Transcript: Domestic Terrorism Remains Serious Concern

This is a partial transcript of The Big Story With John Gibson, Dec. 29, 2003, that has been edited for clarity.

JON SCOTT, GUEST HOST: It has been eight years since the Oklahoma City bombing (search). These days homeland security has been mostly focusing on threats from international terrorism, but homegrown terror remains a serious concern.

David Neiwert (search) is the author of In God's Country: The Patriot Movement in the Pacific Northwest. That is today's big question. How big a threat does the U.S. face from homegrown terror?

David, a lot of people might be surprised and, I guess, disturbed to find out just how big that threat might be.

DAVID NEIWERT, AUTHOR, IN GOD'S COUNTRY: Well, I think that it is one of those situations where people don't really understand that domestic terrorists have actually committed many more acts of terrorism against Americans on our soil than Al Qaeda (search) ever did.

The difference, of course, is that Al Qaeda had a considerably greater success in killing people. But we have had, since 1995, just since Oklahoma City, we have had more than 40 actual incidents of very serious domestic terrorism in this country.

SCOTT: Well, of course, after the Oklahoma City bombing, there were those reports that Iranian guys may have been responsible or Iranian-looking individuals. It turned out to be a white guy with a grudge against the U.S. government.

NEIWERT: That's right. And that is what surprised a lot of people. Of course, those of us who had been tracking these right-wing extremists had a pretty good idea that they were actually the people responsible there.

hat has been happening is that a lot of these cases since Oklahoma City have been caught and nipped in the bud, so to speak, by the FBI, so you don't get quite the publicity that they might have if it were somebody else, and particularly if they were successful. But they are very dangerous and certainly capable of committing a great deal of harm.

SCOTT: And then out of Texas, there's a story that has gotten very little attention. William Krar (search) got picked up with enough ammunition and explosives to equip a small army. Who is that guy and what was he doing with that stuff?

NEIWERT: Krar, apparently, was sort of what you would call a traveling bomb salesman. And he was traveling throughout the south and the eastern seaboard. He seems to be originally from New Hampshire, by the way. And he was basically selling pipe bombs and various other kinds of illegal material.

SCOTT: Well, he had a cyanide weapon that was supposedly big enough to, what, kill a couple of thousand people?

NEIWERT: That's correct. If he had set that off in a building with 30,000 square feet he would have been able to kill everybody within that building, within a matter of minutes.

SCOTT: Now, he has pleaded guilty, but has he said anything about who his beef was against?

NEIWERT: Well, he was carrying a lot of anti-government material, he had even a Ku Klux Klan (search) calling card. He was involved in some tax protest movements prior to this. And it is very clear he comes from what we call the patriot movement, which is a sort of, was the umbrella movement for the militias, and tax protesters and constitutionalists (search).

SCOTT: Well, it is some scary stuff. David Neiwert, thank you very much for being on The Big Story.

NEIWERT: You bet.

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