New court documents have shed fresh light on a possible plot in Washington, D.C., planned for the same day as the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre in October.
The case centers on 23-year-old Edward William Clark, who killed himself on Washington’s isolated Roosevelt Island on Oct. 27, just hours after the synagogue shooting allegedly perpetrated by Robert Bowers.
Clark, according to relatives interviewed by the FBI, believed in a “race revolution” and “wanted to expedite it.”
Clark, a member of white supremacist circles who was photographed with alleged Charlottesville “Unite the Right” murder suspect James Alex Fields in 2017 and posted on alt-right social network Gab, shot himself with a pistol shortly after the attack. The suicide came around the same time that it was reported that Gab was cooperating with law enforcement in the Pittsburgh case, according to the FBI.
But Clark had much more ammunition on him than was necessary, leading Clark’s relatives to believe he had originally intended to commit violence that same day against other people.
“They believed he may have planned to commit an act of violence on the day that he died,” an FBI court filing reads.
FBI agents arrested Clark’s brother, 30-year-old Jeffrey Raphiel Clark Jr., on Nov. 9 on an illegal gun charge. The FBI was drawn to the case after a tip-off from two of Clark’s family members. Like his brother, according to his family members, Clark wanted to “expedite” a race war.
Law enforcement officials seized multiple guns in connection with the Clark case, as well as kits meant to turn guns into the AR-15s popular with mass shooters. They also found torches consistent with meth use—a substance Clark referenced in his Gab profile.
In the aftermath of the Pittsburgh shooting, according to the FBI, Jeffrey Clark immediately reported his brother missing, even though he was not a minor. Jeffrey Clark also warned his parents that law enforcement could contact them because he had had contact with Bowers on Gab.
Jeffrey Clark also became more vocally anti-Semitic after his brother’s suicide, according to the FBI. In the aftermath of the Pittsburgh attack, Clark described the Pittsburgh attack as a “dry run” and called Bowers a “hero.”
“At some point if a line gets crossed, I would be violent,” Clark told his relatives, according to the court documents. “Everyone has a line.”
Jeffrey Clark also posted an image on his Gab page showing Bowers with a gun and splattered with blood, according to prosecutors.
The investigation into the two brothers could draw more attention to Gab, which was briefly shut down after the Pittsburgh shooting. Jeffrey Clark’s Gab user name referenced “bowlcuts”—a reference, according to the FBI, to the haircut of 2015 Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof, who has become a hero to other racists.