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Latino Daily News

Saturday May 19, 2012

Possible Attack Against MX Consulate in St. Paul, Minnesota Thwarted by FBI

Possible Attack Against MX Consulate in St. Paul, Minnesota Thwarted by FBI

Photo: Possible Attack Against MX Consulate in St. Paul, Minnesota Thwarted by FBI

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The FBI thwarted a possible attack against the Mexican Consulate in St. Paul, Minnesota, devised by a man suspected of belonging to a white supremacist group.

The media published details Friday of a sworn affadavit presented by the FBI before a federal court in Minneapolis with details of what Joseph Benjamin Thomas, 42, was planning.

According to the document, Thomas told an undercover agent that he wanted to steal an SUV, load it with barrels of oil and gas, and blow it up at the consulate on May 1, the day when pro-immigrant events typically take place.

The fuel would be lit with a sparkler to set off a huge fire to burn down the building, it said.

Thomas, also suspected of plotting to plant fake bombs all along the May Day parade route in the Twin Cities, supposedly told the agent that he had formulas for producing napalm, the document said.

Investigators said that Thomas suspended the projected attack for personal reasons but was arrested all the same in April, together with another person identified as Samuel James Johnson, 31.

The two supposedly planned to found a supremacist group called the Aryan Liberation Movement, with a military branch that would undertake acts of violence.

In the document, the FBI reports that Thomas has been followed since 2010 as part of an investigation into possible domestic terrorism. Last December, agents became suspicious that something was in the works when they saw him keeping watch on the Mexican Consulate.

Besides the plot against the consulate, Thomas also noted down the license numbers of cars with Obama stickers, while an associate asked him to get a list of customers at a bookstore they considered leftist.

Ana Luisa Fajer, the Mexican consul in St. Paul, told reporters that her office was alerted about “the time and method” of the supposed plot, and that the consulate boosted security measures because, she said, “we take these threats very seriously.”