Four men (active duty and former U.S. military members) were charged with malice murder, felony murder, criminal gang activity, aggravated assault and using a firearm while committing a felony after killing two people to keep their plans to assassinate President Obama and take over the government secret. The domestic terrorist organization named F.E.A.R., short for Forever Enduring Always Ready, spent at least $87,000 buying guns and bomb components.
“This domestic terrorist organization did not simply plan and talk,” prosecutor Isabel Pauley told a Superior Court judge. “Prior to the murders in this case, the group took action. Evidence shows the group possessed the knowledge, means and motive to carry out their plans.”
Twenty-six-year-old Fort Stewart soldier, Army Pfc. Michael Burnett, provided testimony that backed up many of the assertions made by prosecutors. Burnett pleaded guilty on Monday to manslaughter, illegal gang activity, and other charges. He has agreed to cooperate with prosecutors in their case against the three other soldiers. Authorities don’t know how many members the militia had.
Pauley said F.E.A.R. plotted to take over Fort Stewart by seizing its ammunition control point and talked of bombing the Forsyth Park fountain in nearby Savannah, she said. In Washington state, she added, the group plotted to bomb a dam and poison the state’s apple crop. Ultimately, prosecutors said, the militia’s goal was to overthrow the government and assassinate the president. A hearing for the the soldiers is scheduled for Thursday.