Eric Rudolph, once one of the ten most wanted criminals sought by the FBI, is now behind bars, reports MSNBC.
Indicted for terrorist bombings the white supremacist eluded law enforcement for years and had not been seen since 1998.
Many believed Rudolph was dead, his remains rotting in some remote and forgotten refuge.
But the FBI has confirmed that the alleged murderer is alive.
Rudolph was found by a Sheriff’s deputy in North Carolina, apparently scavenging for food in a garbage dumpster.
The suspicious officer brought in the apparent vagrant, who was later identified as a wanted fugitive.
A former member of the Missouri “Church of Israel” led by Dan Gayman, Rudolph grew up in a world filled with hatred, bigotry and paranoid conspiracy theories.
Beginning in childhood he was submerged in a subculture that includes as many as 50,000 Americans in more than a hundred desperate groups scattered across the country. This subculture is often called the “Christian Identity” movement.
Christian Identity believes that whites are the descendants of the biblical tribes of Israel and God’s elect. And also that the world will soon be engulfed in an apocalyptic struggle. In that struggle whites will battle against a worldwide Jewish conspiracy.
According to the movement’s proponents Jews and non-whites are actually descended biologically from Satan. That is, Satan had sex with Eve in the Garden of Eden and this union produced the other races.
Dan Gayman preaches a so-called “two seedline doctrine.” He says the offspring of Satan inhabit the Earth today, but rather slyly insists he doesn’t know who they are.
Gayman has a history of trying to carefully spin his beliefs, in an apparent effort to disarm critics.
Eric Rudolph’s mother introduced her son to Christian Identity.
The widowed Mrs. Rudolph eventually found a haven and home within Gayman’s Missouri compound, where the charismatic preacher became a mentor and paternal figure to her teenage son.
Within this controlled milieu Gayman nurtured Eric Rudolph’s hate and seemingly reinforced it.
It appears that the boy’s mindset was hardened at the Church of Israel. And the beliefs he largely learned there and amongst his other Identity brethren would be the impetus behind Rudolph’s “holy war” as the “Army of God.”
The FBI searching for Rudolph would later question Gayman. But like many hate group leaders, the prejudiced pastor would disavow any responsibility for the crimes committed by his one time follower.
However, Rudolph’s alleged crimes directly reflected the doctrinal focus of hatred inherent within both the Christian Identity movement and the Gayman church.
His targets for destruction would be gays, abortion clinics and the supposed “New World Order,” as expressed by nations coming together at the World Olympics.
How did Eric Rudolph survive for five years in hiding?
Did the subculture that created him sustain the fugitive?
What underground network of friends and support may have existed, that might have made Rudolph’s long-term survival in hiding possible?
Did such a support system suddenly collapse, forcing the fugitive to forage through garbage to feed himself?
The Christian Identity movement has spawned a litany of murderers and violent criminals.
How many more potential Eric Rudolphs are stewing in this sordid subculture, waiting to launch their holy wars?
As investigators unravel the past five years of Rudolph’s life, more will likely become known about this dark organized movement of hate that exists within America.
Since 9-11 Americans have looked outside of the country for the face of terror.
But long before that terrible day it was Timothy McVeigh and the Oklahoma bombing that made domestic terrorism the primary focus of the FBI.
Since that bombing of the Murrah Federal Building investigations and arrests have put many members of the Christian Identity movement, white supremacists, so-called “militia” men and an assortment of anti-government extremists behind bars.
The saga of Eric Rudolph offers compelling testimony that there are those within America that have a darkly twisted interpretation of religious scriptures, which often leads to bloodshed.
Osama bin Laden’s is not the only hate filled proponent of “holy war.”