Deadly Isaac Was at 2008 Republican Convention

The military’s mug shot of Isaac Aguigui.

No, not Tropical Storm Isaac, which is expected to become a hurricane later today and hit New Orleans late tonight or tomorrow morning as the Republican National Convention parties on in Tampa. This Isaac is Isaac Aguigui, whom prosecutors in southeast Georgia identify as the ringleader of a militia formed among soldiers stationed at Fort Stewart who had big plans for assassinations and bombings, even including a plan to kill President Obama. Three other active duty soldiers along with Aguigui initially were indicted by the Army for the deaths of a former soldier and his girlfriend last December. Gawker discovered yesterday that an Isaac Aguigui is shown in this Reuters photo from the 2008 Republican National Convention in Minneapolis, where Reuters identifies Aguigui as a page.

Here is how AP’s Russ Bynum described the plot:

“This domestic terrorist organization did not simply plan and talk,” prosecutor Isabel Pauley told a Superior Court judge. “Prior to the murders in this case, the group took action. Evidence shows the group possessed the knowledge, means and motive to carry out their plans.”


The prosecutor said the militia group had big plans. It plotted to take over Fort Stewart by seizing its ammunition control point and talked of bombing the Forsyth Park fountain in nearby Savannah, she said. In Washington state, she added, the group plotted to bomb a dam and poison the state’s apple crop. Ultimately, prosecutors said, the militia’s goal was to overthrow the government and assassinate the president.

It appears that the murder victims, former soldier Michael Roark and his girlfriend, Tiffany York (the Daily Mail has their photographs), were killed because Aguigui viewed them as “loose ends” as Roark was in the process of leaving the military but had been a part of the militia group.

Aguigui funded the group with an insurance settlement coming from the death of his pregnant wife under highly suspicious circumstances. Also from Bynum’s article:

Pauley said Aguigui funded the militia using $500,000 in insurance and benefit payments from the death of his pregnant wife a year ago. Aguigui was not charged in his wife’s death, but Pauley told the judge her death was “highly suspicious.”

She said Aguigui used the money to buy $87,000 worth of semiautomatic assault rifles, other guns and bomb components that were recovered from the accused soldiers’ homes and from a storage locker. He also used the insurance payments to buy land for his militia group in Washington state, Pauley said.

Here is Gawker on their find of the photo of Aguigui at the 2008 Republican National Convention:

Isaac Aguigui, the Army private and alleged ringleader of a plot to assassinate Barack Obama and “take over” Ft. Stewart in Georgia, apparently served as a page at the 2008 Republican National Convention in Minnesota. That’s his mug shot after he was arrested for the alleged murder of Pvt. Michael Roark on the left. At right is a 2008 Reuters photo with the caption: “Republican National Convention page Isaac Aguigui watches from the edge of the floor at the start of the first session of the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota September 1, 2008.”

Of course, there could be two Isaac Aguiguis who look startlingly alike.

Somehow I doubt that we will learn that the Isaac Aguigui who was a page at the 2008 Republican National Convention is not the Isaac Aguigui who led the plot to assassinate President Obama.

I wonder how many future terrorists are at this year’s Republican National Convention in Tampa.

Many years ago, Jim got a BA in Radiation Biophysics from the University of Kansas. He then got a PhD in Molecular Biology from UCLA and did postdoctoral research in yeast genetics at UC Berkeley and mouse retroviruses at Stanford. He joined biosys in Palo Alto, producing insect parasitic nematodes for pest control. In the early 1990’s, he moved to Gainesville, FL and founded a company that eventually became Entomos. He left the firm as it reorganized into Pasteuria Biosciences and chose not to found a new firm due a clash of values with venture capital investors, who generally lack all values. Upon leaving, he chose to be a stay at home dad, gentleman farmer, cook and horse wrangler. He discovered the online world through commenting at Glenn Greenwald’s blog in the Salon days and was involved in the briefly successful Chris Dodd move to block the bill to renew FISA. He then went on to blog at Firedoglake and served a brief stint as evening editor there. When the Emptywheel blog moved out of Firedoglake back to standalone status, Jim tagged along and blogged on anthrax, viruses, John Galt, Pakistan and Afghanistan. He is now a mostly lapsed blogger looking for a work-around to the depressing realization that pointing out the details of government malfeasance and elite immunity has approximately zero effect.