The Dallas Morning News
BYLINE:Lee Hancock

Man who had sneaked into compound leaves
FBI says Koresh lying to drag out standoff

WACO -- One of the two men who slipped into the besieged Branch Davidian compound last month left Saturday afternoon, federal officials said.

Louis Anthony Alaniz, a 24-year-old Houston man described by his family as a religious fanatic, walked out of the compound and was turned over to the Texas Department of Public Safety about 3:30 p.m., said Jerry Singer, spokesman for the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

Mr. Alaniz, wearing a T-shirt with the words "David Koresh, God' printed on it, was taken to the McLennan County jail where he was charged with interfering with the duty of a police officer. He was being held as a material witness.

Mr. Alaniz sneaked into the compound March 24 and remained inside for 3 1/2 weeks, telling federal negotiators that he wanted to receive religious instruction from sect leader David Koresh.

A homeless drifter who also penetrated the federal perimeter March 26 was ordered to leave April 4. That man -- identified as Jesse Amen -- faces a charge of interfering with police officers.

Mr. Alaniz's departure was the first development in a week in which federal officials called Mr. Koresh a liar, telling reporters Saturday that the sect leader has even lied to his mother.

Repeating what has become a daily litany of what he termed the sect's bizarre statements, baseless pledges and outright lies, FBI Special Agent Bob Ricks told reporters that he is emphasizing the Branch Davidians' untruths to show why no credence can be given to their latest promise to give up.

Perhaps most notable was what the FBI spokesman left unsaid Saturday, the 49th day of the standoff: If negotiations have failed and Mr. Koresh cannot be trusted, then aggressive tactical moves may be the only way to end the standoff.

Knowledgeable federal officials say the FBI cannot undertake any tactical operations until it receives Clinton administration approval for using force against the heavily armed sect.

Agent Ricks said Mr. Koresh is stalling.

"I think he's a classical sociopath, in that his way of thinking is: "One more day, the world's gonna be better for me.' ' Agent Ricks said. "And that's his ultimate game, to keep it going one more day. I don't think he can think beyond that: "One more day, maybe, God will strike everybody dead.' '

Agent Ricks said the 33-year-old sect leader lied to his mother about being mortally wounded and lied to the public about losing a daughter during a Feb. 28 firefight in which four ATF agents died and 16 were wounded.

Officials have since learned from sect lieutenant Steve Schneider that no children were killed in the gunbattle that erupted when the ATF tried to serve arrest and search warrants at the compound, Agent Ricks said.

"So we've had a continuation of not only broken promises but a series of lies,' Agent Ricks said. " . . . So it seems futile for everybody to sit around and hold their breath. . . . We've all been down that road before.'

On Wednesday, Mr. Koresh's attorney, Dick DeGuerin of Houston, announced that his client would lead his followers into federal custody after completing what he described as a divinely inspired manuscript.

The manuscript will supposedly reveal the truth about the seven seals, a mystical passage of the Book of Revelation detailing the plagues and disasters that will mark the world's end.

On Saturday, Agent Ricks said negotiators had been told over the past 24 hours that Mr. Koresh was working on the second of seven sections of his manuscript.

Although there was no word on whether the first section has been edited, Agent Ricks said, negotiators were told that the opus is being typed by Judy Schneider, a sect follower who was telling federal authorities a month ago that one of her fingers was so swollen and infected that she was considering cutting it off.

When FBI negotiators asked whether they could help speed the dyslexic, ninth-grade dropout's writing process, Agent Ricks said, sect members "complained about their typewriters and typing tapes. They wanted a complete word-processing system and numerous batteries.'

That request isn't likely to be honored, he said, because authorities suspect that the Branch Davidians have misused batteries provided in the past.

One federal official confirmed Saturday that authorities fear that fresh batteries could be used to power cellular telephones inside the compound.

Sect members were monitored making cellular telephone calls several weeks ago, the official said, "but we think their batteries have run down.'

Agent Ricks suggested for the first time Saturday that federal officials are employing jamming equipment to prevent the Branch Davidians from monitoring anything but the daily news briefings. He refused to detail what is being done.

But the federal official who spoke on condition of anonymity said the Federal Communications Commission brought in special equipment weeks ago to help block the compound's radio and TV reception.

Agent Ricks said that negotiations with the sect have produced nothing since March 19, when three sect members were released.

"This case has not involved what one would characterize as the normal negotiation process almost from the very beginning. We have never gotten into a quid pro quo situation, where we actually engaged in negotiations,' he said.

Last week, he said, Mr. Schneider hinted that three people might be considering coming out but never revealed their names.

"We believe, again, it's just a game. The game was to stall this thing out as long as they could, to release those that were not vital or those that were causing them trouble,' he said, referring to three men who apparently were ordered to leave last month for excessive drinking and rules violations.

"There are no indications at all that Mr. Koresh wants any of those people (still inside) to come out,' Agent Ricks said. "He views those people as necessary for his protection, and we still believe that the final outcome that he wants to take place is a showdown with the government where massive casualties and deaths will take place.'