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The Independent Online
Twelve private militia members were arrested yesterday on charges of plotting to bomb government offices in Arizona, federal officials announced. The US Attorney General Janet Reno said the 12 had trained to use explosives to destroy buildings in the Phoenix area. The buildings house the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the Internal Revenue Service, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, the Secret Service, the Phoenix Police Department and the Arizona National Guard.

The paramilitary group, which called itself the "Viper Militia," engaged in field training exercises in which members made and detonated ammonium nitrate bombs and rockets, according to a seven-count indictment unsealed in Phoenix. An investigative panel said several members also trained with automatic weapons. The indictment described a videotape made by the group in which a member discussed approaches, security measures, communications equipment, fences and adjacent structures at the various target locations. The tape also provides suggestions for placing explosives so that they cause the buildings to collapse. AP - Washington