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 Extremism in America
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Hal Turner
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In July 2009, Turner pleaded not guilty to charges that he made threats to kill three Chicago federal appeals judges. During the bond hearing, Turner's attorney, arguing for Turner's release on bond, claimed that Turner did not pose a danger to the community and that he had previously been a confidential FBI informant. The prosecutor stated that Turner's contact with the FBI ceased “quite some time ago.” A U.S. Magistrate Judge set an August 2009 date for a continuation of the bond hearing. Turner has until that date to produce evidence of his assistance to the FBI or federal marshals.

Also in August, in another case pending against Turner, he will be arraigned in connection with charges stemming from comments he posted to his blog urging others to “take up arms” against two Connecticut lawmakers whose home addresses Turner promised to release.

In June 2009, federal and state authorities from different jurisdictions arrested Hal Turner on two completely unrelated charges, though both have to do with incendiary posts he made on his blog on separate occasions.

In late June, the FBI arrested Turner, on a federal complaint alleging that he posted comments to his blog “threatening to assault and murder three federal appeals court judges in Chicago” for upholding handgun bans in Chicago and a suburb. In addition to the comments, Turner posted photos of the judges, as well as their names, work addresses and room and phone numbers, along with a photo and map of their courthouse. He also made reference to the case of Matt Hale, a white supremacist who is in prison for soliciting the murder of a federal judge, and to the subsequent murders of members of that judge's family.

Also, in June, officers with the Connecticut State Capitol Police, with the assistance of the North Bergen, New Jersey, Police Department, arrested Turner and charged him with inciting injury to persons or property as a result of comments he posted to his blog urging others to “take up arms” against two Connecticut lawmakers whose home addresses Turner promised to release. Turner also wrote that “it is our intent to foment direct action against these individuals personally. These beastly government officials should be made an example of as a warning to others in government: Obey the Constitution or die.” Turner's comments stemmed from a debate over control of the Roman Catholic Church, and a recent federal lawsuit filed by the Diocese of Bridgeport, Connecticut, against state ethics officials who are currently investigating church officials for possible lobbying laws violations.

In April 2009, Turner issued an open call for the mass “purging of political, cultural and social filth” in a “revolution” that would involve “all-night firing squads, public hangings and even beheading via Guillotine.” His targets included members of several elected and judicial bodies, and he suggested that July 4, 2009 would be “a great day to begin this endeavor.” Turner ended the post with links to instructions about building gallows and a guillotine, and tying a noose.

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