. If you listen to it, every other word is an n word. The mainstream won’t publish that stuff. And these people stepped in, and now it’s pretty easy to do a recording. It’s not like in the old days where you had to actually do vinyl. This is somebody with a cd player that pretty much burns thousands of discs and sells them, gives them away to kids at schools and that kind of stuff to try and get recruitments.

Is it more a propaganda tool or a money making tool?
Well, a money making tool and a propaganda tool.

Is it highly profitable?

There’s a lot of money being made by a small number of record labels. That’s where they run into problems where the person who is making money, a lot of times they end up destroying their company from within because they’re taking money and not doing things for the cause.
Have you been able to link the money being made from those records to any kind of illegal activities?
(Declines to comment).

How many major recording companies are there?
Three or four. You go on the Internet and just put in “white power music” and you’ll get all three of them.

Are they located in certain states?
Pretty much right across the country.

We keep hearing how the election of President Obama has impacted recruiting. Has it?
It’s the first African American president. And that, common sense wise , would say it may incense these guys who are actually already involved. In some of their recruitment fliers they’ll mention having a black president. I don’t think it has been as big a thing as I’ve heard people talk about it. It’s an issue, that’s for sure. If it were a Jewish president it would be an issue. It goes against their belief system. It’s definitely something that has fired them up a little bit. I don’t see it as being huge.You’ve got to take a look at it with a whole bunch of different factors ( like) the economy.

Have you got any sense that recruiting has picked up?
I think their attempts have picked up. Whether they have actually recruited people, it’s really too early to tell.

How has the economy played into this?
Things like being out of work, having more time on your hands, less money on your hands, your hatred toward the government — those type of things tend to increase  (hatred) as the economy goes up and down. If you have money coming in and you’re happy about everything going on, then you’re probably less likely to be a hater. If you’re sitting back and you have no job, the economy and loss of work will translate into family issues. It’s a bunch of issues that come together.

Obviously this is a terrible economy. Have you seen the impact here or it just hard to gage?
It’s still early on in this thing. You’re seeing an increase in recruitment efforts, whether those are successful or not…as the economy goes longer in a downturn, I think you’re going to see the recruitment being more successful just because people are angry at the government or angry at themselves more than anything else, but they blame everybody else. Guys who get involved in this stuff pretty much have pretty crappy lives. But they don’t take any responsibility for that crappy life that they have. They blame everybody else.

Have you seen them doing anything new in the last couple years?
A lot of the old time leaders in the past five years have passed away so that left a void in the old time leadership. Richard Butler, who organized the Aryan nations out in Coueur d’ Alene, Idaho, he’s gone. There was a lawsuit that was done against him by the Southern Poverty Law Center and they lost their compound in that lawsuit. That decimated that group. It was taken over by people who didn’t have the skills or the ability to run any type of an organization and it has pretty much fallen apart. You see the National Alliance back (in 2002) when you were doing the protest up here with Billy Roeper (a ranking member). The National Alliance was the largest neo-Nazi organization in the United States. It’s pitiful in size and numbers. Those old guys had old school thoughts. Those guys are gone and these new guys have not stepped up to the plate, which is a good thing for us.
So it sounds like the whole white supremacist movement, it hasn’t disappeared, but…
No it definitely hasn’t disappeared. The organizations may be in a weaker state. They still have the same number of people. They just don’t have the central figure to kind of bring them all together. It’s good in one way, it’s bad in other ways. . Now you have probably the same amount of people, but they’re much more fractured. Almost leaderless.

In terms of this area, West Virginia had a big white supremacist movement going. I was out at the Israeli embassy during the 2002 white supremacist march  and I was talking to Billy Roper of the National Alliance. Is he still involved?
There’s still groups those guys are leading. Different groups around the country will always have people who want to be the leader. And he’s one of the guys who wants to be a leader of a group. As the old time leaders die, William Pierce passed away, Richard Butler passed away, new people try to come in and take over the leadership of these large groups. Usually their gene pool is a little bit shallower than the person before them. And the group may have problems because financially they can’t raise the money to keep it going, or they have infighting, that type of stuff.

Are they more militant or less militant than their predecessors?
I think some of the older guys had old school visions, more political in nature. And some of the newer guys who may have been part of skinhead groups are more violent fringe groups, they try to push their extremism. And a lot of times, the majority of people who are involved in these things may dislike a lot of things, (but) they’re not willing to take it to a point of actual violence. The new leadership may be more violent leaders but don’t always get the number of people behind them. What we really worry about in this type of environment is — not the guys who want to stand on the courthouse steps and use their First Amendment rights to say things that you and I may not agree with– but the fringe of the fringe, the lone wolf or the person who has a couple people. That is much more difficult to track. They don’t have websites. They don’t have all these different things. That’s the person who’s going to commit criminal acts that we’re interested in. The other people, they have their right to hate.

How does the FBI deal with that?
A lot of times the people in their own community will see that someone has gone off the beaten path to a more extreme thing. And they may call in to the FBI or notify local police. They don’t want to see it happen. There’s people in the movement because they can make money doing it… record companies and all that stuff, it’s just a money making venture for a lot of them. If it goes beyond that, I don’t think they want to see it happen . It’s only going to hurt their movement or their cause if somebody does something.

The question is, should we be afraid of these groups?
We should always be vigilant. Timothy McVeigh, as an example, was a guy who was not completely linked up to any great organizations when he committed the bombing in Oklahoma City. Should a person like that be on our radar screen? Yeah.

Was there somewhat of a peeling back by these groups after Sept. 11?
After Sept. 11, on the Internet, there were a lot of writings that people involved in these groups put on supporting the Sept. 11 attacks. They’re anti-government and it was an attack on the United States. Some of the extremists within the extreme, felt almost a victory that an attack was played out. It’s clear on the Internet by some of their writings that they felt an attack on New York was an attack on the United States and the Jewish population. They liked that.

What about their Anti-Arab mentality?
It’s not just anti-Arab, it’s anti-anything but them.

Did that attack help in their recruiting or did it hurt their recruiting?
I think after 9/11 people of all types in the United States came together and that included even some of the people that were on the fringe of the extremist. But as everything changes, things change back.

How long did it take for there to be a shift again, where they said ‘ok we can hate the government again’?
Probably as long it took you and I to stop waiving at each other at the gas station and saying hello. As that goes , so does the extremist. Everybody after 9/11 was stopping and saying hello to people at the gas station, people were nodding and now it’s back to ‘I’m getting my gas and putting it in my car, I’m not going to say hello to anybody’.

How porous are these organizations? Is it easy to infiltrate? Is it easy to get informants?
That’s our job.Whether it be organized crime or terrorist organizations or domestic terrorist organizations here, international overseas, that’s our jobs to find the weaknesses, that’s what we do.

How about the Internet, how are seeing that being used for recruiting?
The Internet is the number one way that anybody does anything for a small business, whether it be for good or for bad. It’s the same thing for these guys. You can be the general for the ex-militia and it appears that you have dozens of, it not hundreds of members, but really you’re in your mother’s basement on your computer. It’s a way that they’re able to appear that there’s more of them than there actually are.

Where’s the limit on the Internet? Have some of them crossed the limit?
Sure. It’s a First Amendment limit. You can go pretty far with it. But they’ll definitely cross the line with threats against people. Small numbers will do that.

Are you able to take legal action once they cross that line?
If we’re made aware of the threat. Who ever receives the threat will notify the police or FBI. And then , as long as the attorneys, whether it be state attorneys or U.S. Attorneys, see the prosecution as viable, it will go forward.

Have you had any cases in this division here in the white supremacist community?
Yeah, we have.

Are you able to cite a particular case?

Because they haven’t been adjudicated?

What are the general activities that you see these days? Are there monthly meetings? Regular marches?
You remember when we were having all those marches? That was because they had a leadership that pushed that type of stuff. That’s gone. The National Socialist Movement came in March, they had 40 to 50 people show up here. Not any huge numbers. We haven’t seen the large demonstrations. I think the lack of leadership has a lot to do with it. Some of these guys, who become leaders of these groups are pretty good talkers, that’s how they get people to join up. And if you have somebody who can’t sit down and inspire people to join a hate group, then you have less ability to have large numbers to show up at rallies.

Do you still have groups that have monthly meetings?
That’s generally how these groups operate. We’re not interested in the monthly meeting, the rally on the courthouse steps, that’s First Amendment and really we’re not interested in it. We’re interested in the guy who stops going to the monthly meetings because all they’re doing is talking. And he wants to go out and do more. That’s the guy that comes up on our radar.

Are there guys that you’re aware of on the fringe that are raising red flags?
I’m not getting into any.. we wouldn’t have a job if there weren’t people on the fringe that we are concerned about. Their numbers are much smaller than the persons who are much more involved in the movement itself.

What about women? Is it more open to women these days?
These guys don’t want women in their organization, but they’ve got organizations for women. Like auxiliary membership. It’s always been that way. The majority of these guys, they’re not the brightest individuals in the world, so they’re probably much more chauvinistic. These guys are not very open minded obviously, so women are not treated as equals. I don’t know any who are in leadership roles. Women in the white power movement pretty much have a second seat, it hasn’t changed really.

In terms of odds alliances. It really struck me as particularly odd in 2002 when the white supremacists were protesting in front of the Israeli embassy in Washington and I remember one of the chants “Freedom for Palestine, a Rope for Every Finklestein”. And I just found it very odd. And I know the Palestinians found it very odd.

The baseline is anything anti-Israel, anti-Jewish, is the main theme of the majority of these organizations. If Israel comes into play or the Jewish community comes into play, these guys are going to be against it. And if there’s somebody who’s against the Israeli state, they’re going to be supportive of them in some manner because ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend’ to the point where we’ll make these chants. The lesser of the two evils in their mind is the Palestinians, so they’ll use that, plus they know it angers the Israelis at the Israeli embassy that these guys are outside, a bunch of skinheads sitting there screaming pro-Palestinian stuff.

Is there any form of alliance or communication with the white supremacist groups?
I think the Internet is the form of communication. All these groups have websites. If you want to contact them they can be contacted. If you’re a kid in some location and you don’t have a group there, you can go on line and contact that group.

Are there any new groups in the last few years that have popped up?
There’s always new groups. They splinter.

Does that happen a lot?
It happens constantly. They constantly are having infighting which causes new groups to spring up.

Is a lot of it a conflict over who should be in power or theory over who we should hate or how much we should hate?

I think in the old days, with the guys like George Lincoln Rockwell and William Pierce there may have been a lot more discussion and falling out over theory. With these knuckleheads now of days it’s a lot more about money issues, who’s sleeping with whose wife; all the things that come along with just ignorant leadership. That’s why they split up and start new groups. You don’t have to get a charter to start a new group. I can just go and call myself “Big Bald White Guy Group” and if anybody wants to join, there you go.

As far as groups, we know they hate the blacks, the Jews,  the Asians. Is it basically the oldies but goodies?

It really comes down to anybody who’s not them. Gays are a target of these guys. Blacks are a target. Asians are a target. And I say a target, in that they’re the ones they don’t like. Anybody who’s not a white guy. In all honesty, a percentage of these guys, and they’ll do it themselves, within the groups, where they track back, and they go back a very short distance back and find out these (members) may not be all that white either. And that starts infighting between them that someone in the group may have other blood in them.

To Read More About Hate Groups Go to the Southern Poverty Law Center website

Chicago FBI Agent Closer to Publishing Book Critical of Agency’s Investigations of Islamic Groups

chicagomapIt’s not good when a federal judge, as in this case, refers to the FBI’s efforts as censoring. The publicity from the book will be bad for the FBI, but so will its efforts to try and keep the agent from publishing it.

By Todd Lighty
Chicago Tribune

A Chicago-based FBI agent has moved a step closer to publishing a book that he says reveals how the bureau mishandled investigations in the 1990s into fundraising by Hamas and other militant Islamic groups.

Agent Robert G. Wright Jr. has been battling his bosses in court for seven years to be allowed to publish his book critical of the FBI’s ability to protect the United States from terrorists. The bureau has challenged Wright’s efforts to go public with his story, arguing at different times that publication would reveal law-enforcement secrets or interfere with investigations.

But a federal judge in the District of Columbia last week rejected nearly every FBI argument to stop release of Wright’s 500-page manuscript, “Fatal Betrayals.”

“This is a sad and discouraging tale about the determined efforts of the FBI to censor various portions” of Wright’s manuscript, U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler wrote.

For Full Story


Houston Fed Judge Gets Nearly 3 Years in Case Involving Sexual Abuse of 2 Female Employees

Judge Samuel Kent

Judge Samuel Kent

This is not only a major embarrassment to the judge, but to the federal judiciary.

Associated Press
HOUSTON – A disgraced federal judge was sentenced yesterday to nearly three years in prison for lying to investigators about sexually abusing two female employees, who said that they feared him so much they hid from him in the courthouse.

U.S. District Judge Samuel Kent stared at the floor while the women described years of harassment and abuse at the Galveston courthouse, where he wielded great authority as the only federal judge.

He could have received up to 20 years in prison, but prosecutors said that they wouldn’t seek more than three years under a plea agreement. He also was fined $1,000 and ordered to pay $6,550 in restitution to the secretary and case manager whose complaints resulted in the first sex-abuse case ever against a sitting federal judge.

The women whom Kent abused told federal Judge Roger Vinson a that they came to work scared that Kent might find them, and even neglected to answer courthouse phones to avoid him.

Cathy McBroom, Kent’s former case manager, said that he had “bragged” about his ability to intimidate people. “He told me everyone was afraid of him.” McBroom’s complaint began the case, which expanded when allegations from the judge’s secretary Donna Wilkerson were added.

Suspected Nazi Guard John Demjanjuk Finally Makes it to Germany to Stand Trial

John Demjanjuk/msnbc

John Demjanjuk/msnbc

After one appeal after another, suspected Nazi John Demjanjuk made it to Germany to stand trial. Questions remain: Will he be physically fit to stand trial and will some legal entanglements keep him from trial?

New York Times
BERLIN — John Demjanjuk of Seven Hills, Ohio, born Ivan Demjanjuk in Ukraine in 1920, was deported for the second time by the United States on Monday, accused of crimes committed as a Nazi death-camp guard.

The first time was 23 years ago, and he was bound for worldwide notoriety, accused of being the unfathomably cruel ”Ivan the Terrible of Treblinka,” one of the Holocaust’s most infamous sadists. He was convicted and sentenced to death in Israel, before new evidence won him a reprieve and eventually a trip back to the United States and the return of his stripped citizenship.

But the wheels of justice began to grind again, and the whole process has repeated itself step by step. Monday night, a frailer Mr. Demjanjuk, now 89 and once again stateless, boarded a special medically equipped airplane, this time bound for Germany, federal officials said, where he is accused of being an accessory in the murder of 29,000 Jews while working as a guard at the Sobibor death camp in eastern Poland.

Investigators say that the documentary evidence is strong and that they will be able to prove that Mr. Demjanjuk was a living cog in a killing factory, where some 250,000 people were put to death in just one and a half years of operation.

For Full Story