Criminal Justice

Apparently Angry at IRS, Pilot May Have Intentionally Crashed Small Plane Into Office Building

A man identified as the pilot of a small plane that crashed into an office building in Austin, Texas, this morning apparently did so intentionally to get back at the Internal Revenue Service.

The building houses nearly 200 IRS employees, and Joseph Andrew Stack, 53, who piloted the Piper Cherokee, seems to be the same individual who left a lengthy, rambling suicide note complaining of tax and legal issues, according to CNN and the Blotter blog of the Austin American-Statesman.

The note says the U.S. “tax system, and, indeed, our entire legal system … mercilessly ‘holds accountable’ its victims, claiming that they’re responsible for fully complying with laws not even the experts understand. The law ‘requires’ a signature on the bottom of a tax filing; yet no one can say truthfully that they understand what they are signing; if that’s not ‘duress,’ than what is. If this is not the measure of a totalitarian regime, nothing is.”

A spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration says the crash is being investigated as “apparently a criminal act,” the newspaper reports.

Officials say Stack set his house on fire before taking off, CNN reports.

Two people were injured and one is missing following the crash, the network says, noting that no deaths have been reported.

Another Blotter post provides the text of the Internet note.

Additional coverage:

Christian Science Monitor: “Joe Stack: Antitax ‘terrorist’ or solo IRS-hater?”

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