A 27-year-old man who espoused white supremacist ideology online was arrested by the FBI for plotting to bomb a synagogue in Colorado.
Richard Holzer had brought a knife and a mask to a motel room and was examining inert pipe bombs prepared by undercover agents moments before he was arrested late Friday, according to a criminal complaint.
Holzer is charged with attempting to obstruct the free exercise of religious beliefs with the attempted use of explosives — a hate crime. In court documents, officials described him as a domestic terrorist and described his anti-Semitic ideology and desires for a racial holy war.
According to the criminal complaint, Holzer talked about killing Jews in forums online and shared video of himself casing a synagogue in Pueblo. He described himself as a skinhead, and shared pictures of himself with other social media users with guns and knives alongside white supremacist symbols.
Holzer, according to prosecutors, wrote on one Facebook account: “I wish the Holocaust really did happen …. they need to die.”
He also said he paid a “witch doctor” $70 to put arsenic in the water pipes of the synagogue and “hex” the place last year, according to the complaint.
Holzer made his first appearance in Denver federal court on Monday afternoon. A preliminary hearing and a detention hearing are scheduled for Thursday morning, according to US Attorney Jason R. Dunn.
The suspect, who does not yet have an attorney listed on his case, faces a maximum 20-year sentence if convicted of a hate crime, officials said.