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Aryan Republican Army

During the mid-1990s, the Aryan Republican Army (ARA), a six-member paramilitary cell, robbed 22 banks in the Midwest, intending to use the money to fund a white supremacist overthrow of the U.S. government.

During the ARA's short life, authorities were unaware that the thieves who had committed a slew of small-scale bank robberies in Iowa, Missouri, Ohio, and other midwestern states had any motive higher than stealing money, nor had they ever heard of the small white supremacist cell called the Aryan Republican Army. The press referred to the robbers at the “Midwest Bank Bandits.”

The ARA's robberies were elaborately orchestrated; the group used the 1991 surf film Point Break as a template. Each heist was planned to take less than 90 seconds. One member guarded the lobby, calling out the elapsed time, while the others rifled money from the tellers' drawers. As ...

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