Original archived post.

Self explanatory; the concept of the fringe, conspiracy theorist white male with an Asian wife has entered into the realm of popular memes.

Months of investigation and surveillance came to a quick end on October 11, 1996, when federal and state agencies fanned out to arrest seven individuals connected both to a West Virginia militia group and a strange plot to bomb an FBI fingerprinting center in case of a confrontation with the federal government. With strands of the case reaching back sixteen months, and sideways into several neighboring states, the intricacies of the Mountaineer Militia case have not yet all been unraveled.


Looker finally gained a spotlight, at least in West Virginia, in the wake of the Oklahoma City bombing on April 19, 1995. Media reports that arrested suspects Terry Nichols and Timothy McVeigh had ties to militia groups, regardless of their accuracy, caused newspapers and television stations around the country to search out militia and “patriot” leaders in their areas to interview.

Overnight, Looker became a local celebrity. He boasted about the size of the militia movement, both nationwide and in West Virginia, and attributed it to fear of the federal government on the part of the people. But he emphasized that “We’re not here to overthrow the U.S. government. We’re here to defend–and defend is not attack–our constitutional rights.” Like many other militia leaders, Looker claimed the Mountaineer Militia would fight if attacked, but would otherwise just operate to protect local communities and help out in local emergencies. “It’s not any type of terrorist stuff or dangerous to American people,” he told a television crew. “To the contrary, it is for the American people.” He stressed that he was not a racist, and pointed to his Asian wife as proof.