The FBI thwarted a mass shooting after they arrested a 23-year-old man who was allegedly planning to attack Jews at a synagogue and patrons of an LGBTQ bar. Conor Climo was arrested Thursday after he spoke about the potential plans of the attack on a white supremacists’ website. If found guilty, Climo could face up to 10 years in prison.
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The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Nevada announced the arrest in a statement: “Threats of violence motivated by hate and intended to intimidate or coerce our faith-based and LGBTQ communities have no place in this country.”
According to FBI agents, Climo was trying to create a sniper platoon to help carry out his plan to shoot unsuspecting Jewish people in either Las Vegas or another location. In addition to the planned shooting, Climo was allegedly trying to make a bomb. The FBI found bomb-making materials in the bedroom of his home, NBC News reported.
Climo popped up on the FBI’s radar in April after he was communicating with Atomwaffen Division, a white supremacist neo-Nazi group online. Through the multi-month investigation, agents began posing as fellow neo-Nazi sympathizers on the site where they would often speak of weapons and explosives.
According to ABC News, Climo was “regularly us[ing] derogatory racial, anti-Semitic, and homosexual slurs” on the site when speaking to undercover agents.
The complaint detailed the intent of the site: “AWD encourages attacks on the federal government, including critical infrastructure, minorities, homosexuals, and Jews.” The FBI report also indicated that “AWD works to recruit like-minded members to the organization, train them in military tactics, hand to hand combat, bomb-making, and other techniques in preparation for an ‘ultimate and uncompromising victory’ in a race war.”
FBI officials stated Climo even asked a homeless person to conduct “pre-attack surveillance” on various potential targets such as places of worship and gay bars, CBS News reported.
After a brief search of Climo’s computer search history, the FBI stated in their arrest statement that the 23-year-old occasionally looked up quotes from Adolf Hitler about the “downsides of multiculturalism.”
Perhaps acting as a precursor for what was to come, Climo was featured on a local news report in 2016 where he was carrying an assault-style weapon and a large knife. In the video, Climo stated he was a “local citizen on patrol” for the neighborhood watch, which left many residents in the area concerned.
In the 2016 video, he claimed he was in the Army for a brief period of time but would not elaborate. Climo will be due in court next on August 23.