A white supremacist arrested after an FBI investigation has been charged with plotting to bomb one of Colorado’s oldest synagogues.
Richard Holzer, 27, was approached by undercover agents posing as white supremacists who gave him inert pipe bombs and dynamite. He discussed his plan to explode the devices at Temple Emanuel in Pueblo before dawn on Saturday.
According to court documents, Holzer was arrested on Friday and charged with attempting to obstruct religious exercise by force, after admitting to trying to blow up the synagogue. He faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.
“The allegation in the complaint constitutes domestic terrorism under federal law because it involves a criminal act dangerous to human life and was intended to coerce a civilian population,” said US Attorney Jason Dunn.
Holzer’s arrest came just over a year after the worst antisemitic attack in US history, when a white supremacist gunman opened fire in a Pittsburgh synagogue on 27 October 2018, killing 11.
According to the affidavit, Holzer told the undercover agents he wanted to show Jews that they were not welcome in his community, that he wanted to destroy the synagogue to “get that place off the map,” and expressed support for a racial holy war.
At one point former Ku Klux Klan member Holzer even sent one of the agents a video of himself walking around the perimeter of the synagogue.
The court documents show that Holzer posted a series of antisemitic messages on Facebook, including one that read: “I wish the Holocaust really did happen… they need to die.”