For more than a month the FBI has been conducting a surveillance operation to monitor the activities of three men in North Carolina who were plotting to kill American soldiers participating in the Jade Helm exercises in Texas.
The FBI used wire taps, surveillance video and a secret informant to track down and arrest ringleader Walter Eugene Litteral and two others on Saturday.
They say Litteral was planning to lure government forces to his 99-acre property in South Carolina, after booby-trapping the camp.” The FBI says the trio had been stockpiling weapons and gathering components to make explosives since mid-June.
On June 18th the owner of a North Carolina military surplus store alerted the FBI about suspicious activity. He told authorities that Litteral had been coming into the store since March, and had raised concern with Jade Helm. Litteral reportedly told the store owner that the exercise was a cover for the imposition of martial law in America.
“The owner understood that the men were preparing to use lethal force to retaliate against government forces,” according to mysanantonio.com.
The FBI set up a warranted wiretap and, with the store owner’s permission, installed video and audio surveillance in his shop, according to the article. In a conversation recorded by the store owner, Litteral said, “Lemme tell you something I gunna have my [expletive] house rigged up. These mother[expletive] come try to come in my house it’s going off.”
Litteral reportedly bought body armor and helmets, assault rifle ammunition and radios with throat mics from the military surplus store. He also told the owner he needed smokeless gunpowder for pipe bombs, by July 15—the start date of Jade Helm.
Evidence showed that the two other suspects were “participating in gathering weapons and planning the assault on military personnel.”
Operation Jade Helm, a seven-state special ops exercise taking place between July and September, has angered many Americans on the extreme fringes of the far right. The exercise brings a coalition of forces to Texas for two months of “realistic military training” in a simulated “hostile” territory.
An Army document explaining the exercise said Texas was selected “because Texans are historically supportive of efforts to prepare our soldiers, airmen, marines and sailors to fight enemies of the United States. Army Special Operation Command spokesman Mark Lastoria said the designation of Texas as a hostile territory was “a misinterpretation of the exercise design.”
Despite widespread fears of a government takeover during Jade Helm, the exercises kicked off and continue this summer with little notice, My San Antonio reported.