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Entries in Neo-Nazi (2)

Saturday
May052012

FBI Was Investigating Neo-Nazi Before He Killed Family

Courtesy - FBI(GILBERT, Ariz.) -- The FBI says it was already conducting a domestic terrorism investigation of anti-immigration border vigilante and neo-Nazi J.T. Ready before he killed his girlfriend and three others last week, according to The Arizona Republic.

Ready, 39, killed his girlfriend and three others, including a toddler, before killing himself during a violent domestic argument as someone in the home called 911, Arizona police said.

James Turgal, special agent in charge of the FBI's Phoenix office, told The Arizona Republic that his agency's probe of Ready had nothing to do with the murder-suicide, but instead dated back to when Ready was a member of the neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement and continued into his recent founding of the U.S. Border Guard, a militia of armed anti-immigration activists.

Police in Gilbert, Ariz., were joined by FBI agents and members of the Joint Terrorism Task Force in sorting through the carnage of the Wednesday killings.

Military-grade weapons and ammunition along with two barrels of chemicals found in the backyard have been removed from Ready's home.

"Right now we believe it's a domestic violence related situation," Sgt. Bill Balafas of the Gilbert, Ariz. Police Department told ABCNews.com regarding the murder-suicide.

An argument ensued inside the home Ready shared with his girlfriend Wednesday afternoon, police said.

"There was a 911 call regarding that argument. In the midst of that call, a shooting occurred. Mr. Ready shot and killed all four victims and then killed himself," Balafas said, adding that this will have to be confirmed through the medical examiner's report and forensics tests. No motive was given.

Three generations were among the dead. Ready's live-in girlfriend of two years, Lisa Mederos, 47, was killed, along with her daughter Amber Mederos, 23, and granddaughter Lilly, 1.

The body of Amber Mederos' boyfriend, Jim Hiott, 24, a veteran who served in Afghanistan, was found outside of the house near where Ready is believed to have killed himself, police said.

Balafas said forensic tests and an autopsy were being conducted.

Ready was running for sheriff of Pinal County and had neo-Nazi ties. He was frequently seen in photos carrying heavy weapons.

On his Facebook page touting his candidacy, JT Ready for Sheriff, Ready and his campaign often railed against Mexican drug cartels as well as illegal immigrants.

On the page Friday his campaign supporters said, "Reports are unconfirmed that a cartel assassination squad murdered JT Ready and several of his friends."

Police discounted the report.

Brittany Mederos, 19, heard gunshots and cries from her room as her family was gunned down, but survived the shooting.

Heather Morton, a friend of Amber Mederos, described Ready as a "control freak" on her Facebook page.

Amber Mederos served as Ready's campaign treasurer, according to a Jan. 11 filing. Ready amended the filing on March 12 and replaced Mederos with Kenneth Harris, a friend of several years.

Harris told ABCNews.com he held the job for "no more than 48 hours" and said he parted ways with Ready after the candidate refused to take his advice.

"I expect a candidate to conduct themselves in a serious way. There was a falling out," Harris said, adding that the biggest issue was poor record keeping.

He said he was unaware of the circumstances regarding Mederos' departure from the campaign and declined to speculate, other than to say he didn't believe Ready slaughtered the Mederos family.

"I do not see him ever, ever resorting to domestic violence. I don't see him ever hurting a child," he said.

An autopsy on Ready's body is scheduled for Friday, police said.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Mar102011

Accused MLK Bomb Plotter's Alleged Ties to Neo-Nazi Movement

ABC News(SPOKANE, Wash.) -- The man accused in the failed Martin Luther King Day bomb plot in Spokane, Wash., has reported links to the white supremacist movement, including a past membership in a neo-Nazi group.

Kevin William Harpham, arrested Wednesday and charged with attempting to use a "weapon of mass destruction" in the foiled Jan. 17 plot, appears to have made over 1,000 posts on online forums at the extreme right-wing website Vanguard News Network.

Harpham, who apparently posted under his own name and then an alias, was active in the forums until a day before the bomb scare. More than a week before that, Harpham was one of several users who offered to house prominent white nationalist Craig Cobb. Cobb is on the run from Canadian authorities for alleged hate crimes and had called his supporters to launch violent attacks in the name of white supremacy, according to a report by the Vancouver Sun.

Harpham never mentions the Spokane plot in dozens of his most recent posts, which were first reported by Media Matters.

Harpham, 36, was also a member of the neo-Nazi group National Alliance in 2004, according to a report by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups. A spokesman for the National Alliance told ABC News Harpham is not listed among their current members.

The FBI said Wednesday investigators were looking into the possible links between Harpham and white supremacist groups, and Thursday Michael Orsmby, the U.S. Attorney handling the case, said there could be other suspects.

"We don't know enough at this point to know if there are other individuals or other organizations involved," Orsmby said.

The Southern Poverty Law Center estimates there are 21 different hate groups in the region, but the Center's director, Mark Potok, said it was "extremely unlikely" the attack was planned by a group.

"The vast majority of these types of attacks are carried out by lone wolves," Potok told ABC News. "It's extremely probable this man was acting on his own or with one or two confederates."

Early in the investigation, the FBI special agent in charge Frank Harrill said the attack was almost certainly race-related.

"I think the connection is virtually inescapable," Harrill said then.

Harpham appeared in federal court shortly after his arrest Wednesday. Roger Peven, the federal defender assigned to Harpham's case, did not wish to comment on the case except to say his client is taking the charges against him very seriously.

The potentially deadly explosive device authorites have linked to Harpham was found and safely disposed of without injury. If convicted, Harpham could face life in prison. 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







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