A white supremacist plotted to bomb a Colorado synagogue as part of what he called a “racial holy war” federal authorities said Monday.
Richard Holzer, 27, allegedly told undercover FBI agents that he wanted to wipe the Temple Emanuel synagogue in Pueblo “off the map” in what authorities said was an act of “domestic terrorism,” according to a criminal complaint filed Saturday in U.S. District Court of Colorado.
The alleged hatemonger was part of multiple group chats on Facebook in which he wrote sickening messages, such as “I wish the Holocaust did happen… they need to die,” the complaint states.
An undercover agent posing as a white woman who shared Holzer’s ideology friended him on Facebook Sept. 28 and he told her he was a former Ku Klux Klan member-turned-skinhead, the docs say.
On Oct. 3, Holzer told the agent he was “getting ready for RAHOWA” or a “racial holy war” — and was going to “scope out” the house of worship, according to the complaint.
That agent and two other undercovers met with Holzer Oct. 17 at a restaurant and he brought along neo-Nazi paraphernalia as gifts and “repeatedly expressed his hatred of Jewish people,” saying he wanted to poison the synagogue to “make them know they’re not wanted here,” the filing states.
The talk turned to pipe bombs and Holzer allegedly saying: “Let’s get that place off the map” and later declared he wanted to “vandalize the place beyond repair.”
Four days later, one of the agents sent Holzer a photo of what appeared to be pipe bombs and he responded: “Sieg Heil brothers,” the complaint states.
On Friday, Holzer showed up to a meeting with the agents in a Nazi arm band and mask, holding a knife and copy of Mein Kampf. The agents showed him the faux explosives, which he called “absolutely gorgeous.”
They planned to attack the temple around 2:30 or 3 a.m. on Saturday, the complaint states. Holzer said he didn’t think anyone would be at the synagogue when the explosives went off but even if they were he “would not care because they would be Jews.”
But the agents arrested Holzer instead and he allegedly admitted to planning to blow up the house of worship, referring to the plot as “my mountain” and to the Jewish community as a “cancer.”
“Although Holzer stated that he had not planned to hurt anyone, when asked what he would have done if there had been someone inside the synagogue when he arrived that night, he admitted that he would have gone through with the attack because anyone inside would be Jewish,” the complaint states.
Holzer will make his first court appearance Monday afternoon on charges of attempting to obstruct religious exercise by force using explosives and fire, The Denver Channel reported.
He faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000, if convicted.
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