Four Army soldiers based in southeast Georgia killed a former comrade and his girlfriend to protect an anarchist militia group they formed that stockpiled assault weapons and plotted a range of anti-government attacks, prosecutors told a judge Monday.The group called itself FEAR: short for Forever Enduring Always Ready. The two murders were to eliminate a "loose end". The group recruited disillusioned soldiers or those who were in trouble. No word on the numbers in total recruited. They appear to be anarchist in nature, as members had anarchy-related tattoos.
Prosecutors in rural Long County, near the sprawling Army post Fort Stewart, said the militia group composed of active duty and former U.S. military members spent at least $87,000 buying guns and bomb components and was serious enough to kill two people - former soldier Michael Roark and his 17-year-old girlfriend, Tiffany York - by shooting them in the woods last December in order to keep its plans secret.
"This domestic terrorist organization did not simply plan and talk," prosecutor Isabel Pauley told a Superior Court judge. "Prior to the murders in this case, the group took action. Evidence shows the group possessed the knowledge, means and motive to carry out their plans."
The prosecutor said the militia group had big plans. It plotted to take over Fort Stewart by seizing its ammunition control point and talked of bombing the Forsyth Park fountain in nearby Savannah, she said. In Washington state, she added, the group plotted to bomb a dam and poison the state's apple crop. Ultimately, prosecutors said, the militia's goal was to overthrow the government and assassinate the president.
The Army brought charges against the four accused soldiers in connection with the slayings of Roark and York in March, but has yet to act on them. Fort Stewart spokesman Kevin Larson said he could not comment immediately on the militia accusations that emerged in civilian court Monday.
While the four are in Army custody on the murder charges, these charges are going forward by the local prosecutors' office. Prosecutors note that the group went beyond mere planning or talking - they were already acting upon their plans and were stockpiling weapons and murdered two people to hide their intentions.