Documents: Extremist group wanted rally to start civil war

FILE - This undated photo provided by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police shows Patrik Mathews. FBI agents on Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020, arrested the former Canadian Armed Forces reservist and two other men who are linked to a violent white supremacist group and were believed to be heading to a pro-gun rally in Virginia's capital. The three men are members of The Base and were arrested on federal charges in a criminal complaint unsealed in Maryland, according to a Justice Department news release. Photo: (Royal Canadian Mounted Police via AP)
FILE - This undated photo provided by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police shows Patrik Mathews. FBI agents on Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020, arrested the former Canadian Armed Forces reservist and two other men who are linked to a violent white supremacist group and were believed to be heading to a pro-gun rally in Virginia's capital. The three men are members of The Base and were arrested on federal charges in a criminal complaint unsealed in Maryland, according to a Justice Department news release.

Updated: January 21, 2020 04:52 PM

A hidden camera captured members of a white supremacist group expressing hope that violence at a gun rights rally in Virginia this week could start a civil war, federal prosecutors said in a court filing Tuesday.

Former Canadian Armed Forces reservist Patrik Jordan Mathews also videotaped himself advocating for killing people, poisoning water supplies and derailing trains, a prosecutor wrote in urging a judge in Maryland to keep Mathews and two other members of The Base detained in federal custody.

But the 27-year-old Canadian national didn't know investigators were watching and listening when he and two other group members talked about attending the Richmond rally in the days leading up to Monday's event, which attracted tens of thousands of people and ended peacefully.

Pro-gun rally by thousands in Virginia ends peacefully

Last month, a closed-circuit television camera and microphone installed by investigators in a Delaware home captured Mathews talking about the Virginia rally as a "boundless" opportunity.

"And the thing is you've got tons of guys who ... should be radicalized enough to know that all you gotta do is start making things go wrong and if Virginia can spiral out to (expletive) full blown civil war," he said.

FBI arrests 3 alleged white supremacists ahead of gun rally

FBI agents arrested Mathews, Lemley and William Garfield Bilbrough IV, 19, of Denton, Maryland last Thursday as part of a broader investigation of The Base. Authorities in Georgia and Wisconsin also arrested four other men linked to the group.

Detention hearings for Mathews and Bilbrough are scheduled for Wednesday at the federal courthouse in Greenbelt, Maryland. Their attorneys didn't immediately respond to the memo filed Tuesday by Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Windom.

Mathews and Lemley are charged with transporting a firearm and ammunition with intent to commit a felony. Bilbrough is charged with "transporting and harboring aliens."

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Associated Press

(Copyright 2020 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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