Friday, September 10, 2010

Christian counterparts to Osama bin Laden

Consider this part of an on-going series on our own homegrown terrorists and terrorist wannabes. I've said before that the profile of our own terrorists is predominantly white, male, and "Christian". I use the last term in quotes because the types of movements that produce their own bin Laden counterparts are typically of the Christian Identity and Dominionist variety, which I consider an abomination. I've noticed that numerous commentators use the term Christianist to characterize these folks in much the same manner that Muslim extremists have been labeled as Islamists. To the extent that there is something positive to the narrative, it is simply that our own home-grown extremists are small in number relative to the population at large (a statement that I could make about practically any group of extremists anywhere else). Unfortunately, in a climate marked by a combination of economic turmoil due to what I see as decades of mismanagement, and a rise in the shrillness of ethnic and religious hate speech by right-wing demagogues (fueled in large part by shoddy journalism practices) that has effectively given extreme views mainstream cover, such terrorists (and those who would be) are increasingly emboldened.

Enter our latest contestant: Justin Carl Moose. We're fortunate he was caught in a sting operation before he could really do any damage. Just what is this guy about? Take a look for yourself:
Moose is charged with providing information related to the manufacture of an explosive, destruction device or weapon of mass destruction to the informant, who he believed was plotting to bomb an abortion clinic.

In an undercover operation, federal officials state they had the informant provide Moose with a name and address of a clinic he was supposedly targeting.

Officials are not saying what city the clinic is in, other than it was in North Carolina.

A message left seeking comment from a federal public defender assigned to Moose’s case was not returned Thursday. A call to a phone number listed at the man’s residence went unanswered.

According to federal court documents, FBI agents based in Greensboro began investigating Moose in early August after being notified by the Planned Parenthood Association about a man advocating violence against women’s health care clinics on his personal Facebook page.

Agents verified Moose’s ownership of the web page and noted it contained numerous anti-abortion postings, videos and images that support others convicted of murder or attempted murder at abortion clinics, along with links about building explosives.

On the Facebook page cited in the complaint, which was still online Thursday, Moose describes himself as:

“Whatever you may think about me, you’re probably right. Extremist, Radical, Fundamentalist...? Terrorist...? Well... I prefer the term “freedom Fighter.”

“End abortion by any means necessary and at any cost”. “Save a life, Shoot an abortionist.”

The FBI analyzed the links regarding explosives and found they provided credible information for building functioning devices.

In one post, Moose allegedly taunted federal authorities by acknowledging he was likely being monitored, writing:
“To all the feds watching me: You can’t stop what is in motion. Even if you bring me in, my men will continue their mission. Furthermore, I will not go peacefully. Do you really want another Waco?”

In the complaint, agents state they obtained search warrant for Moose’s online accounts and that he was actively communicating with other known anti-abortion extremists.

In the messages, Moose allegedly made comments such as:
“As far as I’m concerned nothing is off limits to stop abortion. Anything and everything goes. I have learned alot from the muslim terrorists and have no problem using their tactics.”

On Sept. 3, the complaint states the FBI utilized a confidential informant who had a recorded phone call with Moose, who explained “his best friend’s wife was planning to do something he strongly opposed.”

Before the informant could say the woman was planning an abortion, Moose allegedly said “say no more” and when the informant said he wanted to stop the procedure, Moose allegedly replied “I understand, and I can help.”

The next day the complaint states the informant, who was wearing an undercover recording device, met with Moose at a Concord restaurant.

There, the informant stated he planned to “destroy the building where his best friend’s wife is having an abortion” and Moose allegedly went into fine detail about building three explosive devices and instructed the informant on how to deploy the devices to create the most damage at the clinic.

The complaint states at one point, Moose stated he is a member of the extreme anti-abortion group “Army of God,” stating: “If they put me away right now, if I never make it home, it doesn’t matter because I have told you everything you need to know.”

The FBI said the two men had another recorded phone call on Sept. 5 and Moose provided more information about building the explosive devices.
Similar local coverage can be found here. Think Progress has its own coverage, placing Moose's behavior in a somewhat broader context.

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