The head of a far-right New Mexico militia group known for detaining undocumented families at gunpoint has been accused of claiming to train a group to assassinate Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and billionaire Democratic donor George Soros.
The accusations follow after Larry Mitchell Hopkins, a 69-year-old who lives in a borer town near El Paso, was arrested on charges of possession of firearms and ammunition. He had previously been convicted in 2006 on charges and firearm possession.
The FBI now claims that Mr Hopkins told witnesses during a 2017 investigation that his militia was planning to assassinate the three Democratic figures, according to Reuters.
Mr Hopkins’ militia group is called the United Constitutional Patriots, which has a Facebook page claiming it is composed of “Americans that believe in the constitution and the rights of every American that will stand up for there[sic] rights in unity and help keep America safe”.
The group detained some 200 migrants as they crossed the US-Mexico border last week seeking asylum. Many of those detained by the militia were reportedly Central Americans, according to the New York Times.
The group is said to have detained some 5,600 migrants in the past 60 days alone.
The group that Mr Hopkins leads in southern New Mexico is one of many militia groups that have been operating on the US-Mexico border for years, with the stated goal of stopping or slowing illegal US immigration flows.
Civil rights groups and immigrant advocates have criticised the tactics, and claim that these militia groups illegally detain migrants and kidnap them by impersonating law enforcement.
Allegra Love, the executive director of the Santa Fe Dreamers Project, a group that provides free legal services to immigrants, told the Santa Fe New Mexican that the militias are outrageous.
“We don’t need citizens confronting them at gunpoint,” Ms Love said, referring to migrants seeking asylum in the United States and coming from violent nations like Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala.