A 28-year-old man has been sentenced to 19 years in federal prison for plotting to blow up a Colorado synagogue in an act of domestic terrorism, the Department of Justice announced on Friday.
According to the DOJ, the man, whose name has been withheld per Daily Wire policy, told undercover FBI agents that he wanted to get Temple Emanuel Synagogue in Pueblo, Colorado, “off the map” and coordinated with undercover agents to obtain explosives. During a meeting with undercover agents on November 1, 2019, the man obtained “inert” explosives, which he said he planned to use on the temple within hours.
The man was arrested shortly after the meeting and later pleaded guilty to charges that met the criteria of terrorism, according to the DOJ.
“The Department has combatted hate-based violent extremism and domestic terrorism since our inception,” said Acting Deputy Attorney General John Carlin in a statement on Friday. “Today there is no higher priority. This sentencing serves as a reminder that these crimes will not be tolerated, and we will hold the individuals who engage in them fully accountable. From our Civil Rights Division, our National Security Division, and the FBI, to the Office for Victims of Crime and our Community Relations Service, the Department of Justice will use every tool at its disposal to identify, disrupt, deter, and prevent hate-based, extremist threats to members of the American public.”
Officials say the man admitted to identifying as a Neo-Nazi and white supremacist, regularly glorified violence in social media posts, and once sent a photo of himself holding weapons to an undercover FBI employee. The man told that undercover FBI employee that he was preparing for “RAHOWA,” or a racial holy war. When the man met with undercover agents on November 1, 2019, he pulled a copy of “Mein Kampf” from his bag.
Upon his arrest, the man told law enforcement officials that he wanted his bombing plans to “define me as a person who would die for his people.”
“Protecting our communities from terrorism, both domestic and international, is a top priority for the FBI,” said Denver Special Agent in Charge Michael Schneider in a statement on Friday. “Today’s sentence demonstrates the commitment by the FBI and our law enforcement partners to ensure that if a crime is motivated by bias against a religion or any other federally protected status, it will be aggressively investigated, and the perpetrators held responsible for their actions.”
The man previously pleaded guilty to explosives charges, a federal hate crime charge, attempting to obstruct religious exercise through force, and to attempting to “maliciously damage and destroy” a building used for interstate commerce, according to the DOJ. Following his prison sentence, the man will receive 15 years of supervised release.