RALEIGH, [NC]—From New Jersey to California, police, courthouse officials and real estate agents are being confronted with a baffling new problem: bogus legal documents filed by people claiming to follow an obscure religion called Moorish Science. Their motives range from financial gain to simply causing a nuisance. No one is more exasperated by the phenomenon than the leaders of the century-old Moorish Science Temple of America, who say the growing crop of "paperwork terrorists" has nothing to do with their faith or its teachings. The bad filings include deeds, liens and other documents, often written in confusing pseudo-legal jargon and making outlandish claims about being exempt from U.
COEUR D'ALENE, [ID]—Talking through a slide presentation at Jonesy’s restaurant, Paul Finman described in detail the beliefs and habits of so-called sovereign citizens. They generally live in isolation, he said, off in the woods someplace. They like to be left alone. Some establish illegal businesses — the cultivation of drugs, for instance — as a means of income. And they’re usually armed. Sovereign citizens have become violent in recent years. According to CBS News, sovereigns killed two police officers in Arkansas last spring. Another sovereign allegedly killed three men in Texas, and a South Carolina citizen is on death row after murdering two law enforcement officers. View Mo
UNITED STATES, [US]—Paper terrorism. That is what the FBI believes sovereign citizens like Jacob-Franz Dyck are committing when they file lengthy lawsuits loaded with non sequiturs and so-called wild deeds backed by supposedly all-powerful land patents on behalf of people facing foreclosure. But the proclivity of members of this anti-government organization to burden the courts with paperwork is not the only thing law enforcement officials are worried about. Terry Nichols, who assisted Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, was a sovereign citizen. So was Joe Stack, who flew his small plane into the Internal Revenue Service building in Austin, Texas, during February 2010. View More>>
SARASOTA, [FL]—On paper, Jacob-Franz Dyck is one of the largest property owners in Florida. More than 600 deeds have been filed in the name of trusts he controls in 17 counties, including eight in Sarasota and Manatee. But Dyck never paid a penny for those properties. A self-proclaimed "sovereign citizen" who believes that U.S. laws don't apply to him, the 72-year-old Dyck filed some deeds with the purported goal of helping people facing foreclosure remain in their homes. Others were to help evicted owners reclaim their property. View More>>
HARRISBURG, [PA]—A spokesperson with the Pennsylvania State Police said that they monitor the activities of four different kinds of potential domestic terrorists in the state: sovereign citizens (militia members, etc.), white supremacists, special interest extremists (animal rights, environmental extremists, etc.) and lone wolf extremists. People fitting each of these category descriptions live in Pennsylvania. View More>>
UNITED STATES, [US]—The bombing and shooting spree in Norway on Friday has raised questions whether Federal law enforcement agencies in the United States are devoting enough resources and attention to the threat posed by rightwing extremists here. Rightwing extremist activity increased in 2008 and 2009 and has remained persistent in 2010 and 2011, says former DHS domestic terror analyst Daryl Johnson who founded a consulting firm that tracks extremist activity. Johnson says extremist have been active, with several shootings in the past several months. He said the militia movement "exploded" over the last two years and that groups have been "stockpiling weapons and plotting to kill gover
TACOMA, [WA]—The man accused of building the firebomb used by Earth Liberation Front radicals to torch the University of Washington's Center for Urban Horticulture in 2001 pleaded guilty Wednesday to several federal charges. Justin Solondz, 31, was arrested July 6 in Chicago after his expulsion from China, where he had been serving a prison term for selling drugs. A former student at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Solondz is charged with conspiracy, arson, making an unregistered destructive device and using a destructive device during a violent crime, a charge that could result in a life sentence. View More>>
FAIRBANKS, [AK]—As the state-federal case against a Fairbanks-based militia accused of plotting to murder government officials unfolds, a back story is emerging of two informants with eclectic backgrounds who played major roles in nabbing the suspects. Much of what investigators know about Alaska Peacemakers Militia leader Schaeffer Cox’s alleged murder plans came from the two paid informants, who had been feeding authorities tips for at least 10 months prior to the March arrests of Cox and four others. One of the informants was Bill Fulton, the owner of Drop Zone army surplus shop in Anchorage, an ex-military man who made national headlines when he handcuffed an Alaska Dispatch journali