Were Scottsdale bombing suspects plotting more attacks?

By Nick R. Martin | June 25th, 2009 | 7:47 pm | No Comments »

Federal court documents say the two men arrested today on suspicion of a 2004 Scottsdale bombing were teaching others how to conduct domestic terrorism as recently as this year, and one of them even instructed another person to attack power grids in Arizona or Texas in the event of their arrest.

The paperwork, made public this afternoon following the arrests of Dennis and Daniel Mahon in Illinois, says the brothers engaged in a conspiracy to “promote racial discord.” They did so, it says, on behalf of an Indiana-based hate group called the White Aryan Resistance, or WAR, by attacking government and business institutions. It also says the men were teaching others “the tactics of terrorism” to help the cause.

Dennis Mahon, who has extensive ties to white supremacist and extremist groups, also sent numerous pieces of radical propaganda to someone in Wickenburg, whom the indictment did not name.

The paperwork raises serious questions about whether the duo and their associates planned to carry out other attacks similar to the bombing that seriously injured Scottsdale’s diversity director, Don Logan.

Last year, long before the Mahon name was publicly connected to the Scottsdale crime, federal authorities said the bombing shared “commonalities” with others across the US and Canada. However, the documents released today do not point to other specific attacks.

The paperwork does, however, lay out a lengthy trail of plotting and planning between the men and their associates, taking place for nearly five years and mostly in the Midwest and Arizona.

In 2005, for example, the court records allege Dennis Mahon demonstrated for someone else — a person not named in the document — how to build a bomb using a cardboard box, wires and other materials. “Dennis Mahon told the individual that the bomb would either kill the victim or injure the victim’s fingers and face.”

In 2007, the records say, Dennis Mahon instructed someone — still unnamed — to travel to Missouri to learn how to make bombs and avoid law enforcement.

Last year, they say, he told a person to commit some kind of violence “on behalf of the movement,” then send him newspaper clippings of the attack as proof.

Then in January of this year, Dennis Mahon instructed a person to attack power grids in Arizona or Texas “in the event that leaders of the white resistance, such as himself, were arrested by law enforcement.”

The Mahon brothers were arrested today on a rural farm outside Rockford, Ill., in the tiny town of Davis Junction. So far, no such attack on a power grid has been reported and it’s unclear whether the request was ever serious or even possible given the group’s resources.

Dennis Mahon appears to be the driver of these alleged actions. His brother’s name is only mentioned a handful of times throughout the court records.

Federal and local officials are scheduled to hold a news conference in downtown Phoenix tomorrow morning to release more details of the alleged conspiracy.