Bombing suspects named plot for Bible hero


PENSACOLA, Fla. -- Two men who bombed three abortion clinics after a 'call from God' dubbed their scheme 'the Gideon Project' in an apparent reference to a Biblical character called upon to save the children of Israel.

The name for the pre-dawn Christmas Day blasts surfaced Monday during a probable cause hearing for the four people charged in the blasts that caused more than $400,000 damage.


At the hearing, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agent Robert Hofer Jr. recounted what led to the arrest of Matthew Goldsby, Kaye Wiggins, James Simmons and his wife, Kathy Simmons within a week of the bombings.

U.S. Magistrate Robert Crongeyer ordered the case turned over to the grand jury scheduled to meet next week. The two men were jailed without bond, while the two women were in the custody of their mothers.

Hofer claimed Wiggins, 18, of Pensacola, apparently knew of plans for the Christmas bombings because of a letter of support she sent to her fiance, Goldsby, 21, a month earlier.

Wiggins testified her letter to Goldsby was not in support of bombings, but in support of 'the Gideon Project.' She said she did not know until Dec. 21 the term referred to the planned bombings.


Wiggins, who earlier had told reporters her fiance and Simmons liked to pretend they were knights of King Arthur's Round Table, said the phrase 'Gideon Project' had some Biblical meaning.

The name Gideon appears in the Book of Judges, Chapter 6. Gideon is called upon by God as 'a mighty man of valor' to save Israel from the Midianites.

'Surely I will be with thee, and thou shalt smite the Midianites...' one passage says.

ATF investigators testified at bond hearings last week that Goldsby and Simmons told them that God had called upon them to destroy the clinics.

Goldsby allegedly told agents God's law supersedes the law of man. Simmons allegedly told agents God had 'called upon him' in September or October 'to destroy these clinics.'

Goldsby and Simmons, 21, both from Cantonment, are charged with carrying out the Christmas day bombing and another one six months earlier. Wiggins and Simmons' wife are charged with aiding and abbeting and conspiracy in the Christmas blasts.

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