In recent years, we’ve seen both a rise in domestic extremism, and a disturbing amount of former and active-duty service members implicated in domestic terror plots. An active-duty Marine was discharged from the Marine Corps last year after coming under federal investigation for allegedly plotting to bomb the Democratic National Convention and kill Black people.
But please, tell me again how Critical Race Theory is the biggest threat to American society?
According to the Daily Beast, an unsealed FBI search warrant affidavit obtained by the news outlet revealed that USMC Private First Class Travis Owens allegedly conspired with two others in a plot inspired by Timothy McVeigh—the former U.S Army soldier who bombed a federal building in 1995, killing 168 people and injuring nearly 700 others. The investigation began in August 2019 after the FBI was given an anonymous tip about disturbing messages Owens exchanged with others in a Facebook group chat called “Right-Wing Death Squad.”
“Rhetoric in the private chat messages was consistent with racially motivated extremism ideology, to include aspirational violence against religious and racial minorities,” the affidavit, signed by Special Agent Ryan Crump of the FBI Little Rock Joint Terrorism Task Force, read.
Owens exchanged the messages with two other men: James Wisdom and Jason D’Juan Garfield, both of whom are from Arkansas. Owens himself is from Arkansas but was stationed at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri. The affidavit also alleges that one of the men has connections to Atomwaffen Division—a hate group that calls for the violent overthrow of the U.S. government.
From the Daily Beast:
During its inquiry, the FBI reviewed numerous exchanges between Garfield, Wisdom, and Owens. In one, Wisdom allegedly messaged Garfield, saying, “We can take care of druggies anytime. We need to get rid of Jews ASAP though.”
According to the warrant, Garfield replied: “Do both at the same time. Clean up the white community and show them who’s controlling and manipulating and our numbers go up… We don’t have the time to do one goal at a time.”
“I’m aware,” Wisdom allegedly responded. “Doesn’t mean we need to be too hasty though. We need at least a rudimentary plan and proper resources before we try anything big.”
The trio seemed to be preparing for a full-blown race war. Their goals were laid out in group chats underneath exhortations such as, “WISDOM: WE CAN ACCELERATE TODAY FOR A NEW WORLD TOMORROW,” and, “SP**CS AND NI***RS NEED TO HANG FROM TREES,” the warrant states. In one conversation, Garfield allegedly wrote, “Racism isn’t real, whites are the only humans.” In another, he discussed assassinating Arkansas state Sen. Stephanie Flowers, who is Black.
“Just fucking McVeigh the DNC,” Garfield, who boasted of his Atomwaffen connections, wrote in one message.
Boy, these guys seem great.
Of the three, the only one who has been charged with a crime is Garfield. Last May, he was sentenced to six and a half years in prison for illegal gun possession. While charges haven’t been filed Owens, he was kicked out of the Marines in April 2020 after it became apparent he was being investigated by the NCIS and FBI.
“Participation in supremacist or extremist organizations or activities is a violation of Department of Defense and Marine Corps orders and will lead to mandatory processing for separation following the first substantiated incident,” USMC spokesman Capt. Andrew Wood told The Daily Beast in an email. “The Marine Corps is clear on its stance as it relates to racial hatred or extremism: There is no place for either in the Marine Corps.”
I hope that Owens is hit with some kind of charges, because I’m pretty sure conspiring to blow up a federal building and incite a race war is a crime.
Unfortunately, active-duty service members being involved in domestic terror plots fueled by white nationalism isn’t exactly uncommon. A significant number of people involved in the Capitol riot earlier this year were found to be active-duty or former service members, and the FBI has reported that white supremacists frequently try to infiltrate the armed forces as a way to receive training to help with potential plots.