A Colorado white supremacist planned to bomb a synagogue before he was arrested on Friday, according to the FBI.
Richard Holzer, whom the FBI describes as an outspoken 27-year-old white supremacist, was arrested after plotting with undercover FBI agents whom he believed to be fellow white supremacists to destroy a synagogue in Pueblo, Colo. Holzer’s arrest comes in the wake of synagogue shootings in Pittsburgh, Penn., and Poway, Calif.
After being arrested, Holzer allegedly said he had planned to bomb the synagogue at night, when no one would be inside. If anyone was inside, though, Holzer purportedly said he would still go through with the attacks, describing Jewish people as a “cancer” and calling the bombs he would use to destroy the building as “absolutely gorgeous.”
“He admitted that the would have gone through with the attack because anyone inside would be Jewish,” the affidavit reads.
Holzer also plotted to use arsenic to poison the water at Pueblo’s Temple Emanuel synagogue, the second-oldest synagogue in Colorado, according to the FBI.
“I want something that tells them they are not welcome in this town,” Holzer reportedly said to the FBI agents. “Better get the fuck out, otherwise, people will die.”
Holzer, who allegedly operated several openly white supremacist Facebook accounts, was first contacted by an undercover FBI employee posing as a white supremacist woman, according to an FBI affidavit.
Holzer allegedly sent the FBI employee videos of himself, including one of him urinating on a Jewish center and suggesting he would commit a racially motivated massacre. In another video, Holzer allegedly put on a mask, wielded a machete, and said “may the gods be with me for what I must do.” Holzer reportedly introduced himself as a former Ku Klux Klan member who now considered himself to be a white supremacist skinhead.
Holzer described himself as a supporter of the white supremacist cause of “racial holy war,” according to the FBI, and repeatedly discussed committing racial violence. The undercover FBI employee eventually connected him with three other undercover FBI agents, and a Holzer associate described as “Skeeter” for a late October meeting at a restaurant in Colorado Springs, where Holzer allegedly discussed using Molotov cocktails to burn the synagogue.
“I’m as down as everybody else is,” Holzer allegedly told the agents, when discussing the bombing. “I want something that tells them they are not welcome in this town. Better get the fuck out, otherwise, people will die.”
Holzer left the meeting convinced that the undercover agents would help him carry out some kind of violence against the synagogue, according to the affidavit. He allegedly sent them a video of himself inspecting the synagogue for a place to plant a bomb, and praised pictures of what he believed were pipe bombs with the phrase “Sieg Heil.” In other communications with an FBI employee, Holzer allegedly filmed himself commenting on a woman standing outside the synagogue.
“Oh shit,” Holzer said, according to the affidavit. “So this would mean the kikes are fucking going back into business here and uh we’ll have to fucking figure out what they’re going to do.”
Holzer met with the agents at a motel near the synagogue on Nov. 1, according to the FBI, where he reportedly displayed a Nazi armband and a copy of Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf and gave them a pep talk.
“This is a move for our race,” Holzer said, according to the FBI. “One of these days, we’re probably gonna do something where one of us, couple of us even, probably won’t come back.”
Holzer, who faces one charge of attempting to obstruct religious exercise by force using explosive and fire, is set to make his first court appearance on Monday afternoon.