Bounty Hunter Disrupts Possible Terror Plot

By Brian Ross And Vic Walter

Jul 31, 2007 3:14pm

A terrorist attack on U.S. soil may have been averted, thanks to the efforts of a Florida bounty hunter. William "Cobra" Staubs claims to have captured more than 8,000 fugitives in his long career hunting bail-jumpers. But his latest nab got the attention of federal terrorism investigators: a self-described ex-soldier allegedly harboring a cache of military-grade explosives, functional pipe bombs and other weapons — and a deep grudge against the U.S. military. "It’s not some hillybilly saying, ‘Hey Mama, how you doing?’ This was real," Cobra told ABC News. After a month-long chase through three states, Cobra caught 38-year-old Christopher Riendeau holed up in a motel near the Fort Campbell, Ky. U.S. Army base. Riendeau, a purported 17-year Army veteran, had skipped out on a $100,000 bond after being arrested on drug charges. Photos: Catching a Possible Lone-Wolf Terrorist Once Riendeau was behind bars, he agreed to a proposal from Cobra to sell off his motorcycle and other items from a Georgia storage shed he rented, to cover his court expenses. In the shed, Cobra discovered more: 16 loaded and fully functional pipe bombs, two pounds of C-4 military explosives, grenade fuses and an arsenal of 60 firearms and ammunition. "There are real bombs. We dare not pull the pin on them," Cobra said as he walked through the shed on a videotape obtained by ABC News. "We’re going to be calling the bomb squad in a few minutes." Cobra also found a cleaned and pressed U.S. military uniform and an array of Nazi paraphernalia. World News Video:  Home Threat: Suspected American Terrorist Cobra says Riendeau told him he had a grudge against the military because he had been unfairly discharged from the Army. Riendeau’s lawyer, Jerry Berry, declined to comment for this story. "Every place he stayed was near a military base," Cobra told ABC News. "This guy had a problem with the military. This guy had guns, more than he could shoot in any one time…and a lot of ammunition and bombs." The bombs were seized by law enforcement and destroyed. The FBI is currently investigating whether Riendeau was possibly planning a revenge attack on a U.S. military base, as what the FBI calls a "lone-wolf" terrorist — a terrorist with no connection to a larger group. "You definitely have to take this kind of thing seriously," said Brad Garrett, a celebrated former FBI special agent who worked numerous terrorism investigations and now an ABC News consultant. "There’s not enough time taken, in my view, looking for these types of people." Riendeau is now being held without bail while a federal grand jury investigates. This post has been updated. Do you have a tip for Brian Ross and the Investigative Team?

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