FBI Is Negotiating With Militants Still Inside Oregon Wildlife Refuge

NPR – by Bill Chappell

With 11 militants now arrested – including their leader, Ammon Bundy – and another dead, federal agents are trying to get the remaining occupiers of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge to leave, according to Oregon Public Broadcasting.

As for the situation inside the refuge, when the network spoke to militant David Fry late Wednesday night, he said five people are still holding out – and he’s one of them.  

Police operate a checkpoint as part of a containment strategy around the Malheur Wildlife Refuge near Burns, Ore., Wednesday. Although leaders of the group that occupied the federal site were arrested, armed militants remain at the refuge.“We have new leaders now and new plans,” he said.

Fry made his remarks despite a call to stand down from Ammon Bundy that was delivered by his attorney Wednesday, as Bundy and seven others appeared in federal court.

Saying that he’s asking the authorities not to prosecute the militants, Bundy said:

“To those remaining at the refuge, I love you. Let us take this fight from here. Please stand down. Go home and hug your families. This fight is ours for now in the courts. Please go home.”

After Bundy was apprehended Tuesday, the FBI and the Oregon State Police set up a series of checkpoints around the refuge, saying they were establishing a “containment” zone. The FBI says eight more people were intercepted as they left the compound, and three were arrested.

The arrest of Bundy and the killing of LaVoy Finicum during the arrest operation set off “chaos” inside the refuge, according to a video that was released by militants early Thursday. Like other videos, it features David Fry, who set up the group’s website.

“It was absolute chaos,” Fry says in the video. “People were just grabbing their things… and just fleeing, driving in their cars and zooming out. A lot of people left even their guns – lots of guns and stuff behind. I mean, that’s how crazy it is.”

After saying that women and children were among those who left, Fry goes on to say that despite receiving word that law enforcement agencies are willing to let people go without being charged, questions remained.

“Obviously, a lot of people are scared of being labeled terrorists – or domestic terrorists,” Fry says. “So a lot of people chose to stay and just kind of see what happens.”

Speaking over a video that shows a campfire in the driveway of the refuge, Fry then says, “Right now, the situation is that, out of five people left here, four of us are allowed to leave, and one of them has to – he’s charged with a felony, he has a felony warrant.”

The charge on that warrant seems to be the same one that the arrested militants are facing: “conspiracy to impede officers of the United States from discharging their official duties through the use of force, intimidation, or threats.”

Saying “everybody feels it’s unfair,” Fry says that in talking with the federal negotiator, those inside the refuge are telling him they’re willing to go:

“Just let us leave right now. We’re willing to leave. And if they want to check the guns for — if it’s stolen guns or what-not — we’re agreeing to that. We’re being reasonable and trying to be peaceful.”

But the militants are insisting that the warrant be dismissed first. The negotiator’s response is that it’s not possible to drop the felony charge, Fry says — something he says is “kind of silly.”

Led by Bundy, the militants have been occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near Burns, Ore., since early this month as part of an ongoing dispute between ranchers and the federal Bureau of Land Management.


2 thoughts on “FBI Is Negotiating With Militants Still Inside Oregon Wildlife Refuge

  1. Starting to look more and more like they are trying to “shame” the militia into non-existence so people quit joining and forming more units. It would fit perfectly so far, almost entirely bloodless, the masons and informants are safe not forgetting that this whole debacle was a joke to start with. Now they have this little piece which if true only adds to the “militia are spineless idiots, just look!” Meanwhile those there are not actually militia, just fodder used by some masons and FBI agents and or informants. The claim that many ran away so fast they left all their guns and equipment behind…

    This situation is getting so outrageously ludicrous that just… Damn son.

  2. “We have new leaders now and new plans,” he said.”

    Have at it, loser.

    We have NO leaders, and only ONE plan – HANG ALL TRAITORS!

    “Obviously, a lot of people are scared of being labeled terrorists – or domestic terrorists,”

    Then they should open mouth, insert gun, pull trigger.

    They’re a liability, not an asset.

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