In a story published today on extreme militias, TIME’s Barton Gellman reports that James von Brunn, the elderly neo-Nazi who shot a guard at the Holocaust Museum in D.C. last year, had a different target in mind: senior White House adviser David Axelrod.
From TIME, citing “authoritative sources”:
The President was too hard to reach, in Von Brunn’s view, but that was of no consequence. “Obama was created by Jews,” he wrote. “Obama does what his Jew owners tell him to do.”
The episode sent a jolt through the FBI and DHS. Von Brunn had demonstrated motive, means and intent to kill one of the President’s closest aides. The Secret Service assigned Axelrod a protection detail and took other, undisclosed steps to broaden its coverage. The DHS put out bulletins to state and local law-enforcement agencies on the tactics, warning signs and other lessons of the case. FBI agents need to understand, a senior supervisor says, that “it isn’t just the threat from Islamic extremists but also from homegrown or domestic terrorists” with antigovernment agendas
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment. As far as we know, Axelrod was not at the museum the day of the shooting.
Von Brunn was 88 when he stormed the Holocaust Museum in June 2009, killing a guard and getting shot himself. He died in January while awaiting trial in prison. He had a long history of anti-semitism and white supremacism, including an incident in 1981 when he went to the Federal Reserve Board with a sawed-off shotgun in order to place the board under “citizens arrest.” He served six years in prison.