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Shofar FTP Archive File: orgs/american/militias/michigan/btb-michigan



                          MICHIGAN

     The Northern Michigan Regional Militia, also known as
the Michigan Militia, has attracted national attention in
the wake of the April 19 bombing of the Federal Building in
Oklahoma City.

     Group leaders have said that Terry Nichols. a suspect
in the Oklahoma blast, attended several of its meetings last
year and that on at least one occasion he brought another
suspect. Timothy McVeigh. Additionally, federal agents
searching the Decker, Michigan farm of Terry Nichols's
brother James -- who has been considered a material witness
in the bombing case-uncovered a number of documents relating
to the Michigan Militia.

     Not surprisingly, leaders of the Michigan Militia have
disagreed with federal officials about the identity of the
bomber, and have offered a theory of their own. A week after
the blast. Michigan Militia commander Norman Olson, along
with his chief of staff, Ray Southwell, announced that they
believed the Japanese had bombed the Oklahoma building. The
motive: retaliation for the recent nerve gas attack on the
Tokyo subways, which Olson and Southwell said was engineered
by the American government.

     When their view was repudiated by a majority of the
Militia's board, the two men immediately resigned from their
positions. Olson assured the press that, nevertheless, "the
Michigan Militia is as strong as ever," and that he and
Southwell will remain members of the organization.

     Despite negative publicity since the Oklahoma city
bombing, the militia movement in Michigan has enjoyed some
continued success in its recruitment.

Mark from Michigan

     Minutes after the bombing in Oklahoma, outspoken
activist Mark Koernke (a.k.a. ''Mark from Michigan"), whose
militant "how-to" videotapes have made him a prime recruiter
for the movement. faxed a cryptic, handwritten message about
the bombing to U.S. Rep. Steve Stockman, a freshman
Republican from Texas. "First update," the fax read in part.
"Seven to 10 floors only. Military people on the scene."
Koernke insisted he had no prior knowledge of the bombing.
and that he had only sent the fax hoping Stockman would "get
cameras in place as soon as possible."

     Koernke, of Dexter, Michigan, is employed as a janitor
at the University of Michigan. He has been identified as
spokesman of the Michigan Militia-at-Large, characterized as
a more radical offshoot of the Michigan Militia. Koernke has
promoted conspiracy theories to audiences around the
country,  including several in the Pacific Northwest while
on a speaking tour sponsored by the Militia of Montana.

     Until recently, Koernke also hosted "The Intelligence
Report," a shortwave radio program that aired five times a
week. Days after the Oklahoma bombing. Koernke told
listeners that federal agents had outfitted suspect Timothy
McVeigh in a bright orange jumpsuit in order to make him an
easy assassination target.

     Koernke's program was subsequentiy pulled from the
airwaves by WWCR, the Nashville, Tennessee, shortwave radio
station that had been broadcasting his daily diatribes.
"We've got to get the gasoline off the fires," insisted the
manager of the station, which reaches 2.7 million listeners
in the United States and a number of foreign countries.


~      
ADL Fact Finding Report, "Beyond the Bombing: The Militia
Menace Grows," Anti-Defamation League, 1995.


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