They've got muck; we've got rakes. TPM Muckraker

The owners of a Montana gold mine sent a letter to the U.S. Forest Service earlier this month warning its employees to stay off the owners' property.

"Anyone entering onto the White Hope Mine, without previous coordination, will be charged" and arrested under Montana code, the letter read, according to court documents.

"At no time will weapons be allowed onto the White Hope Mining Claim," the letter concluded.

Except there are weapons on the White Hope Mining Claim, in the hands of armed militia members the mine owners recruited to protect their claim. And the feds aren't letting the aggression stand.

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North Carolina is not one of the states where the U.S. military training exercise dubbed "Jade Helm 15" is taking place this summer. Nevertheless, three men from Gaston County were charged with conspiring to arm themselves with illegal explosive devices to combat what they saw as a potential military takeover, according to court documents unsealed Monday in U.S. District Court in Charlotte.

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The multi-state U.S. military training exercise dubbed "Jade Helm 15," which has spawned myriad conspiracy theories and vexed public officials who struggled to allay the concerns of constituents, is finally here.

The "unconventional warfare" exercise is scheduled to begin Wednesday and run until Sept. 15. Training is planned for certain areas of Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida. California, Colorado and Nevada had originally been listed as areas where the training was to take place but have since been left out.

Conspiracy theory websites and InfoWars' Alex Jones suggested that the operation could be a cover for the implementation of martial law. One site even alleged that troops were converting shuttered Wal-Mart stores into covert military bases. But the paranoia surrounding "Jade Helm 15" really became headline news in May, after enough concerned Texans convinced Gov. Greg Abbott (R) to take action to protect their civil liberties. Abbott requested that the State Guard monitor the training exercise, asserting that the move was only meant to facilitate communication between the military and residents of the Lone Star state.

Outlandish theories about "Jade Helm 15" are likely to continue to proliferate in the coming weeks. As The Washington Post reported, the military has decided not to allow media to observe the exercise, which curtails efforts to better explain the training exercise to the public. In that information vacuum, a citizen surveillance group calling itself "Counter Jade Helm" has sprung up with plans to monitor the operation for any potential funny business.

Now that the start of the exercise is upon us, here is what fringe blogs say Americans can expect, from Russian interference in southern states to retaliation against Christian opponents of the Supreme Court decision that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide.

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The first image the American public saw of suspected Charleston gunman Dylann Roof was that of a scowling young man with a bowl haircut who wore a jacket emblazoned with the flags of two white minority governments.

The top patch on the jacket's right breast was the flag of South Africa's Apartheid government. The patch below it, with its three vertical stripes of green, white and green, was the flag of the white-controlled colony of Rhodesia that later became Zimbabwe. People who track extremists say both flags are symbols of the white supremacist movement.

The 21-year-old gunman would have been about a year old when Apartheid rule came to an end in South Africa in 1994.

Rhodesia, having gained independence from Britain and taken the name Zimbabwe in 1980, was already an entry in modern world history textbooks by the time Roof was born.

So how did Roof become so fixated on a white-controlled British colony that collapsed decades before he came of age?

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Dylann Roof allegedly photographed himself visiting slave burial grounds and scrawling white supremacist symbols into beach sand in the months before he opened fire at a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina.

A chilling, racist manifesto surfaced Saturday at the website lastrhodesian.com alongside a ZIP file containing 60 photos of a man who appears to be Roof, the white, 21-year-old suspect in the Charleston attack.

Among the photos were images of Roof visiting plantation houses, burial grounds for Confederate soldiers and other historic sites around Charleston that hark back to the antebellum South. Other images of Roof posted on the website are dominated by white supremacist and neo-Nazi symbols. The photos were shot between August 3, 2014 and June 17 with the majority shot in March and April, according to CNN.

TPM has annotated the most significant photos in the file to help shed light on the symbols and locations depicted in them.

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