In the 10 years since the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing killed 168 people, roughly 60 right-wing terrorist plots have been uncovered in the United States, according to an upcoming report by the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project. The plots, all foiled by law enforcement, reportedly included violent plans by antigovernment militia groups, racist skinhead organizations, and Ku Klux Klan members to use various types of chemical bombs and other weapons.
The plots demonstrate that the Department of Homeland Security still needs to closely monitor right-wing groups, says Heidi Beirich, with the Intelligence Project. The DHS was criticized by hate-group experts in April when an internal planning document on domestic terrorist threats was leaked to the press. The DHS report listed radical leftist groups, such as the Animal Liberation Front and the Earth Liberation Front, which have been involved in numerous arson cases, but not violent right-wing militia and skinhead groups.
Rep. Bennie G. Thompson of Mississippi, the ranking Democrat on the House Committee on Homeland Security, is calling for the DHS to do more to fight right-wing domestic terror groups and to work more closely with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. “The FBI has a considerably more thorough view of domestic terrorism than DHS,” says Thompson. The DHS has said that the internal document was never intended to be made public and does not represent all its assessments on domestic terrorism.
Some of the more recent right-wing terror plots listed in the Intelligence Project report include:
• May 20, 2005: Two New Jersey men, Craig Orler and Gabriel Garafa, who allegedly belong to neo-Nazi and skinhead groups, were charged with illegally selling to police informants guns and 60 pounds of urea to use in a bomb.
• Oct. 25, 2004: FBI agents in Tennessee arrested Demetrius “Van” Crocker after he allegedly tried to purchase ingredients for deadly sarin nerve gas and C-4 plastic explosives from an undercover agent. Crocker, who was involved with white supremacist groups, was charged with trying to get explosives to destroy a building and faces more than 20 years in prison.
• April 10, 2003: The FBI raided the home of William Krar, of Noonday, Texas, and discovered an arsenal of more than 500,000 rounds of ammunition, 65 pipe bombs and remote control briefcase bombs, and almost 2 pounds of sodium cyanide, enough to make a bomb that could kill everyone in a large building. Krar, reportedly associated with white supremacist groups, was sentenced to 11 years in prison for possession of a chemical weapon.