WASHINGTON (AP) - The FBI wants state and local police to be on the lookout for possible attacks at the turn of the millennium by hate or apocalyptic groups or lone wolf members of them.
The bureau intends to distribute a 40-page research report, entitled Project Megiddo, that analyzes "the potential for extremist criminal activity in the United States by individuals or domestic groups who attach special significance to the year 2000," according to an FBI written statement Wednesday.
"There are no specific threats, but we often alert law enforcement agencies about impending dates with significance for potential terrorists," FBI spokesman Bill Carter said.
For instance, the FBI annually reminds state and local law enforcement that April 19 is the anniversary of the 1995 bombing of an Oklahoma City federal building and the 1993 federal assault on the Branch Davidian sect outside Waco, Texas.
The research report, named after an ancient battleground in Israel cited in the Bible's New Testament as the site of a millennial battle between forces of good and evil, examines ideologies "which advocate or call for violent action beginning in the year 2000."
"Such ideologies motivate violent white supremacists who seek to initiate a race war; apocalyptic cults which anticipate a violent Armageddon; radical elements of private citizen militias who fear that the United Nations will initiate an armed takeover of the United States and subsequently establish a One World Government, and other groups or individuals which promote violent millennial agendas," the FBI said.
The report also outlines indicators of potential violence, possible preparations for violence and possible targets of millennial extremists.
"Our concern is with fringe, hate or apocalyptic groups or lone wolf members of them who may pose a threat," Carter said. "We're not focusing on militias."
Since the Oklahoma City bombing, the FBI has asked its 56 field offices to meet militia groups in their regions periodically to foster communication and explain that the FBI is not targeting "the majority of militia members (who) engage in law abiding activities," the bureau statement said.
Some militias "have taken positive steps toward ridding themselves of violent extremist elements," the FBI said.
"These extreme members will splinter from more established groups and engage in violence autonomously," the bureau said. "More mainstream militia groups have been helpful in identifying the more extremist elements of the militia who may resort to acts of violence."
Indeed, some militia figures have been brought in to help the FBI negotiate with the Freemen group under siege in Montana and to help try to locate accused Olympic bomber Eric Rudolph..
The lone wolf threat was exemplified by Buford Furrow Jr., who surrendered in August to face charges of killing a Filipino-American mail carrier and wounding four children and woman at Jewish community center in California. Furrow has ties to anti-Semitic hate groups in the Pacific Northwest, including the Aryan Nations and the Christian Identity religious movement, which considers whites a superior race.
FBI officials will distribute copies of the report and discuss it at a meeting of the International Association of Chiefs of Police later this month in Charlotte, N.C. Later, copies will be sent to state and local law enforcement agencies, Carter said. At some point, a version might be made public.