International News Electronic Telegraph
Sunday 8 December 1996
Issue 564

America's 'Aryan' hard men take lead from IRA
By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard in Washington

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Aryan Republican Army revealed

A NEW and alarming terrorist movement has emerged in the United States. It is inspired by the Provisional IRA and is adopting the Provos' structure of impenetrable underground cells.

Calling itself the Aryan Republican Army, the group appears to be the secret military arm of the American neo-Nazi movement. It is committed to the overthrow of the US government, the extermination of America's Jews, and the establishment of an "Aryan Republic" on the North American continent.

"We call ourselves the Aryan Republican Army because in some of our tactics, and some of our goals, we have modelled the organisation after the successful and yet undefeated Irish Republican Army," said Commander Pedro, a self-styled member of the Aryan high command, on a recruitment video tape obtained by The Sunday Telegraph. "The Irish, another tribe of the Aryan people, have fought off the Jewish-inspired elite of the English."

The FBI discovered the terrorist cell by accident earlier this year while investigating a string of 18 bank robberies in the Mid West. The armed assaults were allegedly carried out by members of the Aryan Army - wearing Ronald Reagan and Count Dracula masks - to fund their revolutionary activities.

Three men are being prosecuted for the robberies and possession of explosives. The leader of the group, Richard Guthrie, was found dead in his prison cell, apparently after hanging himself from an air vent with a sheet.

Among items seized from a storage locker belonging to the group was the Irish Republican Army handbook, a terrorist manual known in Ireland as the Green Book, along with an assortment of books on the Irish struggle including A Little History of Ireland by Seamus MacCall and cassette tapes of a Gaelic language course.

The Aryan recruitment video, filmed at a "safe house" in Kansas around New Year 1995, features armed men in ski masks. It starts with an IRA song, The Patriot Game, then moves on to a theatrical discourse on knee-capping. "We will deal with informers ruthlessly and permanently. For actively working with our enemies, you'll be terminated. If you just like to run your mouth, you'll be knee-capped," explained Commander Pedro, holding up an automatic pistol, and then an electric drill. "Either one, I can guarantee you, are extremely painful."

The tape also singles out the Serbs for praise as role models in ethnic cleansing. Commander Pedro warned that all blacks would be deported from the "Aryan Republic". The pro-IRA sympathies of these neo-Nazis are a new twist in the story of the American racist Right. The Ku Klux Klan used to be virulently anti-Catholic, but many of the members of the Aryan Republican Army are from middle-class Catholic backgrounds.

Mark Thomas, allegedly the intellectual mentor of the Aryan Republican Army, says that he identifies with the "anti-colonial" struggle of the IRA. "I am no Catholic, but my prayers are with the IRA," he wrote in his publication, The Watchman. "The Hard Men who lead them are the mighty of our race . . . May God bless them and keep them. Sinn Fein. Hail the IRA!"

It is an astonishing position for a man who was once a "state chaplain" of the Ku Klux Klan. (He is now Pennsylvania director of the Aryan Nations, a successor to the fascist "Silver Shirts" of the 1930s that looks down on the KKK as "do-nothing belly-achers".)

Thomas is a follower of Nietzsche and the "ancestral memory" theories of Carl Jung. He has become a priest in the growing religion of "Christian Identity". The sect believes that the European peoples are the lost tribes of Israel. He told The Telegraph that the Celtic outposts of Scotland and Ireland are the most pure of the Aryan peoples, as the last to succumb to Judaic influences.

Commander Pedro is in fact Peter Langan, 38, a high-school drop-out from suburban Washington, whose father worked for the CIA.

He and his friends are clownish figures in many ways, but the Aryan Army cell was well-equipped for terrorism. The FBI captured a shoulder-fired rocket launcher, Semtex explosives, hand-grenade canisters, 11 pipe-bombs, and an arsenal of guns. "These people had a support system. They had safe-houses and very good false documents," said Mike Reynolds, senior intelligence analyst at the Southern Poverty Law Centre, which monitors Right-wing violence across the country. "They were clearly preparing for something beyond bank robberies."

What makes this Aryan Army cell so menacing is the growing body of evidence that its members were in contact with Tim McVeigh, the prime suspect in the bombing of the Oklahoma federal building in April last year. Two of the bank robbers were residents of a Christian Identity compound in Oklahoma named Elohim City. McVeigh telephoned Elohim minutes after reserving the truck allegedly used in the bombing.

Michael Brescia is believed to be a fifth member of the Aryan Army cell. He also lived at Elohim City. Five women at a night club in Tulsa have identified Brescia as the man they saw sitting with Tim McVeigh - and paying for the drinks - on April 8, 1995, 11 days before the bombing. A mother and daughter in Kansas have told the FBI that they met Brescia in the company of McVeigh several times.

Whether or not this link can be proved, one thing is clear: the Aryan Republican Army is intent on mass violence. The recruitment video ends with Commander Pedro, in chemical warfare mask, discussing plans to build an Aryan super-bomb made with "yellow cake" plutonium residue. How many more cells of this kind are plotting mayhem and murder in the fascist underground?

Next Story: Vultures wait to pick over Zaire's bones

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