Three men from North Carolina were arrested by federal authorities after they started making homemade explosives in response to U.S. military training exercises. The men believed the Jade Helm military training was actually a government takeover in disguise, according to the Raw Story.
Federal investigators said two of the suspects, 50-year-old Walter Eugene Litteral and 30-year-old Christopher Todd Campbell, voiced their skepticism regarding the Operation Jade Helm military training exercises, which conspiracy theorists believe is the prelude to a military takeover.
The men are accused of assembling an arsenal of weapons, tactical gear and attempting to make bombs out of tennis balls, coffee cans and ball bearings, reports the Associated Press.
In addition to ammunition for a long-range .338 caliber rifle, the authorities said Litteral purchased hand-held radios, Kevlar helmets, body armor and face masks in preparation for an armed resistance to the feared military occupation.
The Jade Helm military training is taking place this year from July 15 through September 15. U.S. troops are practicing drills across regions of the southwest United States. The training has been awash in conspiracy theories ever since word of the military exercises hit the internet.
The Guardian has an excellent article about the origins of the theories, and points to both documents released online, as well as the actions of Texas’s governor Greg Abbot.
…the origin of the Jade Helm outcry seems to stem from a document posted on Scribd in March. It outlined some of the training exercises and contained a map that labelled parts of certain states, including Texas, Arizona and Utah, as “hostile.”
Gov. Abbot heightened conspiracy theorists’ fears after he ordered the Texas state guard to oversee the exercises taking place in the state.
So far the government has yet to enact martial law and turn Wal-Marts into concentration camps, but we will keep you updated.
[Raw Story] [Associated Press] [The Guardian] [USA Today] [Image via WTVD-TV]