An alleged member of the Black Snake Militia was arrested Friday when authorities found firearms and bomb-making materials in his Montevideo home.
Buford Rogers, a suspected terrorist and alleged member of anti-government “patriot” group the Black Snake Militia (BSM), was arrested Friday when authorities found firearms and bomb-making materials stockpiled in his Montevideo, Minn., home.
According to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the Black Snake Militia is a small but growing organization that began with about 50 active groups around the U.S. a few years ago. Today the ADL reports that BSM has 260 small groups, or cells, around the U.S. It could be part of a larger trend, as thousands of armed right-wing anti-government groups continue to pop up around the United States.
During President Obama’s first term, the number of radical, right-wing groups exploded, now numbering more than 1,300. They are typically heavily armed, believing that the U.S. government is conspiring to take away firearms and destroy liberties. Although the majority of these groups are concentrated in the South, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) records 11 additional anti-government groups operating throughout the state of Minnesota, warning that the proliferation of these groups poses a threat to U.S. national security.
Authorities said Monday that a terrorist attack was thwarted in Montevideo, Minn., last Friday when police apprehended a 24-year-old Buford Rogers, who reportedly stockpiled weapons in his mobile home.
After searching Rogers’ home, authorities found Molotov cocktails, suspected pipe bombs and firearms, as well as evidence of what investigators believe represented incipient planning stages for a terrorist attack.
Jeff Rogers, the suspect’s father, maintains his son’s innocence. “He was not out to bomb nobody and I have no clue where the hell that came from,” Jeff Rogers said. “I have no idea of who the hell he’d even be targeting. He’s not that kind of a person. I can guarantee you that.”
Neighbors found it suspicious that Rogers was flying an upside-down flag outside his home several months ago. He has previously been convicted of felony burglary and is not allowed to own a firearm.
Jeff Rogers’ statement contradicts FBI claims that Rogers was planning a terrorist attack. “The FBI believed there was a terror attack in its planning stages, and we believe there would have been a localized terror attack, and that’s why law enforcement moved quickly to execute the search warrant on Friday to arrest Mr. Rogers,” FBI spokesman Kyle Loven said Monday.
The suspect, founder of the local cell of the anti-government militia group BSM is believed to have targeted Montevideo, a city of about 5,000 people roughly 130 miles west of Minneapolis.
“We had information which indicated that Mr. Rogers was involved in a plot to conduct terror activities in and around the Montevideo area,” Loven said. The FBI spokesman declined to say whether the suspect was acting alone or if there were others involved in the plot.
Montevideo Police Chief Adam Christopher believed Rogers was supported by a small group of people. “That is not a large scale, nationwide group, as far as I know,” Christopher said. “I think it’s kind of them, and their family and a few of their friends.”