WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Three anti-government militia members were sentenced in federal court for conspiring to use weapons of mass destruction to attack federal government targets, the US Justice Department (DOJ) said in a press release.
On Friday, Brian Cannon, Terry Peace, and Cory Williamson were sentenced to 12 years in prison each for planning to use homemade explosive devices against government targets in the US state of Georgia. They were also charged with inciting militia groups in other states to rise up in revolution against the government.
“In this case, anti-government ideology and rhetoric morphed into dangerous extremism and led these defendants to arm themselves and travel to a meeting to pick up pipe bombs and other explosives intended for attacks,” US Attorney John Horn said in the statement.
The three defendants participated in online chat forums where they formulated plans to attack government infrastructure using pipe-bombs. They also stated their goal of “forcibly removing" government officials they believe “acted beyond the scope of the US Constitution,” the DOJ said.
The three were arrested in February 2014 and plead guilty to the charges in May 2015.
According to several independent studies, the number of right-wing extremist militias is on the rise in the United States.
In June 2015, the New America Foundation, a think tank, documented that right-wing radicals were responsible for the deaths 48 US citizens since late 2001, while Islamic jihadists killed 26 US nationals over the same period.
In 2014, the US Department of Homeland Security issued a report, later leaked to the public, predicting a rise in anti-government violence over the coming year.