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We grow our own terrorists here just as well, thank you.

As one of the interviews in this article says, “everybody is concerned about the guy in a turban.” No one is really looking at the “home-grown terrorists” here. (USA TODAY):

Since Sept. 11, the nation’s attention has been focused on possible threats from Islamic terrorists. But home-grown terrorists have been steadily plotting and carrying out attacks in unrelated incidents across the nation, according to federal authorities and two organizations that monitor hate groups.

But some of the alleged domestic terrorists who have been arrested had ambitious plans. The people and groups range from white supremacists, anti-government types and militia members to eco-terrorists and people who hate corporations. They include violent anti-abortionists and black and brown nationalists who envision a separate state for blacks and Latinos. And they have been busy.

“Not a lot of attention is being paid to this, because everybody is concerned about the guy in a turban. But there are still plenty of angry, Midwestern white guys out there,” says U.S. Marshals Service chief inspector Geoff Shank.

…Alleged terrorist plots by U.S. citizens are not new, but many of the recent conspiracies were overshadowed by 9/11 and the hunt for terrorists abroad. Most of the foiled plots didn’t get very far. And few got much publicity. But there were some potentially close calls, such as the scheme by William Krar, an east Texas man who stockpiled enough sodium cyanide to gas everyone in a building the size of a high school basketball gymnasium before he was arrested in 2002.

Shank, whose unit mainly searches for fugitives, including some wanted on domestic terror-related charges, led the manhunt for Clayton Lee Waagner, 48, of Kennerdell, Pa. Waagner was convicted in December of mailing hundreds of threat letters containing bogus anthrax to abortion clinics in 24 states. During his trial in Philadelphia, prosecutors documented Waagner’s ties to the Army of God, an extremist group that believes violence against abortion providers is an acceptable way to end abortion.

The article goes on to mention a list of pretty shocking domestic terrorism events by organized groups of neo-Nazis, eco-terrorists, anti-abortion wingnuts and other hate groups. There have been attempts by a militia to attack a military base, plots to steal nuclear materials and chemical weapons, and electronic blocking of police signals. You don’t hear the administration talk about these efforts, which of course would be something the Patriot Act would cover as well. Some of Bush’s supporters might get investigated for their activities under the Act. Continued publicizing of these domestic terrorism counter-efforts is necessary.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding