25 years after Ruby Ridge standoff, radical right-wing movement grows

Posted at 12:49 PM, Aug 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-31 20:17:20-04

It's been a quarter-century since a deadly standoff in northern Idaho's remote mountains sparked the expansion of radical right-wing groups across the United States.

The Ruby Ridge siege took place in August, 1992, near the community of Naples. Ryan Lenz of the Southern Poverty Law Center says the standoff was an inspiration for "extreme anti-government politics."

Its roots were planted in the 1980s, when military veteran Randy Weaver moved his family to Idaho. Federal agents investigated him for possible ties to white supremacist and anti-government groups.

Weaver eventually was suspected of selling two illegal sawed-off shotguns to an informant.

U.S. marshals tried to arrest Weaver, but his 14-year-old son and a deputy U.S. marshal were killed in a gunfight. The next day, an FBI sniper killed Weaver's wife.

Weaver surrendered to authorities on Aug. 31, 1992, and was acquitted of the most serious charges.

Associated Press