Frederick Thomas believed he was meeting with a dealer in black market weapons at a Georgia restaurant, according to FBI affidavits quoted by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I ain't worried about dying,” said Thomas, 73, the accused ringleader of a militia group now at the center of domestic terrorism charges. Neither Thomas nor his colleague, 67-year-old Dan “Cobra” Roberts, knew the arms dealer was an undercover informant for the FBI.
The two were accused with two other men planning to unleash the toxic agent ricin across Atlanta and other major U.S. cities, bomb federal buildings, and take innocent lives. Documents say the men intended to launch their plot within a year. Thomas talked about buying explosives, silencers, and mines, and killing officials with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and Drug Enforcement Administration. It was a plan based on a novel by Fox News terrorism expert Mike Vanderboegh that detailed killing Justice Department attorneys, Thomas said, according to the FBI affidavits. “If you had told me these men did these things before I heard about the investigation from the FBI, I would have told you you're a liar,” said Stephens County Sheriff Randy Shirley, who has known three of them for more than three decades. “It just does not add up.”