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We will also post relevant news worthy items and information on Human rights issues, racism, extremist individuals and groups and far right political parties from around the world although predominantly Britain.

Monday, 29 November 2010

White supremacists on trial in explosives plot (USA)

Two reputed white supremacists and a black associate collaborated on a plot to sell grenades and guns to a member of a national white supremacist group, according to prosecutors who put the men on trial this week.

But the buyer was really a government informant who often wore hidden video and audio recording equipment, producing hours of what prosecutors say is incriminating evidence.

Jurors, who have watched some of the videos and listened to audio excerpts during the federal trial, are to return to court Monday and Tuesday, then take a break until Nov. 29 because of the Thanksgiving holiday.

On trial are Kenneth Zrallack of Ansonia, Alexander DeFelice of Milford and David Sutton of Milford. They've pleaded not guilty to a host of firearms and conspiracy charges.

The secretly recorded conversations show Sutton, who is black, and DeFelice joking about how an African-American was doing an illegal weapons deal with a white supremacist. The discussion started after undercover informant Joseph Anastasio expressed reservations about Sutton's involvement - in keeping with his cover of being a member of the Imperial Klans of America.

"No, Dave ain't black," DeFelice says.

"Yes I am," Sutton says.

"Dave's Canadian," DeFelice jokes.

"Whatever," Anastasio responds.

"French Canadian," Sutton says.

Sutton then holds up his arm and says, "No. I don't call this extra crispy."

DeFelice then says, "You call it caramelized," and laughter erupts.

Prosecutors say Zrallack, 29, is the leader of the Connecticut-based Battalion 14 white supremacist group, formerly known as the Connecticut White Wolves. They say he was looking to gain national prominence and wanted to commit a "lone wolf" act that would create chaos.

An expert on white supremacist groups, Robert Nill, told prosecutors that the Connecticut White Wolves claimed to have been founded on April 20, Adolf Hitler's birthday, in 2002, and Zrallack formed the successor Battalion 14 in 2009. Court documents also say defendants in the case talked about their desires to kill President Barack Obama and leave an explosive-filled basketball at a New Haven playground so blacks would be killed.

DeFelice, 33, is a Battalion 14 member who knows how to make explosives, prosecutors said. He and Zrallack are being detained during the trial, which is expected to end in early December.

Sutton, 46, is not a member of any white supremacist group, but he lived near DeFelice and has known him for years, according to court testimony. Prosecutors say Sutton helped DeFelice make three explosive grenades that Anastasio bought for $3,000 last January and had offered to dispose of the grenades if the deal fell through, knowing that DeFelice was a white supremacist.

Authorities say they believe Sutton's main motivation was getting DeFelice to broker a sale of semiautomatic firearms to Sutton's brother-in-law, a deal that never happened.

Lawyers for Zrallack and DeFelice declined to comment on the allegations. Sutton's lawyer, Frank Riccio II, said Sutton maintains his innocence and expects to be vindicated. Sutton declined to comment.

The U.S. attorney's office says DeFelice faces up to 70 years in prison if convicted of all counts, while Zrallack and Sutton each face up to five years in prison.

Two other men, Edwin Westmoreland and William Bolton, both of Stratford, have pleaded guilty to similar charges and await sentencing.

Prosecutors say the criminal activities began to surface in late 2008 and early 2009, when DeFelice and Bolton told Anastasio that they had plans to rob a man who assembled and kept a large number of firearms in his apartment. The robbery never was carried out.

Two months later, DeFelice, Bolton and Westmoreland sold Anastasio a sawed-off rifle for $300, a federal indictment says.

In November 2009, Westmoreland sold Anastasio a rifle and a shotgun for $350, court documents say.

And last January, authorities say, DeFelice finished assembling the three explosive grenades. Prosecutors say Anastasio paid DeFelice $3,000, and DeFelice gave $100 of the money to Westmoreland. Anastasio gave the firearms and grenades to federal authorities.

Prosecutors say Zrallack made several hundred dollars off the sale of the firearms to Anastasio, and he took a cut of the sale of the grenades.

Anastasio went to Zrallack's home after buying the grenades and gave him a share of the money that DeFelice had set aside, prosecutors say. The two shared a drink and called out "88," which is a code for "Heil Hitler," prosecutors say. H is the eighth letter of the alphabet.

Federal agents later obtained a search warrant for Zrallack's home and found white supremacist evidence, including a Hitler poster, Nazi flags and photos of Zrallack holding weapons and posing as Hitler. They say they also found white supremacist videos and photos on Zrallack's computer.

Anastasio also testified that he, Zrallack and several others waived Nazi flags near an outdoor Jewish menorah lighting ceremony in Fairfield in December 2009.

"My credibility was on the line with these people," Anastasio testified. "I wanted to show them that I had the same beliefs as them, which I don't."

Anastasio said the Fairfield incident made him "sick" and "upset."

He said he was also concerned once when he went to DeFelice's home and found DeFelice and Westmoreland removing gunpowder from shotgun shells. Anastasio said he couldn't believe they were smoking cigarettes around explosives while DeFelice's children were in the house.

"I just didn't want to be around there," Anastasio said.

Washington Post


Switzerland endorsed Sunday a far-right push to automatically expel foreign residents convicted of certain crimes, to the dismay of critics who described it as a "dark day for human rights."  The approval of the initiative in a referendum was an expression of insecurity, the justice minister said, stressing the government would examine how to implement the new rule without violating its international obligations. In the vote, 52.9 percent were in favour of automatic expulsions and 47.1 percent were against, with the country's German-speaking majority largely backing the proposal. Only six of the 26 cantons rejected the initiative. The vote came exactly a year after Switzerland shocked the world by agreeing to ban the construction of new minarets, which was another proposal backed by the far-right Swiss People's Party (SVP). The decision on Sunday "is a first step on the way towards greater security," said the SVP in a statement. As with their campaign against minarets, the far-right party launched an aggressive push for the expulsion of foreign criminals, saying those guilty of certain crimes should be stripped of their right to remain in the country. Its signature poster illustrates a white sheep kicking a black sheep out of the Swiss flag. Another poster depicts a gangster-like man with the slogan "Ivan S., rapist, and soon a Swiss?". Swiss Justice Minister Simonetta Sommaruga noted that the "majority of the voters have sent a clear signal that they consider foreign criminality to be a serious problem." It is "an expression of insecurity. I take this very seriously," she told journalists.

A working group would be set up to examine how the new rule could be implemented in a way that complies with the Swiss constitution and international conventions, she said. "It is in the interest of all -- Swiss, foreigners and the Swiss economy -- that we have more clarity on this soon," she added. Judges can already issue expulsion orders for foreign criminals but the SVP's initiative goes further by requiring automatic expulsions for those found guilty of "rape, serious sexual offence, acts of violence such as robbery," drug trafficking and "abuse of social aid." According to the Federal Office of Migration, about 350 to 400 people are expelled every year but this figure would rise to 1,500 with the adoption of the new initiative. Critics object that it smacks of discrimination and runs in the same xenophobic vein as the banning of minarets. Amnesty International said the approval of the plan marked a "dark day for human rights in Switzerland." "The initiative violates not only various international conventions... it is also contrary to the principle of proportionality and that of the ban on all forms of discrimination written into the federal constitution," said the rights group. "The initiators have once more abused the right of an initiative to increase their political capital through xenophobic discourse," said the group, noting it could lead to refugees being sent back to countries where they could be tortured or killed.

On a separate issue, the Swiss clearly rejected a move by the Socialist Party for "more tax justice", with 58.5 percent voting against. The party had asked the Swiss to approve a minimum tax rate of 22 percent for people earning more than 250,000 francs (188,000 euros, 249,000 dollars). The move would have capped the right of individual cantons and communes to set their own tax rates and forced the country's wealthiest to pay more to the taxmen. It was opposed by the government and centre-right parties. Some industrialists, such as lift magnate Alfred Schindler, had threatened to pack up and leave the country if the proposal were adopted.



A substitute teacher was sent home by a Christian primary school in The Hague because she was wearing a headscarf. The Muslim woman was sent to the school by a temporary job agency. The principal of the Van Hoogstraten School, which forms part of a Hague foundation for Christian education, said it bars staff from wearing clothing that gives expression to other religious persuasions than Protestantism. Headscarves and yarmulkes are banned, but Christian crosses are encouraged. The Muslim woman was sent away immediately: the school did not bother to ask her whether she was willing to take of her headscarf. The children were sent home or placed in other classes.

Radio Netherlands Worldwide

WikiLeaks cables: Race riots reflected a backward Britain – US ambassador

American embassy cable from 1980s says turmoil showed a nation failing to come to terms with its changing population

The race riots across British cities in 1985 inspired the then US ambassador, Raymond Seitz, to draw comparisons with Charles Dickens's London. After a summer in which Toxteth, Brixton and Handsworth erupted in violence he wrote to Washington: "Dickens described the squalor, overcrowding and poverty in Britain's cities over a century ago. What has changed is that the people affected are increasingly likely to be members of minority groups."

The UK was unprepared for dealing with the impact of immigration, he said, and had looked on "complacently" while America struggled with similar riots in the 1960s.

"The one acerbic exception came in 1968 when Enoch Powell, a Conservative MP, made a notorious speech in which he predicted 'rivers of blood' in the streets if the tide of Asian and African immigrants was not stemmed," Seitz wrote. "However crudely and unacceptably to most of his audience, he had put his finger on a problem: Britain appears unprepared to deal with the profound change in the complexion of its society.

"There are only 1 million blacks and browns in Britain, out of a population of 54 million, and by now half of these are British born. But their outsider status persists."

Racism was reflected in the press, he said. "Reporting of the recent race riots has reflected the rabble-rousing racism which is still easy discourse in modern Britain. Tabloids describe the 'Zulu-style war cries' of the rioters and recycle the comments of whites calling them 'barbarians' and 'animals'.

"We are likely to see more rioting ahead. While the onset of winter may inhibit street violence, spring cannot be far behind."

 The Guardian