Bob Unruh joined WND in 2006 after nearly three decades with the Associated Press, as well as several Upper Midwest newspapers, where he covered everything from legislative battles and sports to tornadoes and homicidal survivalists. He is also a photographer whose scenic work has been used commercially.More ↓Less ↑
An organization that has been linked to domestic terror through a court case against a gunman who confessed to planning mass murder at a Washington-based Christian organization is now being touted by the FBI as a “resource.”
The Southern Poverty Law Center, which was identified by confessed domestic terrorist Floyd Lee Corkins II as the source of his information when he planned to murder staffers at the Family Research Council because of their faith, is listed online by the FBI as a “resource” for “hate crimes.”
“Crimes of hatred and prejudice – from lynchings to cross burnings to vandalism of synagogues – are a sad fact of American history, but the term ‘hate crime’ did not enter the nation’s vocabulary until the 1980s, when emerging hate groups like the Skinheads launched a wave of bias-related crime. The FBI began investigating what we now call hate crimes as far back as World War I, when the Ku Klux Klan first attracted our attention. Today, we remain dedicated to working with state and local partners to prevent the crimes and to bring to justice those who commit them,” the FBI states on its website.
Listed just below the FBI’s reference to “partners” under the headline “resources” is the SPLC.
It was the SPLC that was identified by Corkins, a homosexual activist, as the source of his information in deciding to kill Christians. The SPLC had labeled the FRC a “hate group” because of its biblical position on homosexuality.
After his confession, he was sentenced by Chief U.S. District Judge Richard W. Roberts to 25 years in prison.
On Aug. 15, 2012, a heavily armed Corkins walked into FRC headquarters and began shooting with the intention of killing “as many people as I could.”
He managed to shoot and injure just one person, facilities manager Leo Johnson, who is credited with heroically stopping the attack.
Corkins admitted he picked FRC because the organization was listed as an “anti-gay” hate group by the SPLC on its website.
FRC promotes traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs about the family and homosexuality, but SPLC claims the organization’s “real specialty is defaming gays and lesbians.”
Corkins, a former volunteer at an LGBT community center, pleaded guilty to terrorism.
A video shows Corkins entered the building and approached Johnson, then leaned over to place his backpack on the floor. When he straightened up, Corkins pointed a semi-automatic handgun directly at Johnson and fired. Despite being wounded in the arm, Johnson was able to subdue Corkins after a brief struggle.
Prosecutors said Johnson saved his own life, and probably many others, only because he immediately sensed something was wrong with Corkins. That hunch caused Johnson to get up from behind his desk, putting him in position to tackle the shooter soon after he drew his gun.
Prosecutors said Johnson has endured a long and slow recovery, including surgery on his arm, which will never be fully functioning again, and treatment for blood clots.
Johnson also told his shooter in court papers, “If you believe in God you should pray to him everyday because not only did God save my life that day, he saved yours too.”
Johnson was armed with a gun the day of the attack but told the court God told him not to shoot.
Corkins fingered the SPLC as his inspiration during an interview with the FBI.
Asked by the FBI how he picked FRC to attack, Corkins stated, “It was a, uh, Southern Poverty Law, lists, uh, anti-gay groups. I found them online. I did a little bit of research, went to the website, stuff like that.”
FRC said that when Corkins later pleaded guilty to a charge of domestic terrorism, SPLC “was connected in federal court in this first domestic terrorism conviction in Washington, D.C., under the post 9/11 law.”
“Floyd Corkins admitted his intention to ‘kill the people in the building and then smear a Chick-fil-A sandwich in their face,’” FRC explained. “The Southern Poverty Law Center has thus far refused to remove Family Research Council as a ‘hate group’ from its target map.”
Lt. General Jerry Boykin (Ret.) Boykin, on the staff of the FRC, has suggested he would like the U.S. government and its agencies to discontinue using, citing or working with the SPLC. And he said the media should stop citing SPLC.
He continued: “We want the U.S. government to stop supporting … and using the SPLC. They’re now connected to domestic terrorism.”
He cited the reports from SPLC that law enforcement periodically references, the classes the SPLC teaches to law enforcement officers and other influences.
And Boykin said the U.S. media needs to “stop giving them a voice to spew their hatred.”
Such validation simply gives the appearance that “their dangerous actions” are “sanctioned by the U.S.,” he said.
“Third, we’d really like for the Congress to take some kind of action to do a legitimate assessment of the recklessness of this organization, and assist with forcing our government to stop supporting them,” he said.
Such a move actually has happened previously. It was the Council on American-Islamic Relations that developed close ties to the FBI, offering advice and working with the federal agency on a variety of issues.
Then came revelations of its alleged ties to terror organizations and links to funding campaigns for terror groups, and the FBI ultimately cut off all connections to CAIR.
FRC President Tony Perkins previously said that the SPLC’s statements about the FRC “gave license” to Corkins’ to attack.
“The Southern Poverty Law Center can no longer say that it is not a source for those bent on committing acts of violence,” Perkins said earlier.
“Our nation needs to have an honest conversation about religious extremism and what we can do to avoid religious violence. However, labeling these major world religions as extremists is wrong and hurtful,” said a letter by Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colo., that was signed by dozens of other members.
The letter was addressed to Army Secretary John. M . McHugh at the Pentagon.
SPLC – a left-wing, nonprofit organization that describes itself as dedicated to fighting “bigotry” and monitoring domestic “hate groups” – keeps an eagle eye on tea-party, patriot, Christian, gun-rights and right-wing organizations, often insisting they are fueled by racism and hatred, rather than politics or policy.