Monday, August 27, 2007

Another American jihadi

Wow, another terrorist attack on a major city in this country was recently thwarted. The terrorist in question was arrested trying to get sarin nerve gas and high explosives. He may have been planning to spray the sarin from a helicopter over parts of a major US city.

Oh, but it doesn't count as terrorism because he wasn't Muslim. From WKRN:

A white supremacist was sentenced Tuesday to 30 years in prison for attempting to acquire Sarin nerve gas and C-4 explosives that he planned to use to destroy government buildings.

Demetrius Van Crocker, 40, a farmhand from the small town of McKenzie near Jackson, was arrested in 2004 after an FBI undercover agent posing as an employee at the Pine Bluff Arsenal in Arkansas, delivered a water-filled Sarin canister and a small quantity of explosives...

In meetings with Burroughs outside a McKenzie convenience store in 2004, Crocker described his "dream" of riding a motorcycle to Washington D.C. and setting off a dirty bomb while the House andSenate were in session.

He also told [the undercover agent] he wanted a helicopter license so he could spray or bomb black neighborhoods in Jackson with poison gas, booby-trap a marijuana field with mines to kill drug agents, and spike drugs with poison to kill black people.

This story has everything. Weapons of mass destruction. Big explosions. A nerve gas attack on an American city. So why was this buried in a local news story? There isn't a single article on this thwarted attack on CNN, FOXNews, MSNBC, or even the New York Times. If this guy's name had been Abu bin Whatever, this would have been non-stop news for days.

12 comments:

Ryan said...

Indeed. Well, I guess that goes to show you that whiteys won't be seen for what they can be--terrorists...whether cloaked as men of god or not.

Anonymous said...

If you were to do any research on such groups you would see that the FBI and ATF have successfully infiltrated them and broken them up over the last 20-25 years rendering them rather impotent. The FBI keeps tabs on them and about every five years or so they score one like this. Having said that, their threat level is so much lower for a number of factors than that of the eco-terrrorists whose damage to homes and property have run into the tens of millions of dollars. Even still, the threat posed by Muslim radicals is far greater than both combined.

The lack of news is not surprising because an actual terrorist act by a Muslim received little attention at Oklahoma University in 2005. Remember that one?

Narc said...

Ryan: This charges were described in the AP article as "terrorism charges." I just think that if it was found that a Muslim had been trying to obtain WMD rather than a white supremacist, this would have been news for days on end.

Anon:
The lack of news is not surprising because an actual terrorist act by a Muslim received little attention at Oklahoma University in 2005.

Sigh. I assume you're talking about the 2005 suicide of Joel Hinrichs at OU using a homemade bomb. It wasn't terrorism; the FBI has stated he had no links to any extremist groups, he didn't hold extremist views, and he didn't have any agenda. But there was a lot of speculation and conspiracy theories on right-wing websites when it turned out his roomate was Pakistani, and the explosive he used had been used in actual terrorist attacks. It took me literally less than 60 seconds to find instructions on how to make the explosive he used, using only three fairly common chemicals.

Anonymous said...

Don't put words into my mouth. I didn't say Hinrichs had links to any group. By the same token Crocker had no links to a specific group. My point is that its harder to track down the one or two man terrorists since it appears they have no ties to a larger group. As such, without a wider organization making the story sexy and exciting the press doesn't spend much time on it.

Sigh, the speculation that came up as a result of the Hinrich case was because the evidence of Jihadi materials and websites along with all the explosive material was dismissed by the FBI. That and long with a number of other factors that went unresolved raised more questions about the FBI's handling of the case than anything else. Besides, it wouldn't be the frst time the FBI falsely put out information when they had an ongoing investigation they didn't want compromised.

When is terrorism not terrorism? Because Hinrichs was not successful in gaining access to the stadium its not terrorism? He didn't have an agenda? No one, absolutely no one, straps a bomb on for the hell of it. He was just a unsuccessful terrorist much in the same way Crocker was.

prairie biker said...

The real question is what motive do the news outlets have for not releasing these stories? Is there actual science or an existing sales model that can explain it?

Narc said...

Anon:
The only reports I can find on these "jihadi materials" comes from an unnamed source, usually quoted at World Net Daily, hardly a reliable source.

There is no evidence that this bombing was anything other than a suicide. An unconventional one, sure, but still a suicide.

There is not evidence that Hinrich attempted entry to the stadium. He's never on videotape near the stadium, nor did he ever buy a ticket.

I'm going to need something other than rumor and innuendo if you expect me to conclude these claims are anything other than the standard conspiracy theory stuff.

Narc said...

PB, my pet theory is that these stories don't fit into the standard frame the media has set up for terrorism. Terrorism is only committed by swarthy-looking, bearded, Arab men.

You see this same attitude when people like Ann Coulter call for Muslim profiling. The implicit assumption is that you can tell who is a Muslim just by looking at them, i.e. swarthy-looking, bearded, Arab men.

I don't think the media is actively attempting to hide anything, they just have to package the news in a way it's instantly accessible to the consumer. Complicated, nuanced analysis doesn't fit into that.

Ryan said...

My point was that white people aren't seen as terrorists, even if they get labeled so in a news story. People don't freak out at airports with a white person carrying a suitcase, but they do if a Sikh sits next to them on a plane. People are stupid and blind; that's what I was trying to say. And I've not seen a determined discussion of terrorism against gay people in this country, despite attacks on clubs by people who are white and religious.

So we're really arguing the same thing. I was agreeing with you about how this isn't news in ways it would be with a Muslim. Sigh.

Narc said...

I got your point, Ryan. I was actually trying to agree with you. It must be my turn to apologize for not being clear.

In some ways, I also think that when the victim of a terrorist threat or attack is an abortion clinic worker or a gay man, there is some feeling that the victim "deserved it." It's only seems to be full-fledged terrorism when the victim is entirely "innocent."

Anonymous said...

"There is no evidence that this bombing was anything other than a suicide. An unconventional one, sure, but still a suicide."

Sorry, I'm not buying into the extravagant suicide theory since the investigators aren't convinced it was a simple suicide. Suicides committed with bombs are very rare. Suicides committed with bombs in public places are rarer still. Please try and find one. It only took you less than 60 seconds to find out what Hinrichs put together so this will be a snap for you.

"There is not evidence that Hinrich attempted entry to the stadium. He's never on videotape near the stadium, nor did he ever buy a ticket."

The FBI/JTTF isn't convinced he didn't try. He did not purchase a ticket with a credit card or check so of course there would be no 'record' of him buying a ticket. As far as cameras are concerned they didn't even have cameras of the tailgate area let alone everywhere else. The lack of video, where they had it, means only he wasn't in view where they had cameras. Nothing more and nothing less.

And I suppose he was going to use the ammonium nitrate he tried to buy a few days before to do what with? And why leave behind so much more explosive material in his apartment if he only wanted to commit suicide? All that material that his roommates had no idea what he was doing with, but it wasn't suspicious to them.

Also, if it was a suicide(announced within two days) why did the FBI/JTTF hang around for a few more weeks investigating, and then not turn the scene over to the ATF as per protocol when it is deemed a non terrorist explosion. It may be because the FBI has not closed the case on Joel Hinrichs. Feel free to do a FOIA c/o Julia Eichhorst at the Records Management Division of the FBI and see what response you get. I mean it was a suicide, right, because they found a suicide note.

Narc said...

I never said suicide by bomb was common.

Please try and find one.

It's virtually impossible to research, since Googling for "suicide" and "bomb" brings up every terrorist attack that's happened in the past few years.

I did find a an old report written by the Kentucky department of health that tabulated methods of suicide. There was a suicide by explosive in KY in 1991.

It's a common enough event that social science papers written on suicide do include explosive device as a method. Unfortunately, it's often included with "firearms" or "other", so they don't break them out separately. I found some case studies of suicide by explosives. Here's one. By the way, suicide by explosive device is International Classification of Diseases code X75.

Suicide by explosive increases in areas that have been subject to war. This paper talks about suicide methods in Croatia, suicide-by-explosive being one of them. In post-war Sarajevo, suicide by bomb was the major type of suicide.

Likely one of the the reasons that suicide by explosive is so rare in the US is that most people have neither access to explosives or the chemical expertise to manufacture them.

...why did the FBI/JTTF hang around for a few more weeks investigating...

Again, this is nothing but conspiracy-theory conjecture. I'm saying that it's not reasonable to jump to the conclusion that this was the culmination of an Islamic terrorist plot without evidence. So far all you've offered is speculation.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate you looking all that up. In your search you found a case in Poland where a guy likely put a grenade in his mouth. Then you cite a study from Croatia, and I quote, "Suicide by explosive increases in areas that have been subject to war. This paper talks about suicide methods in Croatia, suicide-by-explosive being one of them. In post-war Sarajevo, suicide by bomb was the major type of suicide."
The study points out the accessibility of such weapons which wasn't the case for Hinrichs nor was Norman subject to a civil war.

With regard to the study you state that, "Unfortunately, it's often included with "firearms" or "other", so they don't break them out separately."
This is done because the example(s) is so statistically insignificant as to not warrant it own category so it gets lumped into another one.

Neither the Polish or Croatian examples support your refutation of my point why someone would spend the time to build a bomb to commmit suicide with. Again,Hinrichs spent quite a bit of time putting his bomb together.

Why would Hinrichs use shrapnel if he was only going to kill hiself? And OU's response to this suicide - tighten security procedures at OU and OU sporting events. All that fuss for a suicide.

One last thing. The FBI has caveated their statements with a "at this time" cover regarding other aspects that you describe as conspiracy theory. You would have to at least admit that this 'suicide' is not being handled or was responded to in the typical manner.

You may want to believe its a conspiracy theory, but the actions and behavior of the bomber, FBI, and OU reflect something more than a mere suicide.