US military to probe extremists in ranks
Known for his commentary on international relations and US politics, Rupert Cornwell also contributes obituaries and occasionally even a column for the sports pages. With The Independent since its launch in 1986, he was the paper's first Moscow correspondent - covering the collapse of the Soviet Union – during which time he won two British Press Awards. Previously a foreign correspondent for the Financial Times and Reuters, he has also been a diplomatic correspondent, leader writer and columnist, and has served as Washington bureau editor. In 1983 he published God's Banker, about Roberto Calvi, the Italian banker found hanging from Blackfriars Bridge.
Thursday 14 December 1995
A black couple, Michael James and Jackie Burden, were killed on the streets of Fayetteville, North Carolina, near the base of the 82nd Airborne Division. Three soldiers of the elite 82nd have been charged with the crime, committed after a night's drinking. All three have admitted to being neo-Nazi sympathisers.
The inquiry, to be completed within three months, will take investigators to units stationed across the US, Europe and Asia. Hitherto the military, 30 per cent of whose personnel are black, has been held up as the most integrated institution in US life. But specialists say white supremacists and other far-right groups are proliferating within the armed forces as well.
The most alarming evidence came in April, with the Oklahoma City bombing that killed more than 160 people. According to the indictment, it was carried out by two former army enlistees with close links to the separatist militias to be found across the country, but especially in the South and West.
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