The exercise scenario describes shootings occurring after rising tensions in the community because of an influx of minorities, Reed said. The newcomers, some who are American citizens and some who are illegal immigrants, were to have moved into a rural area from urban areas in search of more-affordable living. The newcomers are not welcomed by racial extremists, and controversy sweeps the community, he said.
One of the fictional suspects involved in the shootings is described an 18-year-old white male with a quick-tempered father who is a firearms enthusiast with ties to an underground white supremacy group. A second fictional suspect is described as an isolated 17-year-old white male student who was befriended by the older student and who mimics his new friend.
Craig Halverson of Griswold, national director of the Minuteman Patriots, an activist group that opposes illegal immigration, said today he is concerned that the exercise is intended to portray people who legally possess guns and who fight illegal immigration as extremists. Members of his organization, as well as members of the Tea Party Patriots and the 9/12 Project, are calling and emailing Iowa’s elected officials to voice their objections, he said.
“We are trying to get this stopped because all it is doing is building up prejudices by calling people white supremacists and stuff like that,” Halverson said. “We are mad at the government for ignoring illegal immigration, but nobody is going to run out there and start killing people in Iowa or anything like that.”
Robert Ussery of Des Moines, state director of the Iowa Minutemen activist group, said he believes the exercise will defame patriot organization members by depicting t hem as criminals. Ussery is among many members of patriot groups who have read a copy of the exercise plan that has been circulating through email groups.