Rudolph's Background & Beliefs - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

May 31, 2:00 p.m.

Rudolph's Background & Beliefs

NAME: Eric Robert Rudolph

AGE/DATE OF BIRTH: 36; Sept. 19, 1966

OCCUPATIONS: Carpenter, roofer, handyman

CHARGED WITH: Four bombings, including the explosion at Atlanta's Summer Olympics in 1996. In all, the explosions have killed two and wounded more than 100.

BACKGROUND: An anti-abortion crusader, Army veteran and survivalist originally from Florida, Rudolph allegedly sent letters claiming responsibility for two of the bombings and signed them "Army of God." In a high school essay, Rudolph argued that the Holocaust was a hoax. He is believed to adhere to Christian Identity, a white supremacist religion that is anti-gay, anti-Semitic and anti-foreigner. He moved to western North Carolina in 1981.

CHRISTIAN IDENTITY: Followers believe that non-whites are descended from peoples who predate Adam and thus are without souls, and that Jews are the children of Satan, according to Dexter Wimbish, a lawyer with the Center for Democratic Renewal, an anti-hate group in Atlanta. Followers also reportedly hold intense hostility toward immigrants. The Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Ala., which monitors militia activities and hate groups, has said it has strong evidence that Rudolph was an adherent of Christian Identity.

ARMY OF GOD: The Army of God is a name that has been circulating since the 1980s as a force for radical anti-abortion actions, including circulating a manual that contains information on how to make bombs. It's not clear who makes up the organization, although various anti-abortion activists either have been linked to it or claimed to be part of it over the years.

OTHER BELIEFS: Rudolph, an ex-soldier and survivalist, once argued in a high school essay that the Holocaust was a hoax. He also is said to be a strong opponent of abortion.

EXTREMISM: Rudolph's extremist views could have flourished in Cherokee County, the mountainous area of North Carolina where he was believed to be hiding the past five years. Human rights activists say the area is a haven for extremism because it is remote and nearly 100 percent white. It also is home to a mountaintop retreat called Northpoint, the site of a fortified compound that has produced a stream of racist and anti-Semitic dogma for 20 years. About 10 miles up the highway from Murphy is the home of the late Nord Davis Jr., a notorious racist who led an extremist paramilitary group called Northpoint Tactical Teams and espoused Christian Identity.

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