(Editor’s Note: Just imagine how Trump, Jeff Sessions and the Rethuglicans — and the mainstream media — would have handled this if this right wing wack-job had been a member of Black Lives Matter or a Muslm. – Mark L. Taylor)
By Ryan J. Reilly
The HuffPost (1/8/18)
WASHINGTON ― Usually, when the FBI arrests a terrorist and the Justice Department charges them, it’s a big deal. Combatting terrorism is one of the Justice Department’s top priorities, and terror cases are a great way for federal prosecutors and agents to make names and build careers. The press and the public are very interested. Officials will typically blast out a press release, and, if it’s a big takedown, might even hold a press conference.
The Justice Department didn’t do any of that when federal prosecutors unsealed terrorism charges last week against Taylor Michael Wilson. The 26-year-old white supremacist from St. Charles, Missouri, allegedly breached a secure area of an Amtrak train on Oct. 22 while armed with a gun and plenty of backup ammunition. He set off the emergency brake, sending passengers lunging as the train cars went “completely black.”
The attempted terrorist attack took place aboard an Amtrak train that started off in California and was making its way through a part of Nebraska so remote that it took an hour for the nearest deputy to arrive on the scene. Wilson was found in the second engine of the train, “playing with the controls,” according to the FBI affidavit.
The Justice Department’s handling of the federal terrorism case against Taylor Michael Wilson is indicative of the government’s approach to right wing terrorists.
As passengers waited in dark train cars that smelled of burning rubber, Amtrak workers kept the man pinned down. “I’m the conductor, bitch,” Wilson allegedly said to Amtrak personnel while subdued. They say Wilson had tried to reach for his front waistband, where he was storing a fully loaded handgun.
The incident received little national coverage at the time, perhaps in large part because law enforcement officials didn’t initially treat it as a terrorism case. A subsequent FBI investigation, however, painted a disturbing portrait of an individual who escalated his radical activity in recent years as he built up a massive gun stash, even hiding weapons and extremist propaganda in a secret compartment behind his refrigerator.
In a court affidavit, the FBI agent who investigated the attempted terrorist attack said he’d learned that Wilson traveled with an “alt-right Neo Nazi group” to the deadly “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville in August; may have helped vandalize restaurants with “whites only” stickers; pointed a gun at a black woman during a road rage incident; and spoke of “killing black people” during recent protests against police violence in St. Louis.
Not even a press release
But even when the federal terrorism charges were unsealed against Wilson last week, the case didn’t get a ton of national pickup. One key reason: The Justice Department didn’t tell anyone.
There was no press release on the case out of Justice Department headquarters in Washington, nor from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Nebraska. The reporter who broke the story of the terrorism charges on Thursday evening, Lori Pilger of the Lincoln Journal Star, told HuffPost that she spotted the unsealed case when checking the federal court docket online.
On its face, the lack of attention the Wilson case received from Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ Justice Department could read as a brazen political decision by Trump administration officials to obscure a terrorism case that doesn’t fit into their broader agenda. …
(Commoner Call cartoon by Mark L. Taylor, 2017. Open source and free to use with link to www.thecommonercall.org )