A neo-Nazi has admitted plotting to blow up a Jewish temple with dynamite.
Richard Holzer, 28, pleaded guilty on Thursday after being arrested in November for his plans to destroy the Temple Emanuel Synagogue in Pueblo, Colorado.
Holzer was promoting white supremacy and violence online, which court documents said caught the eye of FBI agents.
He was allegedly preparing for a ‘racial holy war’ and eventually met with undercover agents at a motel to pick up pipe bombs and 14 sticks of dynamite.
After he was arrested, Holzer confessed and said he didn’t want to hurt anyone, but prosecutors say he was planning to go through with the attack if people had been inside the synagogue.
Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Eric Dreiband said in a statement that the attack was intended to scare people out of the city of Pueblo, which is a town of only 110,000 people.
‘Violence motivated by religious intolerance strikes at the heart of a free society, and the Justice Department will continue to investigate and prosecute these violent acts of hate,’ Dreiband said.
Temple Emanuel is the second-oldest synagogue in Colorado and was constructed in 1900.
Holzer is a self-proclaimed neo-Nazi, and he will receive hate crime charges and another that deals with using explosives to destroy a building.
He will face 20 years maximum in prison for each charge, but prosecutors will recommend no more than two decades.
There were more than 2,000 hate crimes against American Jewish people in 2019, the highest that number has been since 1979, according to the Anti-Defamation League.
A far-right extremist shot and killed 11 people and wounded six at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 2008. It was the most lethal attack ever on the Jewish people in the US.
Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at email@example.com.
For more stories like this, check our news page.