Tuesday, March 30, 2010

"Christian Militia Group" or Terrorists?

Group Charges with Plotting to Murder Law Officers:

In an indictment against the nine [defendants] unsealed on Monday, the Justice Department said they were part of a group of apocalyptic Christian militants who were plotting to kill law enforcement officers in hopes of inciting an antigovernment uprising, the latest in a recent surge in right-wing militia activity.

The court filing said the group, which called itself the Hutaree, planned to kill an unidentified law enforcement officer and then bomb the funeral caravan using improvised explosive devices based on designs used against American troops by insurgents in Iraq.

“This is an example of radical and extremist fringe groups which can be found throughout our society,” Andrew Arena, the F.B.I. special agent in charge in Detroit, said in a statement. “The F.B.I. takes such extremist groups seriously, especially those who would target innocent citizens and the law enforcement officers who protect the citizens of the United States.”
Thus, they are not an "extremist group" or a "militia", they're a terrorist organization. As my friend Chris put it, they are not a "Christian Militia Group" any more than al-Qaeda is a "Muslim Militia Group." Take a look at these guys, with their training and recruitment videos (I really would like to ask potential terrorists: how does going across monkey bars prepare you for Armageddon?) and armor. Do they look like "Christian Warriors" to you?

They're insurgents who, according to the indictment, planned on using "trip-wired improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, for what they expected would become a violent standoff with law enforcement personnel."

So why the different labels? As I opined back in February, we seem to be hung up on the idea that "terrorists" can't be doughy white guys who rant against the government. If you look at the picture from the link above and imagine all of those guys being Arabic-descent young males, we'd be "hunkering down, buying duct tape, and gearing up for another surge somewhere."

I'll say it again: whether a "lone wolf" flying his plane into the I.R.S. or a "crazed gunman" shooting at the Pentagon, we don't seem to want to acknowledge what is most obvious: terrorism is coming from within, not from outside the country. And until we do, the "war on terror" is only so much meaningless, political pablum.

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