FBI arrest militia linked to bomb conspiracy - World - News - The Independent

FBI arrest militia linked to bomb conspiracy

US federal agents have arrested another suspect in a continuing round- up of members of the "Viper Militia", the far-right paramilitary group in Arizona accused of plotting to blow up government buildings in a scheme uncannily similar to the Oklahoma City bombing of April 1995.

On the basis of evidence thus far released by prosecutors, the group does not appear to have actually carried out any attacks. However, a host of signs suggest it is an especially violent and well-armed specimen of the paranoid anti-government groups that have been dragged into the spotlight over the past 14 months.

Foremost among these signs is what prosecutors claim is a 1994 video made by the group, amounting to a reconnaissance tour of targets in the Phoenix area - not only representatives of hated federal agencies like the Internal Revenue, the FBI, the US Secret Service and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, but also buildings housing local law-enforcement bodies such as the Phoenix police, the Arizona national guard, as well as a television station.

A voice-over on the tape describes how each target could be destroyed, complete with details of the buildings' support structures, plans to destroy gas and water mains to hamper firefighters and rescuers, and for "anti-personnel" bombs to be planted in nearby mailboxes. These would explode as survivors tried to escape.

Nor was this idle talk. Police say that only two months ago, on 1 May, Viper Militia members claimed to have stockpiled 1,700lb of ammonium nitrate, the same ingredient which, mixed with fuel, made up the two-ton truck bomb that wrecked the Alfred P Murrah federal building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people.

On Monday a six-month undercover infiltration scheme came to a climax with the arrest of 134 people, 11 men and two women. As they picked up the suspects at their homes, police found 400lb of the chemical as well as some 200 guns. A "potentially dangerous situation," had been defused, the Attorney General, Janet Reno, said.

Thus far no links have been established between the Viper Militia and the Oklahoma bombing. But the arrests only underscore the appeal of remote Arizona, with its frontier traditions, as a training ground for separatist groups, determined to avenge incidents like the FBI siege at Ruby Ridge, Idaho, in 1992 and the federal agents' assault at Waco the following year.

Far-right extremists are believed responsible for the October 1995 sabotage of the Sunset Express train as it crossed the deserts of western Arizona. The state was also home to Timothy McVeigh, one of the two men charged with carrying out the Oklahoma bombing. He is due to go on trial later this year.

Suggested Topics
News
Paper trail: the wedding photograph found in the rubble after 9/11 – it took Elizabeth Keefe 13 years to find the people in it
newsWho are the people in this photo? It took Elizabeth Stringer Keefe 13 years to find out
Arts and Entertainment
Evil eye: Douglas Adams in 'mad genius' pose
booksNew biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Sport
FootballFull debuts don't come much more stylish than those on show here
News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
Kim Kardashian drawn backlash over her sexy swimsuit selfie, called 'disgusting' and 'nasty'
fashionCritics say magazine only pays attention to fashion trends among rich, white women
Arts and Entertainment
TVShows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Arts and Entertainment
Hit the roof: hot-tub cinema east London
architectureFrom pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
Travel
travel
News
The ecological reconstruction of Ikrandraco avatar is shown in this illustration courtesy of Chuang Zhao. Scientists on September 11, 2014 announced the discovery of fossils in China of a type of flying reptile called a pterosaur that lived 120 millions years ago and so closely resembled those creatures from the 2009 film, Avatar that they named it after them.
SCIENCE
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Matisse: The Cut-Outs exhibition attracted 562,000 visitors to the Tate Modern from April to September
art
Life and Style
Models walk the runway at the Tom Ford show during London Fashion Week Spring Summer 2015
fashionLondon Fashion Week 2014
News
Kenny G
news
News
peopleThe black actress has claimed police mistook her for a prostitute when she kissed her white husband
Life and Style
techIndian model comes with cricket scores baked in
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

History Teacher

£110 - £160 per day + Mileage & Expenses: Randstad Education Leeds: Required i...

Nursery Nurse

£7 - £8 per day: Randstad Education Bristol: Nursery Nurse jobs in South Glouc...

English Teacher needed for long term cover

£110 - £130 per day + Competitive rates of pay TBA: Randstad Education Reading...

SEN Teaching Assistant

Negotiable: Randstad Education Bristol: Supply special needs assistants Jobs i...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week