Federal prosecutors said Wednesday that four elderly militia members charged in a plot against citizens and federal employees were targeting Attorney General Eric Holder and former Rep. Cynthia McKinney as potential assassination targets.
Holder and McKinney’s names were included on a hit list compiled by 73-year-old Frederick Thomas, federal prosecutors said at a bond hearing. Authorities also said Thomas had stockpiled 52 guns and 30,000 rounds of ammunition in his Georgia home. All four suspects pleaded not guilty.
Thomas was allegedly the ringleader of the covert group, which as it happens, called itself “covert group.” In comments he posted on a right-wing blog, Thomas called a novel the author says was intended as a “cautionary tale” about an elderly man who killed 52 federal agents “far from fantasy.”
The Associated Press reports that attorneys are going with the they’re-too-old-for-this line of defense. Thomas apparently suffers from back pain, heart disease and emphysema and was seen puffing from an inhaler several times during the hearing. The feds aren’t buying that argument.
“Age is not a barrier to the crimes these defendants are charged with,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert McBurney. Any of them, he said, “can pull a trigger just as easily as you or I can.”