Mindanao Times

FBI tackles extremists

- BY PAUL HANDLEY

ONE MAN had three assault rifles, extra-large magazines and a gas mask. Another had over 18 weapons, including sawed-off shotguns, AR-15s, and a grenade launcher.

Earlier this year, the two might not have drawn the attention of US law enforcemen­t.

But ever since a young racist slaughtere­d 22 at a Texas Walmart, and another man murdered 10 in Ohio three weekends ago, the FBI has arrested at least seven right-wing extremists in what appears to be a more earnest effort to target white nationalis­t threats in the United States.

- Vaults of guns, crates of ammunition -

These are some examples of the deeply disturbing cases.

On August 8, a 23-yearold Las Vegas security guard who communicat­ed with neo-Nazis was arrested with bomb-making materials and indication­s he might target a synagogue or gay nightclub.

A week later, a Connecticu­t man, 22, was detained after suggesting online that he would carry out a mass shooting. At his home, investigat­ors found multiple hand and long guns, camouflage outfits, titanium body armor and a combat helmet.

On August 12, an 18-year-old who voiced support for mass shootings was indicted for threatenin­g to kill law enforcemen­t officers. At his home, he had a vault full of weapons and 10,000 rounds of ammunition.

Four days after that, Florida police arrested a 25-year-old man who texted his girlfriend that he was planning a mass shooting and envisioned “100 good kills.”

On August 17, a 20-year-old white nationalis­t was arrested in Ohio for threatenin­g a Jewish community center. At his home, he had amassed multiple semi-automatic assault rifles, high-capacity magazines, and a gas mask. And this week, police in Long Beach, California, arrested a man for making a mass shooting threat, and found at his home several illegal assault rifles, thousands of rounds of ammunition, and highcapaci­ty magazines.

- FBI waking up The arrests brought to light the extent of the threat of extremist ideology on the right, and its ability to motivate uniformly young, white men into acting on their hate.

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