Homeland Insecurity

The Olympics bombing occurred a little more than a year after the bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building and followed a string of other violent crimes. Among them was a 1996 shootout between Missouri state troopers and the Kehoe brothers, who had been on a murder spree in the Ozarks; and a spate of bank robberies by a masked gang of "revolutionaries" across the Midwest.

In each of these crimes, the perpetrators were alleged to adhere to a cult called Christian Identity, which holds that Jews, blacks, and other minorities are not real people, but rather a bad first copy by God when he made man, and should not be confused with the real people, who are white Anglo-Saxons. Neither the mainline Christian denominations nor the feds have ever taken Christian Identity seriously, the mainstream churches because they don't want to seen as intruding upon the activities of other churches and because in places like the South and Southwest, denominations like the Baptists compete directly with Christian Identity for converts and don't want to sour those attempts by aligning themselves with the hated federal government.

Law enforcement types insist on tenaciously adhering to psychological personality profiles, which almost always portray the suspected criminal as a "loner" who is "outside" society and inexplicably "acts out." Thus, in the Oklahoma City bomb trial, the feds never pursued evidence provided by one of their own undercover agents that the bombing was a plot hatched in a Christian Identity encampment near the Ozarks called Elohim City. The undercover agent accompanied a group of men in casing the federal building that McVeigh subsequently blew up. And the feds ignored a previous attempt to blow up the same building by another group of Christian Identity adherents. When the defense sought to introduce this evidence into McVeigh's trial, the judge blocked it.

Additional reporting: Phoebe St John.
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