Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

7 Arrested in Bomb Plot against FBI Officials Say Suspects Linked to Militia Planned to Blow Up Federal Buildings

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

7 Arrested in Bomb Plot against FBI Officials Say Suspects Linked to Militia Planned to Blow Up Federal Buildings

Article excerpt

Seven people connected with a right-wing militia were arrested Friday on charges of plotting to blow up the FBI's national fingerprint record center and two other federal buildings in West Virginia.

Agents began making the arrests after Floyd Raymond Looker, 56, the leader of the Mountaineer Militia, gave blueprints of the FBI complex to an undercover agent in exchange for $50,000, the FBI said. The agent was posing as a middleman for a fictitious international terrorist group.

The blueprints of the new $200 million FBI complex in Clarksburg were obtained by a Clarksburg firefighter who belonged to the militia, the FBI said. The fire department keeps the blueprints in case of a fire. "There was a plot. It was ended before it could be consummated," said John P. O'Connor, agent in charge of the FBI's Pittsburgh-based division. O'Connor said the militia also targeted two other federal facilities in West Virginia. He wouldn't identify the places. Law officers confiscated plastic explosives and detonators Friday at five places in West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio. The arrests came after a 16-month investigation. The fingerprint complex is known as the FBI Criminal Justice Information Services Division. Opened last year, it contains fingerprint records that the FBI has collected from police departments nationwide. The seven defendants were jailed without bail pending hearings next week. The charges included conspiring to make bombs, transporting explosives across state lines and conspiring to place explosives near the FBI complex. The conspiracy charges carry up to five years in prison and $250,000 in fines. The other counts carry up to 10 years and $250,000 in fines. O'Connor said Looker of Stonewood, W.Va., and firefighter James Rogers, 40, of Jane Lew, W.Va., were members of the militia organization. Court papers identified Edward F. …

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