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January 31, 2004

NOW THIS IS TROUBLING:

NOONDAY, Texas - William Krar and Judith Bruey assembled a frightening arsenal in three rented storage units in this East Texas town, and federal authorities are trying to figure out why.

A raid in April found nearly two pounds of a cyanide compound and other chemicals that could create enough poisonous gas to kill everyone inside a space as large as a big-chain bookstore or a small-town civic center.

Authorities also discovered nearly half a million rounds of ammunition, more than 60 pipe bombs, machine guns, silencers and remote-controlled bombs disguised as briefcases, plus pamphlets on how to make chemical weapons, and anti-Semitic, anti-black and anti-government books.

What's not clear from the investigation is what, exactly, they planned to do with this stuff. One thing that's troubling is the potential for cooperation between Arab terrorists and domestic extremists. There remain questions about Oklahoma City in that regard, and -- as was noted here on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001 -- there were certainly domestic wackos who were quite pleased with those attacks.

UPDATE: Jay Cantor emails:

To me, the most disturbing thing about the discovery of Krar's arsenal, though, is that is was uncovered purely by chance. Now terrorists often trip themselves through luck, or stupidity (a la the 1993 WTC bombers), but it is scarcely
reassuring to know that someone possibly escaped being shot, poisoned, or blown up by a terrorist crackpot solely due to a misdirected mail package!

Yes. Though domestic extremists are a different breed, and often seem to view the accretion of huge arsenals as an end in itself -- they're waiting for some future date when war breaks out against the "Zionist Occupation Government." That provides only limited comfort, however, as one can never be sure when they'll decide that the time has arrived.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Justin Katz has more worries.