SEVERE WX : Severe Thunderstorm Watch View Alerts

Documents: Extremist group wanted rally to start civil war

A hidden camera captured members of a white supremacist group expressing hope that violence at a gun-rights rally in Virginia this week could start a civil war, federal prosecutors said in a court filing Tuesday.

Posted: Jan 21, 2020 5:39 PM

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — A hidden camera captured members of a white supremacist group expressing hope that violence at a gun-rights rally in Virginia this week could start a civil war, federal prosecutors said in a court filing Tuesday.

Former Canadian Armed Forces reservist Patrik Jordan Mathews also videotaped himself advocating for killing people, poisoning water supplies and derailing trains, a prosecutor wrote in urging a judge in Maryland to keep Mathews and two other members of The Base detained in federal custody.

But the 27-year-old Canadian national didn’t know investigators were watching and listening when he and two other group members talked about attending the Richmond rally in the days leading up to Monday’s event, which attracted tens of thousands of people and ended peacefully.

Last month, a closed-circuit television camera and microphone installed by investigators in a Delaware home captured Mathews talking about the Virginia rally as a “boundless” opportunity.

“And the thing is you’ve got tons of guys who ... should be radicalized enough to know that all you gotta do is start making things go wrong and if Virginia can spiral out to (expletive) full blown civil war,” he said.

Mathews and fellow group member Brian Mark Lemley Jr., 33, of Elkton, Maryland, discussed the planning of violence at the Richmond rally, according to prosecutors. Lemley talked about using a thermal imaging scope affixed to his rifle to ambush unsuspecting civilians and police officers, prosecutors said.

“I need to claim my first victim,” Lemley said on Dec. 23, according to Tuesday’s detention memo.

“We could essentially like be literally hunting people,” Mathews said, according to prosecutors. “You could provide overwatch while I get close to do what needs to be done to certain things.”

Lemley talked about ambushing a police officer to steal the officer’s weapons and tactical gear, saying, “If there’s like a PoPo cruiser parked on the street and he doesn’t have backup, I can execute him at a whim and just take his stuff,” according to prosecutors.

FBI agents arrested Mathews, Lemley and William Garfield Bilbrough IV, 19, of Denton, Maryland last Thursday as part of a broader investigation of The Base. Authorities in Georgia and Wisconsin also arrested four other men linked to the group.

Detention hearings for Mathews and Bilbrough are scheduled for Wednesday at the federal courthouse in Greenbelt, Maryland. Their attorneys didn’t immediately respond to the memo filed Tuesday by Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Windom.

Mathews and Lemley are charged with transporting a firearm and ammunition with intent to commit a felony. Bilbrough is charged with “transporting and harboring aliens.”

Bilbrough’s attorney, Robert Bonsib, said last Thursday that he was “underwhelmed” by a prosecutor’s arguments for keeping his client detained. Bilbrough was the only one of the three men not facing a firearms-related charge.

“I think this 19-year-old man should be released,” Bonsib told reporters.

Lawyers for Mathews and Lemley declined to comment after last Thursday’s hearings.

Mathews, who was a combat engineer in the Canadian Army Reserve, illegally crossed the U.S. border near Minnesota in August after reporting by the Winnipeg Free Press led to his identification as a member of The Base.

Investigators believe Bilbrough and Lemley, who was a “cavalry scout” in the U.S. Army, drove from Maryland to Michigan to pick up Mathews and bring him to the Mid-Atlantic region, authorities said.

On Jan. 5, Mathews and Lemley returned to the Delaware home from a gun range in Maryland and began packing rations and other material that investigators believe they planned to use during and after the Virginia rally, court documents said.

They packed containers with food and supplies before Mathews remarked about needing to bring a gas mask, investigators said. Lemley also said he thought they’d have food to last between three and five months and that it “might be enough til the war is over,” according to the filing.

Lemley had also discussed loading the truck “for the war,” the documents said. Authorities said Lemley had also bought a 4-foot (1-meter) metal antenna to attach to his truck to get a better radio signal to communicate after any Virginia confrontations.

A day before their arrests, Lemley told Mathews that “there cannot be no trust among a group of murderers,” the detention memo says.

“I cannot trust you to keep my murdering secrets. Not under threat of 30 years in jail and torture. Why should I trust you?” Lemley asked.

“You realize that they’re just going to call us terrorists,” Mathews said minutes later.

As federal agents moved in to arrest Lemley and Matthews on Thursday, the men smashed cellphones and dropped the pieces in a toilet, a prosecutor said.

Bilbrough was arrested in Maryland. Prosecutors say Bilbrough has repeatedly expressed an interest in traveling to Ukraine to fight alongside “nationalists” for several months.

U.S. and Canadian authorities had been searching for Mathews after his truck was found in September near the border between the two countries. The Canadian military’s intelligence unit was investigating Mathews for “possible racist extremist activities” for several months, according to the Canadian Department of National Defence.

The Anti-Defamation League said members of The Base and other white supremacist groups have frequently posted online messages advocating for “accelerationism,” a fringe philosophy in which far-right extremists “have assigned to their desire to hasten the collapse of society as we know it.”

Last Friday, Georgia authorities announced that they arrested three members of The Base on charges they conspired to kill members of a militant anti-fascist group. The arrests came after an undercover FBI agent infiltrated the group and participated in shooting drills in the mountains of northern Georgia, according to a police affidavit.

Separately last Friday, the Justice Department charged a Wisconsin man who they say was also a member of The Base. That man is accused of spray- painting swastikas, the group’s symbol and anti-Semitic words on a synagogue in Racine, Wisconsin , in September.

___

Associated Press reporter Mike Balsamo in Washington, D.C., contributed to this report.

___

This story has been corrected to reflect that Patrik Jordan Mathews is a former Canadian Armed Forces reservist.

Terre Haute
Clear
86° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 73°
Feels Like: 92°
Robinson
Clear
85° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 91°
Indianapolis
Partly Cloudy
82° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 74°
Feels Like: 86°
Rockville
Partly Cloudy
83° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 73°
Feels Like: 90°
Casey
Clear
85° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 73°
Feels Like: 90°
Brazil
Partly Cloudy
86° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 92°
Marshall
Clear
86° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 92°
Showers and storms late this evening.
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Cases: 1388634

Reported Deaths: 25566
CountyCasesDeaths
Cook55620110461
DuPage923681316
Will769181032
Lake683491014
Kane59419807
Winnebago34106506
Madison30930526
McHenry29182294
St. Clair28316519
Peoria23443342
Champaign21100154
Sangamon19094240
McLean18553187
Tazewell17227305
Rock Island15245329
Kankakee14550217
Kendall1327899
LaSalle12779250
Macon10997211
DeKalb10116121
Vermilion10021142
Adams8677126
Williamson7595134
Whiteside7199174
Boone683677
Ogle620683
Grundy598678
Clinton578991
Coles5770100
Knox5642153
Jackson510065
Henry507870
Livingston489691
Woodford483282
Stephenson481985
Macoupin478288
Effingham476872
Franklin454178
Marion4513117
Jefferson4422122
Monroe438094
Lee419354
Randolph416487
Fulton405159
Logan396964
Morgan393482
Christian383875
Montgomery379474
Bureau378383
Fayette322555
Perry320360
Iroquois313867
McDonough290851
Jersey271652
Douglas260636
Saline260357
Lawrence241127
Shelby232638
Union228141
Crawford214525
Bond208724
Cass203527
Ford188948
Warren184148
Clark183733
Jo Daviess182724
Pike181853
Wayne181053
Hancock180631
Carroll178337
Richland176940
Edgar176740
White170626
Washington164825
Moultrie163128
De Witt157229
Mason154145
Piatt152414
Clay149643
Mercer149334
Johnson147616
Greene145134
Massac135840
Wabash135612
Cumberland130119
Menard125012
Jasper116718
Marshall108119
Hamilton84215
Schuyler7797
Brown7286
Pulaski7007
Stark64824
Edwards57712
Calhoun5302
Henderson52814
Scott4881
Putnam4863
Alexander47411
Gallatin4694
Hardin39112
Pope3284
Out of IL350
Unassigned02433

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Cases: 751242

Reported Deaths: 13795
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1032931788
Lake556911009
Allen41692692
St. Joseph36990565
Hamilton36588417
Elkhart29398461
Tippecanoe22901226
Vanderburgh22556400
Porter19356325
Johnson18471389
Hendricks17682317
Clark13226195
Madison13149344
Vigo12614253
LaPorte12419221
Monroe12207176
Delaware10966198
Howard10321225
Kosciusko9630121
Hancock8576146
Bartholomew8169157
Warrick7860156
Floyd7811180
Grant7242179
Wayne7162201
Boone6966103
Morgan6761141
Dubois6218118
Marshall6209116
Cass6016110
Henry5900110
Dearborn589878
Noble581488
Jackson509076
Shelby501496
Lawrence4742122
Gibson444894
Clinton442355
Harrison441875
DeKalb439885
Montgomery438090
Whitley406543
Huntington402681
Steuben400159
Miami395269
Jasper388054
Knox375991
Putnam372960
Wabash361983
Ripley347170
Adams345555
Jefferson335886
White331953
Daviess3033100
Wells295281
Decatur289992
Greene286885
Fayette284864
Posey273835
LaGrange273072
Scott270156
Clay267148
Washington246036
Randolph244783
Jennings235349
Spencer234531
Starke228058
Fountain220948
Sullivan214643
Owen211858
Fulton202942
Jay200932
Carroll193620
Orange188255
Perry187237
Rush175926
Vermillion174844
Franklin170335
Tipton166246
Parke149416
Pike138234
Blackford136232
Pulaski120647
Newton113936
Brown104243
Crawford102516
Benton101714
Martin91715
Warren84015
Switzerland8148
Union72810
Ohio57911
Unassigned0420