LaVoy Finicum, the ‘tarp man’ lifted to militia sainthood by his death from police gunfire during an FBI crackdown on the armed takeover of Malheur, accompanied militia leader William Keebler last October while he scouted a Bureau of Land Management building for a bomb attack.
The revelation appears in today’s indictment for Keebler, a 57 year-old resident of Stockton, Utah and friend of Finicum. Keebler was arrested on Wednesday after attempting to carry out the attack on a BLM building in Arizona the night before.
Fortunately, the bomb-builder for Keebler’s ‘Patriot Defense Force’ militia was secretly working for the FBI. From the indictment:
On April 08, 2016, the PDF militia member/UCE tasked with building KEEBLER an explosive device showed KEEBLER a video of a 6-inch pipe bomb blowing up some abandoned office furniture in the mountains of southern Utah. KEEBLER seemed inpressed and wanted to know the member’s ability to make more explosive devices. The PDF member/UCE stated that he could provide KEEBLER with more explosive devices. KEEBLER stated he had a target in mind; the BLM building located at Mount Trumbull in Arizona. KEEBLER had conducted reconnaissance on the BLM facility in Arizona in October, 2015, with Lavoy Finicum. A PDF member/UCE who was accompanying KEEBLER at the time took pictures of the BLM facility at Mount Trumbull.
Keebler waited months after Finicum’s funeral to act on his plan, but the FBI’s undercover employee (UCE) provided him with an inert weapon. When it failed to explode, Keebler attempted to return home, where federal agents waited to arrest him for attempting to damage federal property with an explosive. He faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.
Gary Hunt, who is the closest thing the patriot movement has to an academic dean, says that Keebler was actually in charge of the militia encampment during the first days of the 2014 armed standoff with BLM agents as they tried to remove Cliven Bundy’s trespassing cattle.
The revelation in today’s indictment further erodes the sanctified image of LaVoy Finicum that ‘patriot’ militia extremists have desperately tried to paint ever since Oregon state troopers shot him.
Although video of the traffic stop clearly shows Finicum first tried to escape the traffic stop on a remote stretch of highway forest, endangered law enforcement officers by running off the road, and then made signs that he was reaching for a handgun when he got out of his truck, anti-government extremists insist that Finicum’s death was a premeditated murder.
To this day, armed ‘patriots’ still share fabricated evidence of an ambush in social media. The FBI’s investigation of the shooting was so thorough that at least one agent may be disciplined for a single errant bullet that hit Finicum’s truck, but this, too, is cast as ‘evidence’ of a cover-up on militia podcasts.
Yet all of their propaganda is tied to a premise that Finicum — who even said he would not be taken alive — was somehow not violent, or did not associate with violent people. Rather, his career playing foster father to unpaid, state-provided ranch hands is presented as proof that he was too warm and gentle to ever harm anyone. Only a big, bad government full of jackbooted thugs would ever have reason to hurt him, see?
But now we know different: LaVoy Finicum was best friends with the violent leader of an armed militia and helped him scope out targets for bomb attacks.