Who: Anti-Muslim militant.
Where he’s from: Ritzheimer is an Iraq War vet who makes his home near Phoenix.
Backstory: Ritzheimer gained national attention as the leader of the armed protest of the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix last May; he wore a T-Shirt reading “Fuck Islam” — sold by an apparel line called Rogue Infidel, which Ritzheimer lists as his workplace on Facebook. Ritzheimer has been on the radar of federal and state law enforcement for months. After he made a threatening video featuring himself on a road trip to the East Coast cocking a gun and spouting anti-Islamic rhetoric, the FBI reportedly alerted New York authorities. New Jersey’s Homeland Security department flagged Ritzheimer in a December 2015 alert: “MILITIA EXTREMISTS: THREATENING THE MUSLIM COMMUNITY.” Ritzheimer has proven too extreme even for the Oath Keepers; the militant group denounced Ritzheimer after he threatened to arrest Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Michigan) for “treason” over her vote for the Iran deal. Ritzheimer now identifies with the militant movement the Three Percenters. (Here’s a primer.)
Distinctive markings: Shaved head, baseball goatee and a chest tattoo featuring the American flag with the words “Hard Knock Life.” Ritzheimer writes that he departed the military over a dispute about his tattoos.
Style: “He often comes across as literally unhinged,” said Heidi Beirich of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Ritzheimer burst to attention in the early hours of the Oregon standoff after posting a tearful goodbye video to his family in which he declared, “I am 100 percent willing to lay my life down to fight against tyranny in this country. Does that mean I want war? Does that make me some kind of war monger? NO!”
Who: Ritzheimer’s sidekick. Cooper brought national mockery on the militants with a Facebook post asking sympathizers to send snacks.
Where he’s from: Cooper reportedly lives in Humboldt, Arizona. His LinkedIn profile identifies him as the owner of a media company called Third Watch Productions.
Backstory: Like his buddy Ritzheimer, Cooper is a virulent anti-Islamic extremist. He posted this video of himself tearing pages out of the Koran, wadding them up with strips of bacon and tossing them in a fire. In 2013 , Cooper claimed he was questioned by the FBI after making a Facebook post musing about an armed revolution in which “lots of people are going to die.”
Distinctive markings: While many of the militants prefer ranchwear, Cooper prefers full camo fatigues.
Style: A footsoldier soldier for the cause. Cooper previously participated in the standoff at the Bundy Ranch. “I went there to defend Cliven with my life,” he told The Oregonian.