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Alabama bunker standoff: Did politics set Jimmy Dykes off?

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The ordeal in Midland City, Alabama, began Tuesday afternoon when police say Dykes stormed a rural school bus, demanding two young boys. Dykes killed a bus driver trying to protect the children, and then made off with a boy named Ethan, scurrying him into the bunker behind his house.

Police have maintained contact through a PVC pipe, and have been able to get Ethan medicine as well as coloring books. Police confirmed Dykes' identity on Friday.

The survivalist movement has gained steam in recent years as many Americans fear economic or political apocalypse, a trend now accompanied by TV shows like "Doomsday Preppers" about people who build bunkers and stash food in preparation for disaster.

While on the whole peaceful, and in many ways understandable, the movement has also contributed to a simmering paranoia that has subsumed some adherents.

"How do you know if you are preparing to survive and overcome realistic scenario or just obsessing with doom and gloom, maybe even focusing on very unlikely or even impossible scenarios while ignoring much more realistic and more probable events? It’s a thin line. People have obsessed and ended up losing not only their time and money, but also their families because of this," blogger FerFAL wrote on The Modern Survivalist blog last year.

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