Operation Lone Wolf
Operation Lone Wolf
In November 1998, the Federal Bureau of Investigation at San Diego, California and the San Diego Police Department (SDPD) initiated an extensive joint investigation of various federal civil rights and domestic terrorism-related violations and incidents, targeting a self-professed white supremacist, Alexander James Curtis, and several of Curtis' white supremacists associates.
The investigation was dubbed "Operation Lone Wolf," largely due to Curtis' encouragement of other white supremacists to follow what Curtis refers to as "lone wolf" activism. Alex Curtis has preached through his hate computer website and racist telephone messages for white supremacist activists to commit criminal acts in small groups, or "cells", to avoid penetration by law enforcement. Curtis preaches "lone wolf activism" in support of achieving white supremacists goals "by any means necessary."
Operation Lone Wolf revealed that Curtis led various white supremacist associates, herein referred to as the Curtis' cell, to commit various criminal acts. Curtis and his cell members targeted various prominent public figures, who spoke out against hate crimes in our community and/or were members of an ethnic or racial minority.
The investigation of Curtis' white supremacist cell has resulted in an indictment charging Curtis with conspiracy to violate civil rights by targeting for harassment and interference several prominent members of our community, including Congressman Bob Filner, La Mesa Mayor Art Madrid, Anti-Defamation League Director Morris Casuto, and Director of the Heartland Human Relations and Fair Housing Association (Heartland Asso.) Clara Harris. A Curtis associate, Michael DaSilva, was also charged with obstruction of justice for attempting to dissuade a former Curtis' associate from cooperating with the government's investigation.
Investigators learned in the course of this investigation that for several months during 1997, Alex Curtis and his associates targeted La Mesa Mayor Art Madrid. On January 19, 1997, Mayor Madrid publicly denounced a hate crime incident in La Mesa. Shortly thereafter, on January 21, 1997, racist hate fliers were left on Madrid's front lawn at his residence. During August 1997, an anti-Hispanic racist sticker was placed upon the front door of Mayor Madrid's residence. The sticker bore the telephone number 401-9107, which is the number for Alex Curtis' racist telephone hotline.
The investigation indicated that during August 1997, Curtis placed an inactive hand grenade at the Madrid residence as part of an effort to intimidate the Mayor and interfere with his employment and housing rights because he is Hispanic.
The investigation also determined that Curtis conspired with another member of his white supremacist cell to interfere with Congressman Bob Filner's right to employment because Congressman Filner is Jewish. During May 1997, Curtis participated in the placement of threatening anti-Semitic stickers at Filner's Chula Vista office. During June 1999, Curtis and another cell member inserted a large snake skin into the mail slot at Congressman Filner's office.
Operation Lone Wolf also revealed that during June 1997, Alex Curtis and Michael DaSilva conspired to vandalize and did, in fact, vandalize the Congregation Tifereth Israel, a synagogue located at 6660 Cowles Mountain Boulevard in San Diego. This was accomplished by spray painting various threatening, anti-Semitic symbols and words.
Operation Lone Wolf also determined that from November 1997 to March 1999, cell members have targeted San Diego ADL Director Morris Casuto by committing acts of intimidation at Casuto's residence, place of employment, and neighborhood.
Another San Diego area public figure who has been targeted by Curtis and his associates is Clara Harris, who from the 1970s to the present, has been the Director of the Heartland Asso., which association has assisted racial and ethnic minorities secure housing without discrimination in East county. Curtis conspired with another member of his cell to threaten and intimidate Harris by leaving a large snake skin at the residence of Harris.
The investigation has revealed that during the past four years, Curtis and members of his cell have been responsible for the distribution throughout San Diego County of massive numbers of racist fliers and stickers, which Curtis has manufactured. The indictment sets forth the many times that such fliers were utilized in violation of federal law to specifically target individuals.