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Tag: synagogue

FBI: Undercover Sting Ensnares White Supremacist Who Planned to Bomb Colorado Synagogue

Richard Holzer

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The FBI arrested a 27-year-old white supremacist accused of planning to bomb a Colorado synagogue as part of a “racial holy war.”

Richard Holzer was arrested Friday night after he believed he was picking up pipe bombs and dynamite from co-conspirators who turned out to be undercover federal agents.

Holzer planned to bomb the Temple Emanuel synagogue in Pueblo, Colo., the FBI alleges.

While picking up the phony bombs, Holzer was carrying a copy of Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” and wearing a Nazi armband, The Washington Post reports, citing FBI Special Agent John W. Smith’s court filing.

Holzer faces up to 20 years in prison after he was arraigned Monday on a charge of attempting to obstruct people from exercising their religious freedom through force and attempted use of explosives and fire.

“We thwarted an imminent threat to our community,” FBI Special Agent in Charge Dean Phillips said at a news conference.

Holzer caught the attention of the FBI earlier this year when investigators spotted anti-Semitic posts on social media. Posing as a white supremacist, an undercover agent established a relationship with Holzer, who sent pictures of himself with guns and swastikas.

Holzer is accused of telling the undercover agent he was “getting ready” for a “racial holy war.”

The FBI said Holzer confessed to the plot after his arrest.

FBI Arrests Man Accused of Planning to Bomb a South Florida Synagogue

Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center.

Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI says it foiled a terrorist attack at a South Florida synagogue.

Agents arrested on Friday a man who is accused of planning to throw an explosive device into the Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center, WSVN.com reports. 

Agents were posing as terrorists and said no one was in danger because the suspect was being monitored.

“I think about, before we had a baby, that we used to go there for services, and God forbid, it could have been us,” said Stephanie Levine. “Thank God they stopped him, but had they not, it would have been such a horrible thing to happen to this neighborhood.”

NY FBI JTTF Opts Out of NYPD Terror Case; Says Case was Problematic

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Friction is mounting between the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force and New York police.

Radio station WNYC reports that the FBI’s JTTF chose not to get involved in a case involving two New York men allegedly involved in a plot to blow up a local synagogue because it was problematic, was being over-hyped and might not hold up in court. The station cited two unnamed federal sources.

But Deputy Police Commissioner Paul Browne told the station: “When somebody acquires weapons and plans to bomb the largest synagogue in Manhattan he can find, what do you call it, mischief?”

The FBI and New York Police, which has its own sophisticated counterterrorism unit, have beefed in the past.

Some FBI agents have privately questioned the tactics used by the NYPD unit and vice versa.

NY Judge Upholds Synagogue Plot Conviction But Says FBI Might Have Entrapped Defendants

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A New York federal judge delivered a mixed message Tuesday, refusing to overturn last year’s conviction of four men accused of  plotting to blow up synagogues in the Bronx and shoot down military planes. At the same time, she suggested the men may have been entrapped by the FBI, Courthouse News service reported.

The ruling appears to have provided fodder for an appeal.

The legal website reported that defendants James Cromitie, Onta Williams, David Williams and Laguerre Payen based their appeal on lack of predisposition and outrageous government conduct,

The defendants claimed they were entrapped by an FBI informant who offered them $250,000 and other amenities to carry out a plot they never hatched, Courthouse News reported.

U.S. District Judge Connie McMahon said of the entrapment claim: “There is some truth to that description of what transpired here. Nonetheless, the motion is denied.”

Suspected Calif. Synagogue Bomber Nabbed in Ohio

Ron Hirsch/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The nationwide hunt for a transient suspected of bombing a Santa Monica, Calif. synagogue last week ended Monday night with his arrest in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, the FBI said.

The FBI said a citizen tip resulted in the arrest of Ron Hirsch, who had taken a Greyhound bus on the day of last Thursday’s bombing, and was destined for New York, where he has relatives.

“There are at least 10 destinations in between Los Angeles and New York. Additional investigation and video surveillance indicates that Hirsch disembarked the bus in Denver and may have further deviated from his original route,” the FBI said.

The New York Daily News reported that the blast at the Chabad House synagogue “sent a 300-pound concrete-encased pipe ricocheting off the synagogue into a neighboring house where a child was sleeping.” There were no injuries.

Authorities initially thought it was an industrial accident.

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