With the trial set to start today for the accused ringleader of a white supremacist group in Central FL, it’s important to understand how someone or some organization can be labeled as being a “domestic terrorist” group.
The ringleader, Marcus Faella, and his wife were arrested back in May 2012. Several other members of their organization were also arrested. Faella is facing several charges after the FBI broke up his group, stating that he and his wife were running a domestic terror group named “American Front”. The FBI claim that the group was planning violent attacks in Central Florida. Faella is the only member of the alleged domestic terrorism group to stand trial.
The government’s case will focus on the American Front members and their actions. Where they met, lived, trained, etc. All of this supposedly took place at a compound in rural St. Cloud. Investigators said the American Front group wanted to start a “race war” by carrying out violent attacks in and around Orlando City Hall.
These are damning charges that, if found guilty, could land the ringleader in federal prison for decades. The defendant’s legal team will push the theory that the FBI were focusing on political beliefs over facts. It will be interesting to see if prosecutors can actually prove that this group was a legit domestic threat, that had detailed plans on how to attack Orlando City Hall. It can be expected that the defense will claim that the ringleader and his group are simply isolationists, and not terrorists.