Feds: Men got terror ideas from underground novel

Thursday, Nov. 3, 2011 3:45 AM
Last updated 3:51 AM
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GAINESVILLE, Ga. — In the violent underground novel "Absolved," right-wing militia members upset about gun control make war against the U.S. government. This week, federal prosecutors accused four elderly Georgia men of plotting to use the book as a script for a real-life wave of terror and assassination involving explosives and the highly lethal poison ricin.

The four suspected militia members allegedly boasted of a "bucket list" of government officials who needed to be "taken out"; talked about scattering ricin from a plane or a car speeding down a highway past major U.S. cities; and scouted IRS and ATF offices, with one man saying, "We'd have to blow the whole building like Timothy McVeigh."

Federal investigators said they had them under surveillance for at least seven months, infiltrating their meetings at a Waffle House, homes and other places, before finally arresting them Tuesday, just days after discovering evidence they were trying to extract ricin from castor beans.

"While many are focused on the threat posed by international violent extremists, this case demonstrates that we must also remain vigilant in protecting our country from citizens within our own borders who threaten our safety and security," said U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates.

The four gray-haired men — Frederick Thomas, 73; Dan Roberts, 67; Ray Adams, 65; and Samuel Crump, 68 — appeared in federal court Wednesday without entering a plea and were jailed for a bail hearing next week. They apparently had trouble hearing the judge, some of them cupping their ears.

Thomas and Roberts were charged with conspiring to buy an explosive device and an illegal silencer. Prosecutors would not say whether the men actually obtained the items. Adams and Crump were charged with conspiring to make a biological toxin.

Relatives of two of the men said the charges were baseless. The public defender assigned to the case had no comment.

Prosecutors said that Thomas was the ringleader and that he talked of carrying out the sort of actions described in "Absolved," an online novel written by former Alabama militia leader Mike Vanderboegh. In the book, the militia members build rifle grenades and drop explosives from crop dusters.

In the book's introduction, Vanderboegh calls it a "cautionary tale for the out-of-control gun cops of the ATF."

"For that warning to be credible, I must also present what amounts to a combination field manual, technical manual and call to arms for my beloved gunnies of the armed citizenry," he writes. "They need to know how powerful they could truly be if they were pushed into a corner."

In an interview, Vanderboegh said he didn't know the four men and bears no responsibility for the alleged plot.

"I'm glad that the FBI has apparently short-circuited some weak-minded individuals from misinterpreting my novel," he said.

Last year, Vanderboegh was denounced for calling on citizens to throw bricks through the windows of local Democratic headquarters across the country to protest President Barack Obama's health care plan. Several such incidents occurred. Vanderboegh has also appeared as a commentator on Fox News Channel.

Vanderboegh wrote on his blog Wednesday that his book was fiction and that he was skeptical a "pretty geriatric" militia could carry out the attacks the men were accused of planning.

But Kent Alexander, a former U.S. attorney in Atlanta, said he wouldn't write off the men as harmless just because of their age: "Crime doesn't have a retirement age. These guys are older than one usually sees, but criminals come in all ages."

Donnie Dixon, another former U.S. attorney, said: "I would find it extremely difficult to think they could carry out a plot of such grandiose design, which doesn't mean they should not have been nipped in the bud just like they were." He said it would not have required anything grandiose "to cause a lot of problems or hurt a lot of people."

Thomas' wife, Charlotte, told The Associated Press the charges were "baloney."

"He spent 30 years in the U.S. Navy. He would not do anything against his country," she said. "He loves his country."

Roberts' wife, Margaret, said her husband retired from the sign business and lives on a pension. "He's never been in trouble with the law. He's not anti-government," she said. "He would never hurt anybody."

Ricin is a castor-bean extract whose potential as a deadly biological weapon has long been known. In 1978, Bulgarian defector Georgi Markov was assassinated in London with a ricin pellet believed to have been fired from the tip of an umbrella.

Prosecutors wouldn't comment outside court Wednesday on exactly what steps the men took to get their hands on ricin. But they pointed out in court records that the two men allegedly assigned to obtain or make the ricin had useful backgrounds: Adams used to be a lab technician for a U.S. Department of Agriculture agency, and Crump once worked for a contractor who did maintenance at the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Also, Roberts claimed to know a former U.S. soldier who was a "loose cannon" and might be able to help them make ricin, according to court papers.

An informant saw lab equipment and a glass beaker at Adams' home in October, and a bean obtained by the informant tested positive for ricin, prosecutors said.

Thomas is also accused of driving to Atlanta with an informant to case buildings that house the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the IRS and other agencies. During the trip, Thomas allegedly said: "There's two schools of thought on this: Go for the feds or go for the locals. And I'm inclined to consider both. We'd have to blow the whole building like Timothy McVeigh."

Thomas also allegedly boasted of making a "bucket list" of government employees, politicians, businessmen and media members. Court records quoted him as saying: "There is no way for us, as militiamen, to save this country, to save Georgia, without doing something that's highly, highly illegal: Murder."

He also allegedly told an informant: "I could shoot ATF and IRS all day long. All the judges and the DOJ (Department of Justice) and the attorneys and prosecutors."

Court documents accused Crump of suggesting ricin could be dropped from the air or blown out of a car to attack people in Washington; Newark, N.J.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Atlanta and New Orleans.

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shrimp for breakfast
5456
Points
shrimp for breakfast 11/03/11 - 06:06 am
0
0
I had no idea they could

I had no idea they could read.

seenitB4
87304
Points
seenitB4 11/03/11 - 08:50 am
0
0
I think the wives have it

I think the wives have it right.....maybe they just want free health care in jail....free meals....free hearing aids....free wheelchairs....
just wondering if the informant was the one driving around downtown Atlanta because most of the NorthGa. locals can't stand to come to the beeg city.....
Let me see now... they have trouble hearing---they meet at a public place called the waffle house...I'm sure they have to talk with a loud voice or otherwise they couldn't hear each other.....so everyone in the restaurant could hear them...at their age it would probably take forever just to get going....
I will be interested to see how this pans out.

bjphysics
36
Points
bjphysics 11/03/11 - 09:30 am
0
0
“Fox Geezer Syndrome” “I

“Fox Geezer Syndrome”

“I started to wonder how common this Fox Geezer Syndrome was. I began to poll conservative friends of my generation who had right-wing parents. At least eight different people – not an Obama voter among them, and one of them actually a George W. Bush political appointee in Washington – told me that yes, they had observed a correlation between the fevered emotionalism of their elderly parents’ politics, and increased exposure to Fox News.”

http://www.frumforum.com/fox-geezer-syndrome

Chillen
17
Points
Chillen 11/03/11 - 09:38 am
0
0
@bjphysics. Why are you

@bjphysics. Why are you continually providing quotes & links to liberal web sites? We can read internet articles for ourselves.

Please tell the supervisors of the paid liberal chat rooms that we aren't listening to their minions.

bjphysics
36
Points
bjphysics 11/03/11 - 09:53 am
0
0
carcraft
25928
Points
carcraft 11/03/11 - 11:38 am
0
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Bjphysics-Fox syndrome maybe

Bjphysics-Fox syndrome maybe related to the fact that Fox is the only news organization that reports the truth about what is going on and it is enough to get even the Pope's femine under garments in a much denser form than is found during the normal course of wear!

bjphysics
36
Points
bjphysics 11/03/11 - 12:00 pm
0
0
Fox News photo manipulation

Fox News photo manipulation case1

“…photos depict New York Times reporter Jacques Steinberg with yellowed teeth, ‘his nose and chin widened, and his ears made to protrude further.’”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:FNC_Controversy_Steinberg.png

bjphysics
36
Points
bjphysics 11/03/11 - 12:01 pm
0
0
Fox News photo manipulation

Fox News photo manipulation case2

“The other image, of Times television editor Steven Reddicliffe, had similar yellow teeth, as well as ‘dark circles ... under his eyes, and his hairline has been moved back.’”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:FNC_Controversy_Reddicliffe.png

carcraft
25928
Points
carcraft 11/03/11 - 05:36 pm
0
0
Bjphysics- Doesn't quite

Bjphysics- Doesn't quite compare to using forged documents to torpedo Bush, ignore climate gate (and here is a tidbit for you www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/.../Scientists-said-climate-change-sc... it is interesting this isn't carried in American papers! This is a Georgia Tech Scientist who is disputing Muller), ignore Vqan Jones, carry misleading stories about McCain, goes all the way back to fixing gas tanks to blow up..LOL I'll take a few pictures that look that they came off a bad monitor any day compared to the Lame stream. Say where are all those news stories about the effect the bad economy is having on the poor like the alphebet soup stations did when Bush was President?

bjphysics
36
Points
bjphysics 11/03/11 - 05:54 pm
0
0
carcraft, your perception of

carcraft, your perception of what constitutes journalist and scientific malfeasance and what constitutes journalist and scientific error is bizarre but not surprising.

carcraft
25928
Points
carcraft 11/03/11 - 07:18 pm
0
0
Bjphysics- I find it bizarre

Bjphysics- I find it bizarre you don't have a video link that explains it to me, that is surprising! Publishing an report that is at odds with your co researchs interpretation of the statistics isn't an error but I would think malfeasance. Using documents (60 minuets) that the document examiner says has problems is malfeasance.

carcraft
25928
Points
carcraft 11/03/11 - 07:17 pm
0
0
What is placing an igniter

What is placing an igniter under a vehicle so the gas tank explodes to demonsrate a design error in a vehicle (mind you the engineers that designed the vehicle didn't have an igniter there), what is that? error or malfeasance. OH well..a good story, but just that a story..

allhans
23668
Points
allhans 11/03/11 - 10:36 pm
0
0
I am in touch with senior

I am in touch with senior citizens on a regular basis and I promise you they have no use for radical behavior. And don't you dare tell these old men that the rabid radicals are conservatives, not to their face, anyhow. They LOVE their country!
They don't care what you say otherwise, they say nobody is listening....

Willow Bailey
20580
Points
Willow Bailey 11/03/11 - 11:23 pm
0
0
Well, unless the group had

Well, unless the group had Alzheimer's Disease, they don't get to talk like this without someone taking them very seriously. Too bad, but don't think their wives can get them out of this one. And a public defender? Not good.

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