Aryan Republican Army

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The Aryan Republican Army is the name given to a White nationalist criminal group active in the United States in the early-to-mid 1990s. The group is alleged to have associated with convicted Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh in the months before the Oklahoma City bombing.[1] The organization was sometimes referenced in the media as the Midwest Bank Robbers.[2]

Activities[edit]

Members of the Aryan Republican Army were responsible for a series of 22 bank robberies in the American Midwest. They reportedly targeted banks in the Midwest due to a belief that security measures there would be less thorough. Known members of the ARA include Michael William Brescia, Mark William Thomas, Richard Lee Guthrie Jr., Peter Kevin Langan, Kevin McCarthy, and Scott Stedeford. Subsequent to their arrest, Guthrie, Langan, McCarthy and Thomas became witnesses for the prosecution.[citation needed] Richard Lee Guthrie reportedly hanged himself while in custody, a day before he was to give a television interview about an alleged cover-up related to the death of Kenneth Michael Trentadue, also found hanged while in custody.[3] All members otherwise received prison sentences of varying lengths, on an array of state and/or federal charges.[4]

Connections to the Oklahoma City bombing[edit]

Brescia and Guthrie both resided for a time at Elohim City, a private community made up of followers of the late Christian Identity pastor Robert G. Millar, and other persons associated with right-wing extremist and White nationalist-style views. Other ARA members were known to frequent Elohim City as well. Elohim City security director Andreas Strassmeir was a known associate of Timothy McVeigh (having met him at a Tulsa gun show), and federal investigators determined that McVeigh had made a phone call to Elohim City on April 5, 1995, just two weeks prior to the Oklahoma City bombing (although no one at Elohim City claims to have spoken with him).[5] Additionally, five separate women from a nightclub in Tulsa have each identified Brescia as the man who was paying for Tim McVeigh's drinks on April 8, 1995, just three days after McVeigh's suspicious phone call. Two more women in Kansas reported that McVeigh and Brescia were frequent associates, while Guthrie bore a distinct physical resemblance to "John Doe Number Two". Timothy McVeigh's sister, Jennifer, also claimed that he had been one of the participants in several, unspecified bank robberies.

Popular culture[edit]

In 2010, the Aryan Republican Army was the subject of episode 82 of the Gangland television series.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Evans-Pritchard, Ambrose (December 8, 1996). "America's 'Aryan' hard men take lead from IRA". London Sunday Telegraph. Archived from the original on March 8, 2005. Retrieved August 31, 2012. 
  2. ^ Jasper, William F. (November 28, 2005). "Terror, lies & memos: recently uncovered FBI documents expose official lies and complicity in one of our nation's most deadly terror attacks". The New American. Retrieved February 5, 2013. 
  3. ^ The Independent (2004-01-29). "Does one man on death row hold the secret of Oklahoma?". The Independent. Retrieved 2008-12-14. 
  4. ^ Slobodzian, Joseph A. (March 20, 1998). "Hate-group Organizer Given 8-year Prison Term". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved August 31, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Extremism in America: Elohim City". The Anti-Defamation League. August 9, 2002. Retrieved August 31, 2012. 

External links[edit]