News and Commentary

Las Vegas Man Arrested After Investigation Exposes Alleged Neo-Nazi Sympathies And Plans To Launch Terror Attacks
In this photo illustration, a Rock River Arms AR-15 rifle is seen with ammunition on December 18, 2012 in Miami, Florida.
Photo illustration by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

[CORRECTION: An earlier version on this article stated that Jeff Schoep was the current leader of the white supremacist National Socialist Movement (NSM). He is no longer the leader of the organization, having officially left on March 1, 2019.

He also claims that he no longer advocates white nationalist views, offering the following quote regarding his alleged reformation: “I have recently started publicly speaking out against hate and extremism … I do realize the words and efforts I put into the NSM for so many years were wrong. I am trying to right the wrongs I put out into this world.” He made a similar assertion to The New York Times.]

[Original Story]

On Friday, the U.S. Attorney’s Office District of Nevada issued a press release detailing the arrest of a 23-year-old Las Vegas security guard who has been “charged by a criminal complaint with one count of possession of an unregistered firearm – namely, the component parts of a destructive device.”

According to an 11-page criminal complaint, the man was allegedly exchanging encrypted messages with individuals “who identified with” the National Socialist Movement (NSM), an American white supremacist organization, regarding his desire to launch an attack on a synagogue in Las Vegas, as well as surveillance he might have conducted on an LGBTQ friendly bar in the city.

The suspect was also allegedly in communication with individuals “who identified with” the neo-Nazi group Atomwaffen Division, reports NBC News.

The complaint also alleges that the man attempted to have a homeless person conduct surveillance on a synagogue, but his attempt failed.

During a search, “a notebook with several hand-drawn schematics for a potential Las Vegas-area attack” was found, according to the press release. Also within the notebook were sketches of “timed explosive devises.”

NBC News reports that according to court documents, law enforcement authorities found chemical agents and parts for the constriction of explosive devices in the suspect’s bedroom, as well as “an AR-15 style rifle and a bolt-action rifle.”

Both firearms were confiscated.

FBI Las Vegas Devision Special Agent in Charge Aaron C. Rouse said of the case:

The FBI’s Las Vegas Joint Terrorism Task Force is committed to protecting our community from any threat of domestic terrorism and I could not be more proud of the work they did in this case. … As this complaint illustrates, the FBI will always be proactive to combat threats that cross a line from free speech to potential violence.

The suspect is facing up to a decade in prison, as well as a substantial fine, the press release states.

He will next appear in court on August 23.

The National Socialist Movement, led by Burt Colucci, is a white supremacist organization that advocates against both capitalism and communism, and for a dissolution of the American government as it currently stands.

The organization claims in its “25 Point Thesis” that Americans are “slaves to the wishes of globalists and Wall Street,” and that “citizenship in the Homeland must … be limited to White persons who share our values, and White persons alone.”

According to the Anti-Defamation League, Atomwaffen Division (AWD) is a “small neo-Nazi group whose members are preparing for a race war to combat what they consider the cultural and racial displacement of the white race.”