Lone Actors

Judi Bari | Darryl Cherney | Irv Sutley | Mike Sweeney | Rev Bill Staley | The Unabomber

Biases run thick in this section. Bari and Cherney were close associates of mine. We saw each other often. As an investigator and organizer I sought stories of hate campaigning, death threats and anti-environmental shenanigans. A live radio program for political discussion and our monthly publications provided first hand reporting from the front as it were. I knew Irv. We saw each other on occasion. Elden McFarland, Toni Novak, Irv and Eric Fried hosted each other events. Sweeny I knew of. After 40 years of organizing the communists were the hardest to figure. I could avoid the average EF! thingee but the commies were skulduggerous. Novak and McFarland tried to entrap me through a childish scheme involving false signatures on a petition. Irv wanted to take pictures of me and my partner at the time with the Tanya guns. This was probably the day after the Tanya/Bari photoshoot. My land partner wanted to throw him off our land. He promised to leave them in his trunk. He stayed in our small cabin. He snored.

According to a piece describing the Unabomber Victims

The “next name” in the Unabomber case, Hugh C. Scrutton, 32, was the first one to be killed. A bomb that looked like a piece of debris killed him when he picked it up outside the back door of his Sacramento computer rental store. It was a crude device, filled with tiny pieces of nails for maximum effect. Scrutton had Berkeley connections. He was a summer math student in 1967, the year Kaczynski started teaching there.

Michael Milken was a Berkeley math grad of 1968 as was the mother of my two daughters. I graduated from St Mary’s with grad work at Santa Clara in math. I know it all means little but it provides both a connection and an affinity that draws my interest to consider the Unabomber.

As discussed elsewhere, the environmental activists’ communities were subjected to a COINTELPRO-style program partly funded by the corporations and implemented through public relations firms using ex-CIA and ex-FBI agents, the PRCIA. There were infiltrators and spies reporting to the Corporations, to the FBI and to local law enforcement. There were death threats aimed at activists, fake bombs and unsubstantiated accusations of terrorism from public officials and corporate officials.

The sources of every portion of the COINTELPRO and the general hate campaign are not known with certainty. We see its beginnings in 1988. We felt the escalation of events. Then the bomb. The FBI accusations aimed at the victims followed. Then no charges were filed. It was clear that it was not the victims who wrote the Lord’s Avenger letter. By that time other names began to join the list of the accused, these names were divisive and sometimes horrible to consider.

Judi Bari’s idea of COINTELPRO with a conspiracy between the FBI and the Corporations, as the suspected perpetrator. Her theory was called a vast conspiracy theory and discounted. At the same time critics blamed first one then another of the supposed Lone Actors. These false accusations joined the FBI’s equally false accusations as part of the COINTELPRO’s continuing process to divide and conquer. Respected reporters noted a chaotic swirl of rumors.

Of course COINTELPRO and the forces supporting the program on the Northcoast may not have committed the bombing or written the LA letter. Still I could sense a relief others felt after the bombing, “We knew this would happen,” was said many times. It was as if with all the threats and name calling someone would set off a bomb. Few were surprised that it happened.

It remains unknown who did it. Someone passing through the area could have caught the vibe and been the Lone Wolf. It could have been the FBI’s so-called Unabomber.

The plan here is to deal with the individuals and then the conspiracies one set at a time. As the history of the Northcoast, its activist communities, its corporations becomes clearer the evidence supporting potential individual suspects and conspiracy suspects becomes clear.

The suspects mentioned in the media in 1990 and the ten years following the bombing included six individuals:

  • Judi Bari accused by the FBI
  • Darryl Cherney accused by the FBI
  • Rev Bill Staley accused by Don Wilson, Anderson Valley Advertiser
  • Irv Sutley accused by Bari and Cherney
  • Mike Sweeney accused by Bruce Anderson
  • The Unabomber, accused by this website and others.

At the menu above you will find our analysis of each accusation. The Crime Links page following The Crime tab above will lead to a number of discussions about the suspects as well.

There could be others included on the list if someone would like to make a case. Dave Foreman comes to mind. He was arrested by the FBI, plea bargained before May 1990 and was given a pat just after the bombing. Did Dave hate Judi? EF’er Mike Rozelle considered him a right-wing thug. See what I mean?

The psychology of Lone Actors has been studied. The following description is offered for consideration.

Motivated by delusions: Usually perpetrated by someone with a history of mental illness. Violence can be triggered by a delusional belief system focused on an imaginary persecutor. May also be out for revenge resulting from hearing voices to kill or belief that individual has been chosen by “god or CIA” to carry out a secret mission. May also have a history of religious preoccupation. History of poor grades in school. Poor peer relationships.


Our conclusions about Individual suspects leaves no one except the Unabomber as a serious suspect. The Unabomber fits the description of a Lone Wolf described below. Bill Staley, by some estimations, was delusional in the opinion of the irreligios yet no one seriously believes he was involved.


Below is an analysis of the lone wolf by Gabriel Weimann


Despite the many differences in background and tactics, Lone Actors share some commonalities. One common characteristic is that they are not indeed so lonely: they are motivated, taught, recruited, incited or even trained by external sources; they display a degree of commitment to and identification with extremist movements; in other words, their solitary actions do not take place in a vacuum. These commonalities are important in identifying and understanding the process of radicalization [29]. The significant increase in lone-wolf terrorism in the past three decades can partly be explained by the adoption and use of various online platforms for the dissemination of lone- wolf tactics. Terrorist groups have learned how to appeal to potential Lone Actors, to attract and seduce them, to train and teach them and finally to launch them on their attacks – all by using online communication, from forums and chatrooms to Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

The alarming spread of lone-wolf attacks raises the issue of counter-terrorism (CT) measures. Attacks by lone operators provide the most challenging form of terrorism. Lone-wolf terrorists offer a nightmare for counterterrorism organizations, the police and intelligence communities, as they are extremely difficult to find, identify and arrest. However, the fact that Lone Actors are not completely alone may lead to potential measures. First of all, according to Alex Shone of the Henry Jackson Society, the key factor concerning locating lone wolf attacks is knowing, not who will carry out an attack, but how such an attack is formulated (Shone, 2010). Shone stresses the need to study the radicalization processes of lone wolves. He shows that insight into these processes opens up possible avenues for effective CT measures to prevent or counter the threat of lone-wolf terrorism.

As Bakker and de Graaf conclude: “Knowing how lone operator attacks are formulated requires a far more sensitive detection system at the tactical, sharp-end of operations than most CT organizations currently use” [30]. Yet, if the process of recruiting, supporting and training lone wolves relies on online platforms, these sites can be monitored and studied. The “outreach” by law enforcement into radical, extremist, Jihadist and other terrorist communities is a key to providing early warnings of threats. Such warning signs include ties individuals may have developed with known radicals or online interaction through radical websites. Another CT measure to track down and find potential lone-wolf attackers is the use of online undercover agents and informants. For example, the New York Police Department has developed a Cyber Intelligence Unit, in which undercover “cyber agents” track the online activities of suspected violent extremists and interact with them online to gauge the potential threat they pose. The unit has played a key role in several recent terrorism investigations, including that of Abdel Hameed Shehadeh, who authorities allege attempted to travel overseas to Somalia to fight for the local al-Qaeda group.

An indication of the potential utility of these measures is the number of lone wolves that have been found to be in possession of terrorism material acquired by accessing online sources. The list includes, for example, Antonio Martinez, a Maryland man arrested for attempting to detonate a car bomb at a Maryland Army recruiting center in December 2010; Jason Naser Abdo, the soldier charged in a bomb plot targeting personnel at Fort Hood, Texas; Barry Walter Bujol, Jr., a Texas resident arrested for attempting to deliver money and other equipment to al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula; and Mohamed Osman Mohamud, who was arrested in November 2010 for attempting to blow up a Christmas tree-lighting ceremony with a car bomb in Portland, Oregon. Mohamud went so far as to submit an article to AQAP’s online English-language magazine, Inspire (it was not published), as well as to another online English-language terror magazine, called Jihad Recollections. These cases demonstrate not only the growing threat posed by individuals who self-radicalize without any physical interactions with established terrorist groups, but also their reliance on online communication, which may be used against them.

About the author: Gabriel Weimann is a Full Professor of Communication at the Department of Communication at Haifa University, Israel. His research interests include the study of political campaigns, persuasion and influence, modern terrorism and the media. He published seven books and more than 150 academic publications in scientific journals. His books include: Communicating Unreality (Los Angeles: Sage Publications, 2000); The Influentials: People Who Influence People (State University of New York Press, 1995); The Theater of Terror (New York: Longman, 1994); Terror on the Internet (Washington, DC: USIP Press, 2006); and Freedom and Terror (London: Routledge, 2011). He received numerous grants and awards from international foundations and was a Visiting Professor at various universities including University of Pennsylvania, Stanford University, Hofstra University, American University DC, University of Maryland, Lehigh University (USA), University of Mainz (Germany), Carleton University (Canada) and the National University of Singapore.


To the list Weiman provides above of terrorists with terrorist generated radicalizing documents add Shelley Shannon, Army of God, Grants Pass, Ore; attempted murder, stashed the AoG Manual in her back yard.

Judi Bari >>

Darryl Cherney >>

Irv Sutley >>

Mike Sweeney >>

Rev Bill Staley >>

The Unabomber >>