June 26, 2009

Back in 2004, someone sent a letter bomb to Don Logan, the director of the Office of Diversity and Dialogue in Scottsdale, Ariz. Logan suffered serious burns on his hands and arms, and two other people suffered minor injuries.

At the time, it was clear that both federal and local authorities wanted to treat the case as an "isolated incident" unconnected to any racial matters. The chief line of investigation was into Logan's personal background, to see if he might have had financial dealings that created enemies. Unsurprisingly, the trail went cold in short order.

Yesterday, the FBI finally arrested three white supremacists in the case:

An undercover ATF sting raided white supremacists in at least three states on Thursday in an investigation connected to the 2004 letter bombing of Don Logan, an African-American who worked for a diversity program in Scottsdale, Arizona.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms infiltrated "several" undercover agents into white supremacist circles as part of the investigation, according to court records.

In Arizona, Dennis and Daniel Mahon were arrested this week by the ATF on a sealed indictment issued June 16.

In Missouri, Robert Neil Joos was arrested by the ATF on a firearms charge. An ATF affidavit said the arrest resulted from a multi-year investigation into the Logan bombing.

According to the affidavit, Dennis Mahon called Joos on the morning of the bombing.

dennismahon_b90b4.jpgDennis Mahon has been a player in the white-supremacy movement for a couple of decades now:

Dennis Mahon is a white supremacist and anti-Semite who has been active in several states in the Midwest and in Arizona. He has held leadership positions within various white supremacist groups, including the Ku Klux Klan and White Aryan Resistance (WAR), a now-defunct group led by long-time white supremacist Tom Metzger.

In 1991, Mahon even embarked on a Klan/neo-Nazi recruitment tour in Europe.

Mahon claims to have befriended Timothy McVeigh when both were hanging out at Elohim City, the violent white-supremacist enclave in the Ozarks.

Likewise, Robert Joos has been a figure on the white-supremacist right for some time. He was arrested for pulling a gun on a cop during a traffic pullover in Missouri in 1994. Joos is a hardcore "dual seedline" adherent of the white-supremacist Christian Identity movement, and is mostly regarded a paranoid recluse. However, as the Joplin Globe notes, he is also known to have some expertise in explosives:

Joos is characterized in the affidavit as a “long-time white supremacist associate and an expert on weapons, explosives, bomb making and general survival skills.”

Joos allegedly told undercover operatives that he knew how to make napalm and agreed to train others, and that he used caves on his property for concealment and shelter. The caves were stockpiled with food, water and weapons, according to the affidavit.

After awhile, it ceased to surprise me when these cases were buried during the Bush administration -- which treated terrorism mostly as a marketing tool. It's a relief to see them get the handling they deserve now.

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