Headline Archives

   

PREVENTING TERRORIST ATTACKS ON U.S. SOIL
The Case of the Wrong Package Falling into the Right Hands

04/09/04

Photograph of packages and fake identifications.It began with a misdelivered package.

Inside it were half a dozen fake identification documents – birth certificates from three states, a social security card, Defense Intelligence Agency and United Nations ID cards – all in different names, but with the same picture. And a note: "Hope this package gets to you O.K., we would hate to have this fall into the wrong hands."

Luckily, it fell into what we'd call the right hands. The New York resident who mistakenly received the package notified police, who called in the FBI.

The return address led to a Texas man, William Krar, and his longtime companion, Judith Bruey. Turned out that trafficking in phony IDs was just the iceberg tip of their illegal activities.

What did agents find stashed in three storage lockers the pair had rented? Lots of sodium cyanide and other chemicals, instructions on how to combine them to make deadly poison gases; more than 25 machine guns, rifles and pistols; over 250,000 rounds of ammunition; and various kinds of explosives. At their home, agents found more guns, chemicals, and blank fake ID cards.

Who were these people? The couple, who owned a company that made gun parts, had ties to members of the anti-government "militia movement" in New England. The addressee, Edward Feltus, was a member of the New Jersey militia who had his own cache of weapons stored at his Vermont "safe house."

All three were arrested in the spring of 2003 after a joint investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Army Criminal Investigation Division, the Defense Department Criminal Investigative Service, and the FBI's Dallas, Boston and Newark offices. They have since pled guilty – Mr. Krar to possessing a dangerous chemical weapon; Ms. Bruey to conspiracy to possess illegal weapons; and Mr. Feltus to aiding and abetting the transportation of false IDs. They are scheduled to be sentenced next month.

The investigation continues as FBI field offices around the country are questioning associates of the trio to determine whether their activities were part of a broader terrorist plot.

How prevalent are cases of "domestic terrorism"? You may be surprised. Domestic terrorism cases have nearly doubled over the past five years, from almost 3,500 in 1999 to more than 6,000 in 2003.

You can help. It was a tip from an alert citizen that led to the arrest of these domestic terrorists and the dismantling of their weapons arsenal. If you have any information that might stop a terrorist plot, please call your local FBI office or submit a tip yourself.

Link: DOJ press release