Cops: 2 skinheads sought bomb

Chicago Tribune/May 25, 2005

Trenton, N.J. -- Two convicts with ties to hate groups, including Matthew Hale's World Church of the Creator, were arrested after giving a police informant 60 pounds of fertilizer and asking him to build a bomb, authorities said.

The fertilizer was the same type used by Timothy McVeigh in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, according to court records, although the bomb would have been smaller than McVeigh's.

Authorities said they were uncertain how the bomb might have been used.

Gabriel Carafa, 24, and Craig Orler, 28, of Manchester, N.J., were arrested Friday on federal weapons charges after a six-month investigation.

The two suspects also sold 10 stolen rifles and shotguns and one handgun to undercover officers, prosecutors said.

A federal judge denied them bail Monday.

The case was taken to federal court because penalties there are stiffer, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said Carafa is a leader in the World Church of the Creator, whose head, Hale, was sentenced in April to 40 years in prison for plotting to kill U.S. District Judge Joan Lefkow.

Both men are also members of a skinhead group called The Hated, officials said.

Carafa was convicted of beating a Hindu store owner in 2002. Orler has been convicted at least three times of aggravated assault and burglary, prosecutors said.

They each face 15 years to life in prison if convicted on the new charges.

Hale's group came under suspicion after Lefkow's husband and 89-year-old mother were found shot and killed in the family's Chicago home on Feb. 28.

The killer later was found to be a disgruntled man, Bart Ross, whose medical malpractice lawsuit had been dismissed by several judges. Ross killed himself less than two weeks later.

A federal judge in Chicago on Monday had ordered Hale's group to pay $450,000 in attorney fees to the winning side in a trademark infringement lawsuit.

Hale had been sued by an Oregon church with a similar name. U.S. District Judge Samuel Der-Yeghiayan called the $450,747 in attorney fees sought by the church's Chicago lawyers "reasonable and appropriate."

Lefkow had earlier denied the request for attorney fees, but the 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals reversed her ruling.

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