Michael Roark – A murder case underway in rural southeast Georgia has unearthed the existence of an anarchist militia group that grew out of the Fort Stewart Army base with the goal of recruiting members from the Army and stockpiling enough sophisticated weaponry to take over the government and assassinate the president.
Prosecutors allege that the four members of the group who are on trial in Long County, Georgia, killed a former group member Michael Roark and his 17-year-old girlfriend by shooting them in the head to keep them silent about the militia’s activities.
The militia, made up completely of active and former U.S. military, spent $87,000 buying guns and bomb parts to begin activating its plans. The name of the was F.E.A.R., short for Forever Enduring Always Ready, but authorities still aren’t sure how many members it had.
The four members on trial are being charged by state authorities with malice murder, felony murder, criminal gang activity, aggravated assault and using a firearm while committing a felony. Prosecutors accuse them of killing former soldier Roark, 19, and his 17-year-old girlfriend, Tiffany York, by shooting them in the woods last December in cold-blooded fashion.
“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 four members, Pfc. Michael Burnett, turned on the others and assisted prosecutors, in exchange pleading guilty to the lesser crimes of manslaughter and illegal gang activity, in addition to other chages.
According to prosecutors, the group’s ringleader was Pvt. Isaac Aguigui, who was joined in the plot by Sgt. Anthony Peden and Pvt. Christopher Salmon.
To fund the militia and buy weaponry, Aguigui used the proceeds from the $500,00 he was paid out from his pregnant wife’s insurance policy when she died a year ago. Though Aguigui was not charged in her death, Pauley told the judge her death was “highly suspicious.”
She said Aguigui used the money to buy $87,000 worth of semiautomatic assault rifles, other guns and bomb components that were recovered from the accused soldiers’ homes and from a storage locker. He also used the insurance payments to buy land for his militia group in Washington state, Pauley said.