FBI Report on Significant Events in Domestic Extremism for 2015
The following 19 incidents and disrupted plots are derived from data collected by the FBI. These events, conducted by individuals inspired by a political or social agenda without foreign direction, are criminal in nature and caused, or could have reasonably led to death, grievous harm, or financial losses of at least $1 million. The targets, tactics, and number of significant events occurring in 2015 are consistent with the 15 events identified for 20141, 19 events for 2013 and 12 events for 20122. The information presented here occurred between 1 January 2015 and 31 December 2015.
22 January 2015
A sovereign citizen extremist allegedly engaged in extensive ideologically-motivated mortgage, bank, and tax fraud, debt elimination schemes, and identity theft with cumulative estimated losses totaling $1.5 million. Federal charges are pending.
6 February 2015
Animal rights extremist(s) are suspected of allegedly setting fire to an occupied building containing horse carriages and of spray painting “FREE,” “SAVE THE HORSES,” and “FREEDOM” at the scene. The arson destroyed 13 carriages and significantly damaged the building, leading to $130,000 in estimated damages. Two people and four horses occupied the building at the time of the arson. This case remains under federal investigation.
9 February 2015
Orange County, Florida
A sovereign citizen extremist shot and wounded two Sheriff’s deputies in an ambush as they responded to a domestic incident. Sheriff’s deputies subsequently shot and killed the individual.
19 February 2015
Elkins, West Virginia
An anarchist extremist was arrested for unlawful possession
of explosives. According to reporting, the individual expressed anti- government sentiment and planned to bomb the federal courthouse in Elkins, West Virginia, to shoot first responders, and to target a concert area and bank during a festival in October 2015. Searches recovered numerous weapons, explosives, boosters, electric blasting caps and ammunition.
The subject pled guilty and was sentenced in July 2015 to eight months in federal prison for possession of stolen explosives.
12 March 2015
A white supremacy extremist was arrested and charged in federal court for allegedly making threats against President Obama. The individual solicited to obtain a firearm from a confidential informant and sought assistance in the plan from an undercover law enforcement officer. The subject is being held in federal custody pending trial.
25 March 2015
St. Louis, Missouri
An anarchist extremist was arrested for multiple firearms violations. The subject, who expressed anti-government and anti-law enforcement sentiments and does not pay taxes, stated he wanted to kill multiple police officers and his ex-wife. He pled guilty to a federal charge of possession of a machine gun in November 2015 and was sentenced in February 2016.
25 March 2015
A militia extremist who was convicted of illegal possession of a machine gun and possession of an unregistered firearm planned to shoot politicians, judges, and law enforcement officers. The individual is awaiting sentencing in federal court.
2 April 2015
Three white supremacy extremists associated with the Traditional American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan allegedly engaged in a conspiracy to murder an African American man. The individuals were arrested on state charges and currently are awaiting trial.
10 April 2015
Signal Mountain, Tennessee
The FBI disrupted a plot by a militia extremist allegedly to set fire to a mosque, school, and cafeteria at an Islamic community in upstate New York. The case is currently being adjudicated in federal court.
17 June 2015
Charleston, South Carolina
A white supremacy extremist allegedly shot and killed nine people at the Emmanuel AME Church. All of the victims were African American. The individual, who has been charged by the state with multiple counts of murder and attempted murder, is currently being held pending trial.
9 July 2015
Two sovereign citizen extremists allegedly shot and injured a reserve uniformed volunteer deputy in response to the deputy investigating a motor vehicle violation. The subjects are being held, pending trial, on state charges of attempted third degree murder, aggravated assault, and misconduct involving weapons and criminal damage.
31 July 2015
Vestavia Hills, Alabama
A white supremacy extremist allegedly physically assaulted and intended to kill an African American convenience store clerk in furtherance of his white supremacist ideology. The individual was arrested on state and local charges.
1 August 2015
Clover, South Carolina
Law enforcement disrupted a plot by three militia extremists allegedly to acquire firearms components necessary to manufacture IEDs in preparation for the Jade Helm 15 military exercise, which they believed was a precursor for declaration of martial law. The case is currently being adjudicated.
3 August 2015
Armed militia extremists allegedly responded to a dispute between owners of a mine and the US Forest Service (USFS) by setting up checkpoints to prevent USFS personnel from accessing the mine and by threatening to arrest USFS employees and contractors. The investigation is ongoing.
16 September 2015
Lawrence County, South Dakota
An environmental extremist armed with a Ruger rifle stole a maintenance vehicle from energy company workers in Wyoming and fled into South Dakota. In responding to a request for assistance from the Newcastle Police Department in Wyoming, the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office in South Dakota pursued the vehicle. In an exchange of gunfire, Sheriff’s deputies wounded the individual, who then used a .38 caliber handgun in his possession to kill himself. Investigation revealed the individual resented the US Government and considered violent action necessary to institute environmental change.
23 September 2015
Wood County, West Virginia
Three sovereign citizen extremists allegedly engaged in a violent conspiracy to overthrow the Government of the State of West Virginia during the Pope’s visit to the United Nations. The conspirators planned to arrest named West Virginia government officials for alleged crimes against sovereign citizens and to murder any police officers who interfered with the operation. One individual was charged by the state with making terrorist threats to overthrow the Government of West Virginia and is currently being held in jail on $300,000 bail.
23 September 2015
Las Vegas, Nevada
A sovereign citizen extremist allegedly issued fraudulent birth certificates and provided fraudulent, unlicensed healthcare advice and medical services, which included illegal abortions. Three patients associated with the subject died as a result of the fraudulent medical practices. The subject has been indicted for felon in possession of a firearm and is being held on $1 million bail. Pending state charges include murder, sexual assault, and illegal practice of medicine.
7 October 2015
Three white supremacy extremists allegedly plotted to bomb African American churches and synagogues or to shoot their occupants in furtherance of white supremacist ideology. One subject pled guilty to federal charges of conspiracy to commit interstate robbery on 27 January 2016. The other two subjects are awaiting trial.
￼27 November 2015
Colorado Springs, CO
A pro-life extremist allegedly killed three people, including a law enforcement officer, and shot nine others, including five law enforcement officers, at a reproductive health care facility in Colorado Springs, Colorado, during business hours. The individual has been charged locally with multiple counts of first degree murder and attempted first degree murder and is being held awaiting trial.