Las Vegas Sun

January 25, 2015

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Terrorism expert says Las Vegas a top target

Richard Beasley said during a talk Wednesday night that he and other panelists weren’t there to shock anyone.

But when Geoffrey Williams, FBI supervisory special agent, said that he believed Las Vegas was the No. 3 terrorism “threat city” in the country, there was a feeling of unwelcome awareness in the room.

“Beyond New York and Washington, D.C., I would challenge anybody to say there’s a city that, if you perpetrated an attack, would attract more media attention,” Williams said. “Between the Strip, Nellis complex and Hoover Dam, we’re a huge threat city.”

Williams was one member of the panel at UNLV’s forum, “The Current Threat Posed by Domestic Terrorists.”

The panel also included FBI Supervisory Special Agent Beasley, Metro Police Lt. Gregory Damarin and Kevin Favreau, the FBI’s Las Vegas division special agent in charge.

The forum was hosted by Metro Police, the FBI’s Las Vegas division, the Anti-Defamation League and the Jewish Federation of Las Vegas.

Beasley, an agent with the Las Vegas Joint Terrorism Task Force, talked to the audience of some 100 people about a 1999 case involving a man named Buford Furrow Jr.

Furrow walked into the lobby of a North Valley Jewish Community Center in Granada Hills district of Los Angeles and shot and wounded three children and two adults; he later shot and killed a Filipino mailman.

Beasley said that Furrow, a white supremacist who became “racially aware” while attending Rancho High School in Las Vegas was an example of a “lone wolf,” someone who commits violence in the name of a group or ideology but does so on their own without instructions from any particular group.

Furrow was sentenced to life in prison.

“It’s good for people to know that there’s lone wolves probably walking around out there right now,” Beasley said. “They’re probably the most dangerous ones that are out there.”

Williams, the supervisor of the Joint Terrorism Task Force, said the task force categorizes domestic terrorist groups into left-wing groups — for example, the Weather Underground, Earth Liberation Front, Animal Liberation Front — and right-wing groups — neo-Nazis, white supremacists, sovereign citizens and anti-abortion extremists.

“Right-wing groups or individuals target individuals based on race, religion, national origin, ethnicity or sexual orientation,” Williams said. “Prior to 9/11, domestic terrorism events had killed more Americans than international terrorism.”

Williams also said a majority of domestic terrorist events in Nevada occur in the northern part of the state and are mostly by sovereign citizens — those who declare themselves above state and federal laws.

Damarin said people are recruited by domestic terrorist groups through the Internet, prisons, schools, special events such as rallies and even cultural events.

Damarin said the best way for parents to prevent their children from being recruited is to constantly monitor them.

“I’m all up into my kids’ business all the time,” Damarin said. “You have to pay attention to your kids. You have to be nosy. You have to look and see what they’re doing, what they’re hiding in their bedrooms.”

Damarin also recommended monitoring what children do on the Internet.

John Cantor, a landscaper for Eldorado High School and member of the National Guard, attended the forum to stay informed about homeland security.

“I think it is important that we here in Las Vegas be aware that we could be a target,” Cantor said. “Everything was very informative here tonight. Hopefully they’ll have more forums like this.”

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  1. <What a shame that Al Qadea always was, still is, and always will be a sub-operation of the CIA. As long as CIA agents like to gamble, I seriously doubt Las Vegas will be the next target of a self-inflicted attack to continue a useless unwinnable war>

    What an assinine comment. Another "rocket scientist" on board today. Or is it another "Oliver Stone" with those ridiculous conspiracy theories?

    <At least when I defend myself against a terrorist trying to violate my civil rights, I'll be justified and more likely to survive unharmed. Try that with Metro and see how many boots you get to the back of your neck>

    Man, are you naieve!! What do you think is going to happen? A terrorist is going to try and rob you on the Strip? Or carjack you? If and when it should happen, it will be swift and you won't have a chance to react other than to pray that you won't die immediately.

  2. "...the panel at UNLV's forum, "The Current Threat Posed by Domestic Terrorists."

    Unfortunately this federal government has branded as domestic terrorists those of us who call ourselves "law-abiding citizens." Police everywhere includes those of us who take our freedoms to keep and bear arms as immediately suspect. Still looking for the link for that report, will post it when I find it.

    "This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it." -- Abraham Lincoln, first inaugural address, 1861

  3. It's called "Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment" dated "7 April 2009" and it's found @

    Page 7: "(U//FOUO) Open source reporting of wartime ammunition shortages has likely spurred rightwing extremists--as well as law-abiding Americans--to make bulk purchases of ammunition. These shortages have increased the cost of ammunition, further exacerbating rightwing extremist paranoia and leading to further stockpiling activity. Both rightwing extremists and law-abiding citizens share a belief that rising crime rates attributed to a slumping economy make the purchase of legitimate firearms a wise move at this time."

  4. Excellent advice, should I ransack the kid's bedroom while they are at school? I got one kid, 8 years old. I bet he's up to no good. I am going to print and copy this letter, cause I think the wife might be hiding something too. When she goes to that quilting class, maybe she is being recruited. Where is her purse? Gonna do some snooping, for the good of the country.

  5. Nice to be reminded how domestic terrorists are just as ugly as the ones overseas. And lets not forget the 20,000+ gang members either. Good thing the great state of Nevada allows us to posses and carry firearms without worry of repercussion.

  6. "Good thing the great state of Nevada allows us to posses and carry firearms without worry of repercussion."

    sunnysideup -- tell that to the late Erik Scott.

    "Fear is the foundation of most governments." - John Adams, 1776 "Thoughts on Government"

    "The more you can increase fear of drugs and crime, welfare mothers, immigrants and aliens, the more you control all the people." - Noam Chomsky

  7. Rule by Fear Rule By Fear...create a threat to moblize the masses....get in line for you daily dose of FEAR

  8. "Rule by Fear Rule By Fear...create a threat to moblize the masses....get in line for you daily dose of FEAR"

    Rocco -- funny thing, saw that very thing on the Colbert Report last night.

  9. whats great is i dont even watch that show...

  10. I see Vegas ranks right up there with NYC and DC. Finally, a little respect.

  11. <Seriously, how much money have we wasted on this homeland security debacle?
    If terrorists were really that organized there would have been TONS of attacks by now. Nothing>


    You answered your own question. I'm not saying HOmeland Security is that successful, but other gov't agencies such as the FBI, CIA plus HSA have averted many proposed terrorist attacks. And do not ask why we haven't heard of this. Use your head. It has something to do with "national security" so you won't hear about it on the nightly news or on Jay Leno.