Four Army soldiers based in Southeast Georgia plotted to take over the government after they killed a former comrade and his girlfriend in order to protect their plans.
According to the Associated Press, the four men started an anarchist militia group, stockpiled assault weapons and plotted a range of anti-government attacks.
As reported by the AP:
Prosecutors in rural Long County, near the sprawling Army post Fort Stewart, said the militia group composed of active duty and former U.S. military members spent at least $87,000 buying guns and bomb components and was serious enough to kill two people - former soldier Michael Roark and his 17-year-old girlfriend, Tiffany York - by shooting them in the woods last December in order to keep its plans secret.
"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."
One of the Fort Stewart soldiers charged in the case, Army Pfc. Michael Burnett, also gave testimony that backed up many of the assertions made by prosecutors. The 26-year-old soldier pleaded guilty Monday to manslaughter, illegal gang activity and other charges. He made a deal to cooperate with prosecutors in their case against the three other soldiers.
Prosecutors said the group called itself F.E.A.R., short for Forever Enduring Always Ready. Pauley said authorities don't know how many members the militia had.
Burnett, 26, said he knew the group's leaders from serving with them at Fort Stewart. He agreed to testify against fellow soldiers Pvt. Isaac Aguigui, identified by prosecutors as the militia's founder and leader, Sgt. Anthony Peden and Pvt. Christopher Salmon.
The prosecutor said the militia group had big plans. It 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.
All of the men were charged with malice murder, felony murder, criminal gang activity, aggravated assault and using a firearm while committing a felony. A hearing for the three soldiers is scheduled for Thursday.
Photo above: U.S. Army Sgt. Anthony Peden, 25, left, and Pvt. Isaac Aguigui, 19, are led away in handcuffs after appearing before a magistrate judge at the Long County Sheriffs Office in Ludowici, Ga. Prosecutors say a murder case against the four soldiers in Georgia has revealed they formed an anarchist militia within the U.S. military with plans to overthrow the federal government.