Terrorism in Lake Wobegon

“The Minnesota Patriots Council (1991)”, 
Jonathan B. Tucker and Jason Pate: 
Chapter 10 in Toxic Terror, ed. Jonathan B. Tucker, 
MIT Press, 2000.

Paul Wellstone and Barry Casper,
U. Massachusetts Press, 1981

In 1991 four Wobegonians Leroy Wheeler, Douglas Baker, Richard Oelrich, and Dennis Bret Henderson became the first persons convicted under U. S. Code 18 U.S.C. § 175, which forbids the civilian production of chemical and biological weapons. (Wheeler had earlier been one of the founders of the Minnesota branch of the extremist group “Mothers Against Drunk Drivers”). The Monterey Institute of International Studies included the “Minnesota Militia” ricin terrorists as one of only a dozen case histories worldwide discussed in their book on the terrorist use of chemical and biological warfare 1946-1991.

Furthermore, during the period 1976-8 a different terrorist group in the area brought down down fourteen 175-foot powerline towers and shot out nearly 10,000 electrical insulators.

The experts from the BCSIA Studies in International Security from the Monterey Institute of International Studies (Tucker and Pate, p. 28)have concluded that

….living in an isolated economic backwater [Lake Wobegon] probably contributed to [the Minnesota Militia ricin terrorists’] chronic frustration. Given this lifestyle, coupled with the influence of living in a state with a strong history of grassroots political activism that sometimes included violence, it should come as no surprise that they began to seek people and institutions to blame for their problems.

Don’t mess with Wobegon.