Eye On Hate
...seeking a kinder and gentler world
Domestic Terrorism 101 - Terry Lynn Nichols
By Nicole Nichols
I lawfully, squarely challenge the fraudulent usurping octopus of jurisdiction/authority that does not apply to me, wrote Nichols, claiming that the federal government is operating in violation of the Constitution. It is therefore now mandatory for . . . the so-called IRS, for example, to prove its jurisdiction.
Terry Lynn Nichols was born on April 1, 1955, in Lapeer, Michigan, to Robert and Joyce Nichols. By all accounts, he grew up on a prosperous crop farm with three other siblings. Terry was the third of four children and is described as a shy and gentle person. As a youngster, Terry cared for all types of injured animals and birds, learned to run farm machinery and earned his keep. He wrestled, played football and skied. By all outward appearances, he was a good kid.
At the age of 19 his parents divorced and his mother, Joyce, purchased a farm in Decker, Michigan. James, Terry's older brother, lives and works on that same farm today. Terry attended Central Michigan University briefly then dropped out. This was followed by a series of jobs. At one point he obtained a real estate license and moved to Denver, Colorado only to return to help out with the Decker farm.
In 1980, Terry married real estate agent, Lana Padilla, who had two children. Terry fathered a son, Josh, soon to be 21, who currently lives in Las Vegas, Nevada with Lana and is experiencing a great deal of difficulty with the law. After their marriage, Terry and Lana moved in with brother James in Decker.
Around the time of Terry's marriage a virulently anti-Semitic, right-wing organization, the Posse Comitatus, was becoming active and would address the farm crisis that had largely been caused by the governments' agricultural policies. The Posse Comitatus had been formed in 1969, by Henry L. Beach and was quickly taken over by the infamous William Potter Gale. A group of Christian Identity followers, the Posse Comitatus, is dedicated to survivalism, vigilantism and anti-government actions. They believe that the government is controlled by the enemy - Jews. They resist paying taxes and abiding by laws they believe cannot be enforced by the enemy. Some refuse to obtain driver's licenses and to comply with registrations, etc. . As a response to the farm crisis, the Posse issued the following message to ailing farmers:
"Farmers are victims of a Jewish-controlled government and banking system, federal taxes are illegal and loans need not be repaid."
Of course, farmers relished the message and William Potter Gale began recruiting in Michigan.
In nearby Wisconsin, the counterinsurgency director of the Posse, James Wickstrom, was arrested. Wickstrom started the Tigerton Dells Township - of course he did so illegally. Warning his enemies of "the biggest bloodbath you can imagine," Wickstrom was running a guerrilla training camp in Tigerton Dells. Once Wickstrom was convicted, he fled only to be recaptured in 1984. At approximately the same time of Wickstrom's arrest, seven other members were arrested when a scheme to assassinate two federal judges and to blow up the IRS headquarters in Denver was discovered. In 1983, Gordon Kahl, posse activist, gunned down two U.S. Marshals and four months later was killed in a fiery shoot-out.
In 1984, James Nichols married Kelley - Lana Padilla's sister. The marriage was ill-fated and lasts only three years. Kelley filed charges against James claiming that James fondled her son. James Nichols vehemently denied this, was given a lie detector test and successfully passed.
Lana Padilla, later reflected on Terry, saying that her husband seemed "aimless." He would buy and sell small items and one of those was small vials of fertilizer. She claimed that he had always been interested in survivalism and hoarded gold and silver "in anticipation of a nuclear war." He was somewhat shiftless, and had, by all outward appearances no focus. Finally, in 1988, Lana encouraged Terry to join the Army.
At the age of 33, far beyond other recruits, Terry Lynn Nichols went to basic training. It was here, at Fort Benning, that Nichols would meet McVeigh and his life would change forever. After basic training, McVeigh, Nichols and Michael Fortier were sent to an infantry division in Fort Riley, Kansas. All three men brought with them the anti-government sentiment that was becoming so prevalent across the heartland of America. It was not unlikely that their ideology would bind them together both in the Army and in the future. As a matter of record, the Army has come under harsh-criticism for allowing such anti-governmental personalities to enlist and placing three such individuals in such close proximity to each other. Some critics have uttered cries of protest and urged the government to improve its' screening devices.
While the Army seemed to suit Timothy McVeigh, Nichols had a little more difficulty. When his marriage to Lana began to fall apart, and she filed for a divorce, Nichols was able to obtain a "hardship" discharge and in 1989, he became a civilian. In December of 1989, the divorce was finalized.
By this time, both Terry and James had become pretty well steeped in the rhetoric of the anti-Semitic and anti-government Posse. Michigan had long been a hot-bed for right-wing extremists and anti-government thought. And in the early 90's a national farm crisis and severe flooding had combined to hit the state of Michigan a brutal blow. James had already begun to adopt the extremist mind-set - and to formulate a plan. According to the Associated Press and an article in the San Francisco Examiner on June 13, 1995, an unnamed FBI informant provided a sworn affidavit that in December of 1988, James Nichols, upset at the U.S. Government whom he blamed for the terrorist bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, diagrammed the Oklahoma City federal building and discussed with him how a "megabomb" could level it.
Terry, unable to maintain gainful employment and despondent about his divorce turned to a mail-order bride service in Cebu City, in the Philippines. In 1990, Terry Nichols, 30, flew to Cebu City to meet his future bride a 17 year old high school girl. Marife Torres arrived in Decker, Michigan a few months later to begin a new life. But, already there was a problem. It seems that Marife was six months pregnant with another man's child upon her arrival. The child was born in September of 1991, but died by suffocation in what was declared "an accident" on November 22, 1993.Marife's family would later question the "accidental death" proclamation. Timothy McVeigh was living with the Nichols' at the time of the child's death. Nichols appeared to have "accepted" the child and went on to father two more children by Marife.
By 1992, Terry Nichols had jumped into the anti-government movement with both feet. He became quite vocal in his ideology and he and brother James began stamping their paper money with the phrase "Discharged Without Prejudice," indicating that they didn't accept its validity. This was popular among Posse Comitatus members since they believed that money not backed by gold lacked credibility.
On March 16, 1992, Terry Nichols sent the First Deposit National Bank a letter revoking his signature on a credit card application. This was an effort to avoid over $14,000 in debts that he had run up. On April 2, of the same year, Terry renounced his U.S. Citizenship in a letter to a Michigan state agency. Borrowing from the language of Posse rhetoric Nichols worte:
"I no longer am a citizen of the corrupt political corporate state of Michigan and the United States of America... I follow the common laws, not the Uniform Commercial Codes, Michigan Statutes, etc., that are all colorable laws."
The First Deposit National Bank saw no legitimacy in Terry's signature revocation and on April 28, they filed suit against him to recover $14,470.38. Four months later, Chase Manhattan Bank sued him for $17,861.68. When the Court ruled in favor of Chase Manhattan, Terry tried to pay off the debt with a fraudulent "Certified Fractional Reserve Check." In the Court proceedings for First Deposit National Bank, Terry refused to honor the Judge's order to come to the front of the courtroom. Standing at the rear of the court, Nichols shouted, "I don't want to enter your jurisdiction. If I pass this fence here, do I enter your jurisdiction?" Later in the same proceeding, Terry told the Judge, "I'm ... a layman, a natural person, a freedom of common-law citizen under threat and duress and to challenge the jurisdiction of this court."
James Nichols also renounced his U.S. Citizenship during this period. The hatred of the Nichols brothers for the United States Government is well chronicled. Time and again, James and Terry Nichols demonstrated their disdain for government and its entities.
Upon Timothy McVeigh's departure from the Army, he became a frequent guest at the Decker farm. Disgruntled over flunking out of Special Forces, paranoid about government intervention into people's private lives, and sickened by what he had seen in Iraq during the Gulf War, Timothy McVeigh had already made the decision to drop out of America's mainstream. He had taken to the highway, drifting around and set up shop at various gun-shows across the United States. Nichols accompanied him to a few of the gun-shows and reveled in McVeigh's company. Terry's marriage to Marife was already under stress, and Marife's dislike of Terry's friend Tim didn't help the situation. Timothy McVeigh and brothers Terry and James Nichols attended some of the Michigan Militia Corps meetings and spoke frequently about taking on judges, lawyers and police officers. But, they found the inactivity of the militia to be too slow for them. Taking a page out of the Turner Diaries, they decided to form their own "cell" of the militia. Calling themselves the "Patriots" they engaged in experimenting with explosives on the Decker farm.
With the fiery deaths of Branch Davidian cult members burning inside McVeigh and the Nichols' brothers, their outrage and anger at the government became all encompassing. The anti-government and anti-Semitic teachings of the radical right were eagerly embraced by the three men. As McVeigh traveled around the country meeting other like-minded people, Nichols made several trips to the Philippines, the first of which was reported to be financed by Timothy McVeigh.
Speculation about Nichols frequent travels to the Philippines has run rampant since the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Building. And it was some time after the bombing before the pieces to the puzzle started to emerge with a connection. The Philippines have long been a hot-bed for terrorists and fundamentalists activities - especially the island of Mindanao. It has been noted that Terry Nichols made several trips to the Philippines in the early 90's. It has also been noted that Terry Nichols spent some time in Mindanao. Kelly Patricia O'Meara, among others, of Insight Magazine, reported that Terry Nichols was witnessed attending a meeting on that island and that also present in that meeting were Ramzi Yosef, Abdul Hakim Murad and Wali Khan Amin Shah. Ramzi Yosef was the mastermind behind the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, , while Murad and Shah, also involved in the 1993 bombing, were convicted in 1996, for conspiring to blow up 12 airline jets. It was reported that the subject of the meeting centered around bombing activities and building bombs.
Around the same time that the plot to bomb the Murrah Federal Building was being formulated, a group of Al Qaeda operatives had been sent to the Philippines for the purpose of planning and carrying out an operation known as "Bojinka." The plot called for terrorists to plant bombs on 11 U.S. bound planes, all of which would detonate simultaneously over the Pacific. During phase II of the plot, one or more planes would be hijacked and flown into prominent USA landmarks such as the CIA building, the Pentagon and the World Trade Center. This plot was to be carried out on January 21, 1995 - the exact date that Nichols' visa to the Philippines was to expire. The Bojinka plot was broken up on January 6th when some flammable bomb ingredients caught fire in the safe-house of Yosef. Ramiz Yosef escaped and fled the country along with Khalid Shaikh, the reported "mastermind" behind the attacks of September 11th.
Not only was Nichols seen in the company of those plotting the Bojinka move, but while he was spending time in Cebu City where his wife was attending classes - Ramzi Yosef was also in Cebu City visiting friends who were attending the same university. Timothy McVeigh's defense attorney attempted to bring these facts before the jury during the McVeigh trial - but the court ruled against admitting the evidence.
While it may seem incomprehensible to the lay reader that those from the racist right would engage in activities with those from the Middle East, it is really not all that outrageous. There are two unifying factors which come into play when evaluating such an association. First would be their omnipotent hatred of the Jews. We witnessed this "coming together" recently during the "War on Terrorism." Early on, the National Alliance, EURO, Aryan Nations and assorted neo-Nazi skinheads joined in the anti-war movement. Piggy-backing onto the left-wing movement, they developed websites, passed out literature and attempted to march in anti-war parades carrying their banner of "No War For Israel." Their web presence was replete with pictures of Iraqi women and children and a plea for the "innocents." All of this had nothing to do with their compassion for the Iraqi people - a people who they would shun at best and murder at worst. But, it had everything to do with their hatred of Israel and the Jewish people.
The other unifying factor is their deep and abiding hatred of the United States government. Any act which results in sending a message or incapacitating the government of the United States is frequently met with applause and kudos from the right-wing extremists. This was evidenced best by the salutations offered by the racist leaders after the attacks of September 11th. Additionally, Dennis Mahon, the neo-Nazi leader of the Oklahoma cell of White Aryan Resistance, was, at one time, on the Iraqi payroll for his staging of anti-war rallies during the Persian Gulf War. In an appellate brief filed by McVeigh's defense attorney, Stephen Jones, we can find the following statement:
"The defense believes that there is credible evidence that a conspiracy to bomb federal property, very possibly the Murrah Building, is centered in Elohim City and the persons described which are associated with Elohim City, but that the technical expertise and possibly financial support came from a foreign country, most likely Iraq, but possibly Iran or another state in the Middle East. Dennis Mahon has admitted publicly to received money from Iraq, approximately once a month. D.E. 2191 at 11. According to Mahon, the money started arriving in 1991 after he began holding rallies protesting the Persian Gulf War. Id.
Although the defense has no direct evidence linking Suspect I with Iraq, there is evidence indicating an indirect connection between Suspect I and Iraq through the militant Posse Comitatus group in Kansas."
As the materials for bomb making were gathered, Terry Nichols and Timothy McVeigh were seen in contact with men of Middle-Eastern origin. They were witnessed together not only in the Philippines - but in the United States, as well. In November of 1994, it is alleged that Terry Nichols robbed a gun-dealer acquaintance of Timothy McVeigh - Roger Moore. The robbery netted cash and guns. According to reports, Nichols left for Las Vegas directly after the robbery. His ex-wife, Lana Padilla was residing in Vegas with their son, Josh. While there, Nichols hid the cash in Lana's house and left a note to be opened only if he did not return from the Philippines by January 28th - two days after the Bojinka operation was to be carried out. The note contained instructions for his death. The note also specified that in the event of his death all cash and valuables were to be sent to Marife who was at that time already in Cebu City. There was also a cryptic message for McVeigh, saying "Go for it. As far as heat, none that I am aware of." The note also contained instructions for retrieving the fertilizer which Nichols had placed in storage.
Nichols returned a week before his 60 day visa expire and began house-hunting in Kansas, settling in Herington. He indicated to McVeigh that he did not want to be directly involved on the day of the bombing, but reportedly traveled with Tim to Oklahoma City on April 16th, Easter Sunday, to scout out the building and get-away plans. By all accounts, Terry Nichols remained at home on April 19, 1995. Hearing his name on TV as a suspect in the bombing, Terry Nichols turned himself in to police on April 21st.
Terry Nichols was found guilty of "manslaughter" largely because the evidence presented did not place him at the scene of the crime and was inconclusive when it came to how much assistance he gave in the actual mixing of the bomb. He is now facing first degree murder charges brought by the State of Oklahoma and the trial will be held later this year. Recent findings and developments, however, concerning the inept investigation of the FBI into the white supremacy and Middle-Eastern connections of McVeigh and Nichols, as well as what appears to be a grand-scale cover-up on the nature of the bomb(s) found at the site might very well color the outcome of that trial.
In the wake of the inept handling of surveillance and information surrounding the horrendous attacks of September 11th, much of America has grave concerns over our federal agencies and their abilities to investigate and protect the citizenry from terrorist attacks. The mishandling of evidence, the unmistakable cover-ups, and the inefficient investigation into the perpetrators and conspirators of the bombing of the Alrfred P. Murrah Building in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995, was the precursor to the events of September 11th. Justice has yet to be served in the Oklahoma City bombing - and until it is, Citizens Against Hate cannot rest. We must doggedly and tirelessly pursue that justice. Join us in our fight. Write your Congressman and demand that the investigation be reopened and that it spread a net wide enough to bring justice to all of those involved.
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