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News, documents and analysis on violent extremism

Monday, October 8, 2007


The FBI used undercover agents and an extensive network of informants as part of a secret campaign to penetrate the militia movement during the early 1990s, according to documents obtained by INTELWIRE.

The centerpiece of the program was a covert operation code-named PATCON. From 1991 to 1993, at least three undercover FBI agents posed as members of a fictional white supremacist hate group and attempted to forge bonds with established militias in Tennessee, Arizona, Alabama, Tennessee and Texas.

The targets of the investigation "advocate violent overthrow of the U.S. government and the establishment of an Aryan nation," according to the documents. Members of the targeted groups were linked to the Iran-Contra scandal, Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh and Olympic Park Bomber Eric Rudolph.

Yet the documents describe no significant arrests resulting from the two-year probe, and the entire operation was shut down a few months after the controversial Waco siege further inflamed the radical right against federal authorities.

Full Story | Read The Documents

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Views expressed on INTELWIRE are those of the author alone.



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INTELWIRE is a web site edited by J.M. Berger. a researcher, analyst and consultant covering extremism, with a special focus on extremist activities in the U.S. and extremist use of social media. He is a non-resident fellow with the Brookings Institution, Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World, and author of the critically acclaimed Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam, the only definitive history of the U.S. jihadist movement, and co-author of ISIS: The State of Terror with Jessica Stern.


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