Feds Probe Cyanide in Texas Terror Case
By LISA FALKENBERG
The Associated Press
Friday, January 30, 2004; 1:45 PM
NOONDAY, Texas - William Krar and Judith Bruey assembled a frightening arsenal in three rented storage units in this East Texas town, and federal authorities are trying to figure out why.
A raid in April found nearly two pounds of a cyanide compound and other chemicals that could create enough poisonous gas to kill everyone inside a space as large as a big-chain bookstore or a small-town civic center.
Authorities also discovered nearly half a million rounds of ammunition, more than 60 pipe bombs, machine guns, silencers and remote-controlled bombs disguised as briefcases, plus pamphlets on how to make chemical weapons, and anti-Semitic, anti-black and anti-government books.
The findings have led to one of the most extensive domestic-terrorism investigations since the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.
Federal investigators believe conspirators may remain free, and one question lingers: What did the couple intend to do with the weapons?
"There's no other reason for anyone to possess that type of device other than to kill people," said Brit Featherston, a federal prosecutor and the government's anti-terrorism coordinator in Texas' eastern district. "The arsenal found in those searches had the capability of terrorizing a lot of people."
In November, Krar, 62, pleaded guilty to possessing a dangerous chemical weapon. He could go to prison, but the law does not specify a minimum or maximum. Bruey, 54, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess illegal weapons and could get up to five years in prison. The couple remain in jail. Sentencing is expected sometime in February.
Krar and Bruey moved to a house in Tyler from New Hampshire about two years ago, though federal authorities do not know why.
They soon rented space at Noonday Storage and for more than a year visited their units each morning, spending hours unloading U-hauls of military surplus items or picking through piles of bathing suits and beer coolers they said they resold at shops and markets.
"We never had any problems out of them and never suspected anything out of them," said Teresa Staples, who owns the storage business in this community of 500 people about 100 miles southeast of Dallas.
A mistake led the FBI to Krar two years ago.
Krar mailed a package to a self-described militia member in New Jersey. The package included several phony documents - U.N. and Pentagon ID cards, a Social Security card, birth certificates from three states - and a note: "We would hate to have this fall into the wrong hands."
But that was exactly what happened.
The package was mistakenly delivered to a man in New York City, who notified authorities. It was traced back to Krar, and the intended recipient, Edward Feltus, 56, of Old Bridge, N.J., pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting the transportation of false identification documents. He could get up to 15 years in prison.
© 2004 The Associated Press