Leader of armed group at U.S. border boasted of assassination training: FBI

TAOS, N.M. (Reuters) - The leader of an armed group that is stopping undocumented migrants who cross into the United States from Mexico had boasted about training to assassinate former President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, an FBI agent said in court papers on Monday

Reuters April 23, 2019 00:07:48 IST
Leader of armed group at U.S. border boasted of assassination training: FBI

Leader of armed group at US border boasted of assassination training FBI

TAOS, N.M. (Reuters) - The leader of an armed group that is stopping undocumented migrants who cross into the United States from Mexico had boasted about training to assassinate former President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, an FBI agent said in court papers on Monday.

Larry Hopkins, leader of the United Constitutional Patriots group, whose camouflage-wearing armed members claim to have helped U.S. officials detain some 5,600 migrants in New Mexico's desert in the last 60 days was arrested Friday on a weapons charge.

The FBI in court papers filed on Monday said that while investigating Hopkins' group in 2017 witnesses had accused Hopkins of saying the UCP was planning to assassinate Obama, former Democratic presidential candidate Clinton and financier George Soros.

    The UCP group claims to have the support of U.S. Border Patrol at a time when the agency is overwhelmed by record numbers of asylum-seeking Central American families.

    Dressed in clothing that resembles military fatigues and carrying weapons, its members appear in videos disseminated by the group telling groups of migrants, which include women and children and in some cases number in the hundreds, to stop and wait for immigration agents.

    Critics including the American Civil Liberties Union accuse the UCP of being vigilantes who illegally detain and kidnap migrants by impersonating law enforcement.    

    Hopkins was arrested one day after New Mexico's Democratic Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham ordered an investigation of the group, saying in a tweet that "menacing or threatening migrant families and asylum-seekers is absolutely unacceptable and must cease."

    Crowdfunding sites PayPal and GoFundMe last week barred the group, citing policies not to promote hate or violence, after the ACLU called the UCP a "fascist militia."

(Reporting by Andrew Hay in Taos, New Mexico, Editing by Scott Malone and Tom Brown)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.