[Not single-page] The case of the “Waffle House terrorists,” which included 73-year-old Fred Thomas and three other 60-something men charged with plotting to commit acts of terror—and an FBI informant previously arrested on charges of molestation:
It is the central mystery of the case, one even more perplexing than the mystery of whether the old conspirators would ever have been capable of doing what they were talking about doing, or whether, if they weren’t capable, they could be guilty of any crimes. By all accounts, Fred Thomas had lived an exemplary life of loyalty and leadership, with a devoted wife, a son nearby, a secure pension income, and a dream home to show for it. Joe Sims, by all accounts, had lived a slippery and slovenly life that made him the equivalent of his cell-phone stamp — unknown. He was a man of unsavory associations and catastrophic divorces, a man who when he tells the truth, tells it slant, a man who stands accused of raping his stepdaughter in a house with her old swing set still planted in the backyard.
And yet Fred Thomas called him and still has his phone number on his speed dial. When Sims called Thomas, Thomas picked up the phone, and even when Charlotte took an icy message, Thomas always called Sims back.