Four army soldiers are being charged with executing a former member of their secret anarchist militia group to silence him. This anti-government group had planned a series of terrorist plots culminating in the assassination of the president and the overthrow of the U.S. government. The plan was serious enough to involve $87,000 in stockpiled guns and bomb components, and real enough to kill friends to keep it secret.
“This domestic terrorist organization did not simply plan and talk,” said Isabel Pauley to a Superior Court judge. “Prior to the murders in this case, the group took action. Evidence shows the group possessed the knowledge, means, and motives to carry out their plan.”
Pfc. Michael Burnett, 26, offered testimony as part of a plea bargain in which he would expose the manslaughter, illegal gang activity, and a host of other charges against the three other soldiers, Pct. Isaac Aguigui, the founder and leader of the group, which calls itself F.E.A.R. (Forever Enduring Always Ready), Sgt. Anthony Peden and Pvt. Christopher Salmon.
The group is charged with malice murder, felony murder, criminal gang activity, aggravated assault, and the crux of the charges, which will be heard Thursday, regard Aguigui’s order for former Michael Roark and his 17-year-old girlfriend, Tiffany York, to be lured into the woods on the premise that they were doing some target practicing, only for York to be shot in the head as she exited the vehicle and for Roark to be made to get on his knees before being shot twice in the head.
Roark was “A ‘loose end’ is the way Isaac put it,” said Burnett. Roark had left the army a few days earlier, and there were concerns he could compromise the group.
Isaac Aguigui called himself “The nicest cold-blooded murderer you will ever meet” in a videotaped interview with military investigators. Some his nice plans include a plot to take over Fort Stewart, to bomb the Forsyth Park Fountain in nearby Savannah, to bomb the dam, to poison the state’s apple crop, and to ultimately overthrow the government and assassinate the president.
The army, however, has dropped its charges against the four soldiers and claims there is no militia problem. “Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield does not have a gang or militia problem,” said Fort Stewart spokesman Kevin Larson. They are still investigating, but say, “However, we don’t believe there are any unknown subjects.”
The hearing is scheduled for this Thursday.