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FBI thwarts ‘terror plot’ in Montevideo

Solar-power push at Capitol; Vikes release punter Chris Kluwe;  stadium e-pulltab revenue drops again; and more.

USA Today is among those describing what the FBI broke up last Friday in otherwise beautiful Montevideo as a “terror plot.” Doug Stanglin writes: “The FBI said Monday that a ‘terror attack was disrupted’ by the arrest of a man whose mobile home in western Minnesota was allegedly stocked with firearms, suspected pipe bombs and gasoline bombs. Buford Rogers, 24, was arrested Friday and charged with one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. … The FBI says a alleged attack was in its ‘planning stages’ and the target was believed to be in the state of Minnesota. The agency said in a statement that it believes their operation potentially saved the lives of several local residents. … According to a federal affidavit obtained by the Associated Press, FBI agents from the domestic terrorism squad searched the property at the mobile home park in Montevideo and discovered the gasoline bombs, suspected pipe bombs and firearms.”

The NBC story, by Pete Williams and Dan Arkin, adds: “Authorities say the thwarted attack was a low-level case of domestic terrorism. The investigation remains ongoing, according to the FBI statement. Buford is linked to an unidentified militia group, officials said.”

Paul Walsh’s Strib story says: “J. Christopher Warrener, the FBI’s special agent in charge in Minneapolis, said the action prevented ‘a potential tragedy in Montevideo.’ FBI spokesman Kyle Loven said Monday that ‘there is not indication of any overseas involvement’ with the alleged plot. Otherwise, Loven would not address the timing of any potential attack or what was at risk of being attacked. He also would not say whether authorities were looking at other suspects. … Kevin Lancaster, who manages a convenience store near the mobile home park where the arrest occurred, said he met Rogers about a year or year and a half ago through a friend. ‘He pulled a 9-millimeter [handgun] out of his pocket,’ Lancaster recalled Monday. ‘I thought this isn’t a guy I want to know.’

On his Hot Air blog, conservative Ed Morrissey speculates: “This sounds more like a lone-wolf nutcase attempting to wreak revenge on his community, but we should find out more when the charges get aired in federal court.  Otherwise, why target Montevideo, as the FBI’s statement suggests?  Why not go to the Twin Cities to target a much larger population and make a bigger impression on the media?  On the other hand, the discovery of this malicious needle in a very large haystack suggests that either a source close to the suspect tipped off law enforcement, or the suspect was trying to network for his planned attack.” That Ed, a real terror profiler …

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For ABC News, the trio of Pierre Thomas, Josh Margolin and Jack Date say: “Authorities thwarted what could have been a deadly domestic terror attack last week when they raided the home of a militia-linked Minnesota man, law enforcement sources told ABC News today. … Montevideo, Minn., Police Chief Adam Christopher told ABC News Rogers had started a group called the Black Snake Militia, an organization with anti-government tendencies. Two senior law enforcement sources told ABC News Rogers appears to be a ‘militia’-type suspect whose targets potentially included local authorities. Law enforcement was tipped off to Rogers thanks to ‘concerned residents in the area,’ Cooney said.”

The Glean The Vikings have released veteran punter Chris Kluwe. The PiPress story, by Ben Goessling says: “Referencing the fourth book of “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” series, Chris Kluwe said goodbye to the Vikings on Monday, May 6, as only he could. ‘So long, Minnesota, and thanks for all the fish!’ Kluwe (@chriswarcraft) tweeted, referencing the comic science fiction series. ‘Thank you to all the fans, my teammates, and the Wilf family for the past 8.5 years. I wouldn’t have traded it for anything.’ … From a pure football perspective, the Vikings’ decision to cut Kluwe was somewhat predictable. The 31-year-old averaged a career-high 39.7 net yards per punt last year, but that mark was still only the 17th-best in the league, as Kluwe struggled to pin opponents deep in their own territory. His 18 punts inside the 20-yard line were the 31st-most in the league.”

Solar power is getting a new push at the Legislature. For MPR, Stephanie Hemphill writes: “To continue the renewable energy effort, state legislators have introduced bills in the House and Senate that would increase the use of solar systems in homes and businesses. ‘There are lots of folks, businesses in Minnesota that are eager to get going on this but they need a little boost right now,’ said Sen. John Marty, DFL-Roseville, chair of the Senate Energy and Environment Committee. ‘And the faster we make the solar industry start growing in Minnesota, the faster the prices fall.’ Marty’s bill and a companion bill in the House would require utilities to produce gradually-increasing amounts of solar power. The House bill still has the original goal of four-percent solar by 2025. In the Senate, it’s been whittled down to one-percent.”

Revenue for e-pulltabs is … declining. Says Tim Nelson at MPR: “There’s still no sign at all of a turnaround in electronic pulltab gambling in Minnesota. Eight months into the state’s experiment with the Internet-based version of the bar gambling staple, the games are still falling farther and farther short of projections, looking at daily use. … there’s another problem, as well: the rollout rate of the new games halved in April. The state had a goal of 2,500 sites to host the games, and had only 209 as of the end of April. Distributors added only 13 sites last month, the poorest showing yet to date.” So does Ted Mondale have any comment on this matter?