This report was prepared by the FBI. The .pdf version is available at the FBI web site. This is the full text of the public version of the FBI report. Opinions expressed are those of the FBI. Links to relevant information have been added by Apologetics Index to facilitate research.
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II - Introduction - Continued (b)Apocalyptic Religious Beliefs
To understand the mind set of why religious extremists would actively seek to engage in violent confrontations with law enforcement, the most common extremist ideologies must be understood. Under these ideologies, many extremists view themselves as religious martyrs who have a duty to initiate or take part in the coming battles against Satan. Domestic terrorist groups who place religious significance on the millennium believe the federal government will act as an arm of Satan in the final battle. By extension, the FBI is viewed as acting on Satan's behalf. The philosophy behind targeting the federal government or entities perceived to be associated with it is succinctly described by Kerry Noble, a former right-wing extremist. He says the right-wing "envision[s] a dark and gloomy endtime scenario, where some Antichrist makes war against Christians." (10) The House of Yahweh, a Texas based religious group whose leaders are former members of the tax protesting Posse Comitatus, is typical: Hawkins (the leader) has interpreted biblical scripture that the Israeli Peace Accord signed on October 13, 1993, has started a 7-year period of tribulation which will end on October 14, 2000, with the return of the Yeshua (the Messiah). (11) He also has interpreted that the FBI will be the downfall of the House of Yahweh and that the Waco Branch Davidian raids in 1993 were a warning to The House of Yahweh from the federal government, which he terms "the beast." (12) Similarly, Richard Butler, leader of the white supremacist group Aryan Nations, said the following when asked what might have motivated the day care shooting by Buford O. Furrow, Jr., one of his group's followers: "There's a war against the white race. There's a war of extermination against the white male." (13)The New World Order Conspiracy Theory and the Year 2000 Computer Bug
Unlike religiously based terrorists, militia anxiety and paranoia specifically relating to the year 2000 are based mainly on a political ideology. Some militia members read significance into 2000 as it relates to their conception of the NWO conspiracy. (14) The NWO conspiracy theory holds that the United Nations (UN) will lead a military coup against the nations of the world to form a socialist or One World Government. UN troops, consisting mostly of foreign armies, will commence a military takeover of America. The UN will mainly use foreign troops on American soil because foreigners will have fewer reservations about killing American citizens. U.S. armed forces will not attempt to stop this invasion by UN troops and, in fact, the U.S. military may be "deputized" as a branch of the UN armed forces. The American military contingent overseas will also play a large part in this elaborate conspiracy theory, as they will be used to help conquer the rest of the world. The rationale for this part of the theory is that American soldiers will also have less qualms about killing foreigners, as opposed to killing their own citizens. Under this hypothetical NWO/One World Government, the following events are to take place: 1) private property rights and private gun ownership will be abolished; 2) all national, state and local elections will become meaningless, since they will be controlled by the UN; 3) the U.S. Constitution will be supplanted by the UN charter; 4) only approved churches and other places of worship will be permitted to operate and will become appendages of the One World Religion, which will be the only legitimate doctrine of religious beliefs and ethical values; 5) home schooling will be outlawed and all school curriculum will need to be approved by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); and 6) American military bases and other federal facilities will be used as concentration camps by the UN to confine those patriots, including the militias, who defy the NWO. Other groups beside the UN that are often mentioned as being part of the NWO conspiracy theory are Jews, Communists, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Bilderbergers and the Trilateral Commission. Law enforcement officials will probably notice different versions of this theory, depending upon the source. The NWO conspiracy theory is particularly relevant to the millennium because the year 2000 is considered to be a triggering device for the NWO due to the element of computer breakdown. Many computers around the world are based on a numerical system in which the year is only registered by the last two digits. A number of militia members accept the theory that on January 1, 2000, many computers will misinterpret this date as January 1, 1900, and malfunction and/or shut down completely. They further believe that these major computer malfunctions will cause widespread chaos at all levels of society- economic, social and political. This chaos will theoretically create a situation in which American civilization will collapse, which will then produce an environment that the UN will exploit to forcibly take over the United States. Therefore, these militia members (as well as other groups) believe that the year 2000 will be the catalyst for the NWO. According to James Wickstrom, former leader of the defunct Posse Comitatus and "Minister" of the True Church of Israel, anyone who holds any powerful political influence knows that the Y2K crisis may be the final fuse that will lead to the NWO that "David Rockefeller and the rest of his satanic jew seedline desire to usher in upon the earth." (15) He claims that Jews have conspired to create the Y2K problem and that the prospect of impending computer failure is very real. Similarly, The New American, an organ of the ultraconservative John Birch Society, speculates that the Y2K bug could be America's Reichstag fire, a reference to the 1933 arson attack on Germany's Parliament building that was used by Hitler as an excuse to enact police state laws. Similar to this train of thought, Norm Olson, leader of the Northern Michigan Regional Militia, believes constitutional rights probably will be suspended before the real crisis hits. He states: "It will be the worst time for humanity since the Noahic flood." (16) However, there are some extremists who do not attach any major significance to the Y2K problem. In his article, "The Millennium Bug and 'Mainstreaming' the News," William Pierce of the National Alliance tells his followers not to worry, or at least, not to worry very much about the Y2K issue. Pierce predicts that the main event that will occur on New Year's Day 2000 is that crazed millennialists will go "berserk when the Second Coming fails to occur." Also, "a few right-wing nuts may launch a premature attack on the government, figuring that without its computers the government won't be able to fight back." Pierce claims that the lights will remain on, and that airplanes will not fall from the sky. He says that he is able to make such a prediction with some degree of confidence because, "contrary to what some cranks would have you believe, the computer professionals and the government have been working on the Y2K problem for some time." (17)Gun Control Laws
The passage of the Brady Bill and assault weapons ban in 1994 were interpreted by those in the militia movement and among the right-wing as the first steps towards disarming citizens in preparation for the UN-led NWO takeover. Some are convinced that the registration of gun owners is in preparation for a confiscation of firearms and eventually the arrest of the gun owners themselves. An article by Larry Pratt, Executive Director for Gun Owners of America, interprets a 1995 UN study of small arms, done reportedly in cooperation with U.S. police, customs and military services, as part of the UN's plan to take over the U.S. Pratt goes on to say that the "UN is increasingly assuming the jurisdictional authority of a federal world government with the U.S. as just one of scores of member states. And gun control -- meaning civilian disarmament -- is high up on the agenda of the UN." (18) Speculation like this only serves to fuel the already existing paranoia of militia and patriot groups. The right-wing believes that many of the restrictions being placed on the ownership of firearms today mirror events in The Turner Diaries. In his book, Pierce writes about the United States government banning the private possession of firearms and staging gun raids in an effort to arrest gun owners. The book discusses the government/police use of black men, assigned as "special deputies" to carry out the gun raids. Many members of the right-wing movement view the book as prophetic, believing that it is only a matter of time before these events occur in real life. In the aftermath of the school shootings in Littleton, Colorado, President Clinton, Congress, and Attorney General Reno acted swiftly to propose new laws aimed at restricting the sales of guns to juveniles and to close loopholes in existing laws. In May 1999, the Senate passed a bill to ban the importation of high capacity ammunition magazines and require background checks for guns sold at gun shows. In light of the enormous importance and prominent role that extremist groups place on the Second Amendment, it is probable that recent government actions aimed at controlling guns are perceived to be compelling signs of the UN-led NWO takeover.
- Footnotes -
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