Copycat Crime? Life imitates Mick in US IRS attack

Reprinted from http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100218/ap_on_re_us/us_plane_crash_texas

cf: https://theaxemen.wordpress.com/2009/11/18/ird-door-smasher-had-warned-of-terrorism/

Man angry at IRS crashes plane into building

By JIM VERTUNO, Associated Press Writer Jim Vertuno, Associated Press Writer Thu Feb 18, 6:57 pm ET

AUSTIN, Texas – A software engineer furious with the Internal Revenue Service launched a suicide attack on the agency Thursday by crashing his small plane into an office building containing nearly 200 IRS employees, setting off a raging fire that sent workers running for their lives.

At least one person in the building was missing.

The FBI tentatively identified the pilot as Joseph A. Stack, 53. Law enforcement officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because the investigation was still going on, said that before taking off, Stack apparently set fire to his house and posted a long anti-government screed on the Web. It was dated Thursday and signed “Joe Stack (1956-2010).”

In it, the author cited run-ins he had with the IRS and ranted about the tax agency, government bailouts and corporate America’s “thugs and plunderers.”

“I have had all I can stand,” he wrote, adding: “I choose not to keep looking over my shoulder at `big brother’ while he strips my carcass.”

The pilot took off in a single-engine Piper Cherokee from an airport in Georgetown, about 30 miles from Austin, without filing a flight plan. He flew low over the Austin skyline before plowing into the side of the hulking, seven-story, black-glass building just before 10 a.m. with a thunderous explosion that instantly stirred memories of Sept. 11.

Flames shot from the building, windows exploded, a huge pillar of black smoke rose over the city, and terrified workers rushed to get out.

The Pentagon scrambled two F-16 fighter jets from Houston to patrol the skies over the burning building before it became clear that it was the act of a lone pilot, and President Barack Obama was briefed.

“It felt like a bomb blew off,” said Peggy Walker, an IRS revenue officer who was sitting at her desk. “The ceiling caved in and windows blew in. We got up and ran.”

Stack was presumed dead, though police said they had not recovered his body as of Thursday evening. At least 13 people were injured, with two reported in critical condition. About 190 IRS employees work in the building.

Gerry Cullen was eating breakfast at a restaurant across the street when the plane struck the building and “vanished in a fireball.”

Matt Farney, who was in the parking lot of a nearby Home Depot, said he saw a low-flying plane near some apartments just before it crashed. “I figured he was going to buzz the apartments or he was showing off,” Farney said. “It was insane. It didn’t look like he was out of control or anything.”

Sitting at her desk in another building a half-mile from the crash, Michelle Santibanez felt the vibrations and ran to the windows, where she and her co-workers witnessed a scene that reminded them of 9/11.

“It was the same kind of scenario, with window panels falling out and desks falling out and paperwork flying,” said Santibanez, an accountant.

The building, in a heavily congested section of Austin, was still smoldering six hours later, with the worst of the damage on the second and third floors.

The entire outside of the second floor was gone on the side of the building where the plane hit. Support beams were bent inward. Venetian blinds dangled from blown-out windows, and large sections of the exterior were blackened with soot. It was not immediately clear if any tax records were destroyed.

Andrew Jacobson, an IRS revenue officer who was on the second floor when the plane hit with a “big whoomp” and then a second explosion, said about six people couldn’t use the stairwell because of smoke and debris. He found a metal bar to break a window so the group could crawl out onto a concrete ledge, where they were rescued by firefighters. His bloody hands were bandaged.

Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo said “heroic actions” by federal employees may explain why the death toll was so low.

The FBI was investigating. The National Transportation Safety Board sent an investigator as well.

Rep. Michael McCaul, a Republican from Austin on the Homeland Security Committee, said the panel will take up the issue of how to better protect buildings from attacks with planes.

In the long, rambling, self-described “rant” that Stack apparently posted on the Internet, he began: “If you’re reading this, you’re no doubt asking yourself, `Why did this have to happen?'”

He recounted his financial reverses, his difficulty finding work in Austin, and at least two clashes with the IRS, one of them after he filed no return because, he said, he had no income, the other after he failed to report his wife Sheryl’s income.

He railed against politicians, the Catholic Church, the “unthinkable atrocities” committed by big business, and the government bailouts that followed. He said he slowly came to the conclusion that “violence not only is the answer, it is the only answer.”

“I saw it written once that the definition of insanity is repeating the same process over and over and expecting the outcome to suddenly be different. I am finally ready to stop this insanity. Well, Mr. Big Brother IRS man, let’s try something different; take my pound of flesh and sleep well,” he wrote.

According to California state records, Stack had a troubled business history, twice starting software companies in California that ultimately were suspended by the state’s tax board, one in 2000, the other in 2004. Also, his first wife filed for bankruptcy in 1999, listing a debt to the IRS of nearly $126,000.

The blaze at Stack’s home, a red-brick house on a tree-lined street in a middle-class neighborhood six miles from the crash site, caved in the roof and blew out the windows.

Elbert Hutchins, who lives one house away, said the house caught fire about 9:15 a.m. He said a woman and her teenage daughter drove up to the house before firefighters arrived.

“They both were very, very distraught,” said Hutchins, a retiree who said he didn’t know the family well. “‘That’s our house!’ they cried. `That’s our house!'”

Red Cross spokeswoman Marty McKellips said the agency was treating two people who live in the house.

___

Associated Press writers April Castro and Jay Root in Austin; Michelle Roberts in Georgetown; Linda Stewart Ball, Danny Robbins, Jeff Carlton and John McFarland in Dallas; Devlin Barrett, Lolita C. Baldor and Joan Lowy in Washington; and Melanie Coffee and Barbara Rodriguez in Chicago contributed to this report, along with the AP News Research Center.

2 thoughts on “Copycat Crime? Life imitates Mick in US IRS attack

  1. Copycat?

    Long term employee != frustrated citizen,

    Mazda 626 @ 2kph != plane at whatever impact speed was is greater than stalling speed,

    6am Sunday morn != building full of workers,

    bit of broken glass and twisted door mechanism != fire billowing out.

    And for fuck’s sake Emma Goldman ‘The psychology of political violence’ or any of her other writings != “he railed against politicians, the Catholic Church, the “unthinkable atrocities” committed by big business, and the government bailouts that followed. He said he slowly came to the conclusion that “violence not only is the answer, it is the only answer.” For fuck’s sake — yeah, that’s me all over, not.

    Violence (against property, not people) is the last resort, and only acceptable if it can be proved to be the last resort after all standard approaches have failed, and there are no other approaches that will draw attention to the concerns.

    Violence, as far as I’m concerned, ain’t appropriate against innocent strangers — that doesn’t mean I’m not going to follow through on that threat to punch you, once, after you asked if you clicked ‘like’ about Mum dying. Personal violence, in that sense, is quite acceptable in my philosophy. If words, and reasoning, and requests to shut up don’t work, a quick punch seems to be the stick part of ‘carrot and stick’

    No scratches on car != whatever damage results to a plane hitting the wall of a building.

    $33 reparation per week from benefit and no previous record != “Stack had a troubled business history, twice starting software companies in California that ultimately were suspended by the state’s tax board, one in 2000, the other in 2004. Also, his first wife filed for bankruptcy in 1999, listing a debt to the IRS of nearly $126,000.”

    And I of course think my rants are lightly less indenttikit paranoid than that fuckwit you compare me with.

  2. yeah you’re right, no similarity at all.
    sorry i should have put a smiley face or LOL on this to make it obvious it was sarcastic – i thought people got that about me – if it makes it easier to remember, unless i state otherwise assume i am BY DEFAULT a cynical facetious smartass, possibly embellishing stories with complete untruths or preposterous scenarios and/or allegations, anything to make the story more interesting – as i always have been. if its good enough for the organised church it’ll do me.

    if you lay a finger on me you’ll be down the clink. i got your threats on record. i just asked what you were talking about in your rant about ‘like’ ing your mother dying, it made no sense to me, still doesn’t. read back your crazy-state emails sometime when you’re on your medications and tell me if you understand them, better still read them to someone else – if you can find someone who is still talking to you that is. seriously, they’re just garbled nonsense… and you know how much i hate garbled nonsense
    🙂 :{> LOL LMFAO X-[

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