Sorting Out Simple Hate From Terrorism

The mother of a Michigan teenager accused of plotting a terror attack on his school said her son is a good boy, but something bad got into him.

Some of that may have been unveiled last week when police displayed some of the items they say they found at the teenager's home when they arrested him Friday. Along with an AK-47, two rifles, pipe bombs, bomb-making supplies and other weapons were Nazi paraphernalia and literature, police said.

And what brought Andrew Osantowski, 17, of Clinton Township, to the attention of authorities was an Internet dialogue he allegedly conducted with an Idaho girl — who was so shocked by the virulence of the white supremacism, race hatred and threats of violence she read, that she told her police officer father.

Osantowski did not belong to any known hate group, and apparently had little or no personal contact with others who might have shared his views, police said.

But Osantowski, who is being held on $1.35 million bail facing charges of threatening an act of terrorism, receiving and concealing stolen firearms, and larceny, among others, seems to fit with what some experts on extremist groups say is a growing face of hate — disaffected suburban white youths, acting alone, inspired by what they see on the Internet.

"This kid's a loner," Clinton Township police Capt. Doug Mills said. "But everything we've seen says he is a definite believer in these kinds of beliefs. He's like an encyclopedia."

Mills said the FBI has joined the investigation, looking into "the aspect of the hate-type crimes and possible involvement with groups like the Aryan Nation."


Osantowski's father, Marvin, 52, was also arrested on charges of concealing stolen weapons. He pleaded not guilty and was being held on $600,000 bail. Mills said it does not appear that the man knew anything about what his son allegedly planned to do with the arsenal, which was stored in an attic accessible from the teenager's bedroom and an attic over the garage.

A family friend, Dominic Queentry, 33, who Mills said allegedly taught the teenager "how to build a better bomb," was arrested on charges of possessing explosives and other counts. He pleaded not guilty and was being held on $100,000 bond.

In transcripts of the chat room dialogue Osantowski allegedly carried on with the Idaho teenager, Celia McGinty, that were published by the Detroit News, the teen appears angry and focused.

"DIVERSITY KILLS," he wrote in the chat room, using the name "Nazi Bot Sadistic," according to the newspaper. "There would be no hate in an all white world. Everything after WWII sucked."

Writing about what he planned to do, he allegedly explained why white people would be killed along with blacks, Jews and others.

"Their [sic] going to say if he has right wing ties why did he kill all these white people?" he wrote. "well frankly … they didn't meet my definition of being white. Just because u may have so challed [sic] white skin doesnt mean you're white. Its the values you have … the way you choose to present yourself … if you like black music, black culture … you're not white."

‘A Cesspool of Pent-Up Rage’

Nick Ryan, the author Into a World of Hate: A Journey Among the Extreme Right, said that what he found when he infiltrated neo-Nazi and other hate groups in the United States was a lack of organization or coordination, but an abundance of anger.

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