Montana Freemen close to deal
Friday 14 June 1996
What FBI agents had confidently predicted would be the last day of the longest siege in US law enforcement history began with a morning of confusion. Media crews, kept more than two miles away, struggled to interpret the movements of people and cars shuttling between the ranch and FBI checkpoints.
For the first time, it was reported, two FBI vehicles were allowed to enter the compound. "The agreement is moving forward," an FBI source said, after the Freemen had reportedly agreed to give up.
But the eccentric nature of the stand-off from start to finish, and a series of earlier aborted deals, left no one certain that the 16 people left inside would finally walk out.
On 25 March the FBI arrested two leaders of the Freemen in a sting operation. For nearly three months the bureau has been playing cat and mouse with those left inside, determined to avoid a shooting match with people who, though heavily armed, were only accused of white-collar crimes. The Freemen say the US Government is unconstitutional; they concoct courts and banks of their own. But their bizarre beliefs crossed the line to criminal activity after followers used millions of dollars worth of fake cheques to pay off debts and tax bills and a local judge was threatened with death.
The key to yesterday's planned surrender was a deal for the Freemen to hand over alleged evidence of government misdoings to a third party for safekeeping. Members of the Cause Foundation, a legal group with close associations with far right activists, were acting as intermediaries.
- 2 The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
- 3 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
- 4 The top 50 cities for young people to live in
General Election 2015: Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind as he casts a line to the disaffected of Grimsby
Oxygen-starved 'dead zones' with no marine life up to 100-miles long discovered in the Atlantic Ocean
The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
Indonesia executions: Death row British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford will refuse to wear a blindfold when she faces firing squad
Russian warships accused of 'chasing away' Swedish vessel to prevent Baltic States from achieving energy independence
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...
£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...
£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...
£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...