The men, all aged 65 and over, were recorded telling an F.B.I. informant that they wanted to kill federal judges, Internal Revenue Service employees and agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, according to court documents.Ricin is a bioweapon and has no known cure. If you are afflicted with ricin poisoning, you will die. That's just one of the weapons that these four men sought to use.
“There is no way for us, as militiamen, to save this country, to save Georgia, without doing something that’s highly, highly illegal: murder,” one of those charged, Frederick Thomas, 73, of Cleveland, Ga., was recorded telling the informant.
“When it comes time to saving the Constitution, that means some people have got to die,” he said.
Another of the men, Samuel J. Crump, 68, of Toccoa, Ga., is accused of saying he wanted to make 10 pounds of ricin and disperse it in Atlanta and other cities, as well as loosing it from a car traveling on Interstate highways. Ricin, made from the castor bean, is a potent toxin, though it is not generally believed to be effective for killing large numbers of people.
The others arrested were Dan Roberts, 67, and Ray H. Adams, 65, both of Toccoa, the Justice Department said.
They have ties to the militia movement in Georgia and one of the men had worked at the CDC. These weren't men engaging in idle talk. They wanted to take action against the government, including assassination:
Thomas was described in affidavits as a leading speaker at the meetings. He discussed having a “bucket list” of government officials, business leaders and members of the media who needed to be “taken out” to “make the country right again,” the affidavit said.One of the arrested men has ties to an extremist group called the North Georgia Area Command. The Georgia plotters apparently got the idea for the attacks from an online novel written by an extremist.
Thomas also said he was a military veteran who had been to war and had taken a life, and said he could do it again, the affidavit said.
“There’s no way for us, as militiamen, to save this country, to save Georgia, without doing something that’s highly illegal: murder,” Thomas said during a meeting in March, according to the affidavit. "... When it comes to saving the Constitution, that means some people gotta die."
Adams formerly worked at the USDA for the Agricultural Research Service as a lab technician, the U.S. Department of Agriculture verified to the FBI. Adams is accused of trying to help Crump obtain ricin for use as a weapon, authorities said. According to the affidavit, Crump once worked for the Centers for Disease Control for a contractor doing maintenance work for the CDC. Roberts is retired from the signage industry, family members said Tuesday.
FBI documents reveal the men held a series of meetings beginning in March and as recently as last week in which they discussed their plans.
Meanwhile, there's a guilty plea being entered by one of the Hutaree militia members. The Hutaree, a militia group in Michigan, was arrested by law enforcement and charged with plotting to overthrow the government. While the defendants claim that they were engaging in tough talk - protected by the 1st Amendment, prosecutors note that they were heavily armed and had taken steps in furtherance of the talk. Another one of the defendants has been declared incompetent to stand trial.
Kudos to law enforcement for thwarting this planned attack, which had the potential to be a mass casualty attack of significant proportions.