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Authorities wary as Ohioan takes over Aryan Nations

New leader says he won't rule out violence

The Columbus Dispatch, Oct. 3, 2001
http://www.dispatch.com/news-story.php?story=dispatch/news/news01/oct01/873100.html Off-site Link

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An Ohioan named to direct the hate group Aryan Nations says he won't rule out violence as the group charts a course under his leadership.

"I believe in the defense of our people,'' said Harold Ray Redfeairn, the group's new national leader. "I won't renounce violence as a form of defense.''

Redfeairn, a felon from the Dayton area who succeeds 82-year-old Richard Butler, plans to move the group's headquarters from to Pennsylvania from Idaho. Observers estimate that the organization has several hundred followers.

The appointment makes authorities nervous.

Redfeairn, 49, served six years in prison after being convicted of aggravated robbery and attempted aggravated murder in the shooting of a Dayton police officer in 1985.

"You have a convicted, violent felon leading a violent organization. That's a recipe for problems,'' said Ted Almay, superintendent of the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation.

A number of homeland-security measures now being discussed in Washington in response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks will give states new tools for fighting both foreign and domestic terrorism, Almay said.

"The Aryan Nations is a domestic terrorist group,'' he said.

Redfeairn, known as "Pastor Ray,'' used to direct the Ohio chapter of Aryan Nations.

Yesterday, Redfeairn said he will direct the organization from a rural compound in Ulysses, a farming town in north-central Pennsylvania about 90 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.
Betty Sue Feuer, regional director for the Anti-Defamation League, a hate-group watchdog in New York, said Redfeairn's ties to the group led to fears that Ohio would replace Idaho as the Aryan Nations' base.

Founded by Butler in the 1970s, the Aryan Nations advocates militant anti-Semitism and the establishment of a white, racist state, says the Anti- Defamation League.

Since the late 1970s, the Aryan Nations also has operated a prison outreach "ministry.'' In 1993, some inmates who were Aryan Nations members were involved in a deadly riot at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility near Lucasville.

Pennsylvania officials are monitoring the Aryan Nations as Redfeairn, the divorced father of two grown children, prepares for a spring move to their state.

Redfeairn's successor in Ohio, 55-year-old Danny William Kincaid of Delaware County, was indicted in July on a charge of being a felon in possession of weapons and an unregistered explosive device, a pipe bomb.

Kincaid also is accused of selling firearms, including assault rifles. He is currently under federal house arrest awaiting a November trial in federal court in Columbus.

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