Update (4:51 p.m.): Isaac Aguigui, the alleged leader of the anarchist militia group, bears a striking resemblance to one "Isaac Aguigui" identified as a 2008 Republican National Convention page by Reuters, as Gawker's John Cook points out. View the side-by-side comparison of his current mug shot and 2008 RNC photo here.
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Update (3:45 p.m.): Local NBC affiliate WSAV 3 has video footage of the alleged militia members being handcuffed and charged in connection with the killing of Michael Roark and his girlfriend Tiffany York. The local report does not include details of the alleged plot to overthrow the government and assassinate President Obama. For those details, see our previous update:
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Update (3:15 p.m.): More details are surfacing about the four soldiers accused of stockpiling assault weapons and bomb components and plotting to assassinate the president. According to the AP's Russ Bynum, the group calls itself F.E.A.R., which stands for Forever Enduring Always Ready. While authorities don't know how many members are in the group, they did accuse it of plotting some ambitious domestic terrorist plots:
The prosecutor said the militia group had big plans. It plotted to take over Fort Stewart by seizing its ammunition control point and talked of bombing the Forsyth Park fountain in nearby Savannah, she said. In Washington state, she added, the group plotted to bomb a dam and poison the state’s apple crop. Ultimately, prosecutors said, the militia’s goal was to overthrow the government and assassinate the president.
All are charged by state authorities with malice murder, felony murder, criminal gang activity, aggravated assault and using a firearm while committing a felony. A hearing for the three soldiers was scheduled Thursday.
The above photo shows U.S. Army Sgt. Anthony Peden, left, and Pvt. Isaac Aguigui, identified by prosecutors as F.E.A.R.'s leader, after appearing before a magistrate judge at the Long County Sheriffs Office in Ludowici, Georgia. As we noted earlier, the members of the anarchist militia group allegedly bought $87,000 worth of "guns and bomb-making materials" for the plot, which was uncovered following a murder investigation into the deaths of former soldier Michael Roark and his girlfriend Tiffany York. According to prosecutors, Roark was killed after members of F.E.A.R. discovered that he knew of their plot. On Monday, 26-year-old Army Pfc. Michael Burnett plead guilty to manslaughter and illegal gang activity in connection with the murder case. He also gave testimony backing up some of the claims made by prosecutors. Bynum says that Burnett testified against Aguigui, who he said ordered the killings of Roark and his girlfriend. The plots were allegedly financed by a $500,000 insurance settlement Aguigui received from the death of his wife.
Original post: In a disturbing report out of Georgia, prosecutors say four U.S. soldiers plotted to overthrow the government and assassinate President Obama. Details remain slim about the case, but the AP's Russ Bynum says the soldiers allegedly bought $87,000 worth of "guns and bomb-making materials and plotted to take over Fort Stewart, bomb targets in nearby Savannah and Washington state, as well as assassinate the president." The plot was apparently uncovered in relation to a murder case surrounding the killing of former soldier Michael Roark and his girlfriend Tiffany York in December. On Monday, Pfc. Michael Burnett, one of the accused soldiers, plead guilty to manslaughter and gang charges in the murder case. "Burnett told a Long County judge that Roark, who had just left the Army, knew of the militia group's plans and was killed because he was 'a loose end,'" reports Bynum.
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As The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Jay Bookman notes, "Sometimes these things get blown out of proportion, but $87,000 in weaponry suggests otherwise. And when you’re willing to murder two people to keep the plot secret, you’re pretty serious about it." The news follows a controversial report published by Reuters' Daniel Trotta last week that the U.S. Army is battling soldiers within its ranks who enlist in the Army and Marine Corps "to acquire the skills to overthrow what some call the ZOG - the Zionist Occupation Government. Get in, get trained and get out to brace for the coming race war." At the time, Business Insider's Geoffrey Ingersoll pushed back against the report in a piece titled "Don't Believe the Report Going Around About Veterans Flocking to Right Wing Extremist Groups." The AP report doesn't say if the motivations to overthrow the government were racial or anti-semitic in nature in this case but much more details are likely to come.