A Las Vegas man has been arrested over a white supremacist plot to attack gay bars and synagogues.
Conor Climo, 23, was arrested and arraigned in federal court last week after bomb-making materials were discovered in his home by an FBI-led Joint Terrorism Task Force investigation, Buzzfeed News reports.
Climo reportedly discussed his plans to use either Molotov cocktails or another form of explosives with other white supremacists via encrypted messages. He also told the FBI that he had spent two years considering creating a “sniper platoon” to attack Jewish people.
The investigation found that Climo had repeatedly used “derogatory racial, anti-Semitic and homosexual slurs” and spoke with an FBI informant about identifying “possible targets near Las Vegas, including police leadership, synagogues, an area in downtown Las Vegas with gay bars, and the headquarters for the Anti-Defamation League.”
According to the FBI, Climo said he “harbors biases and hatred toward various racial and religious groups to include African Americans, Jews, and homosexuals.”
An investigation into Climo was opened after the FBI learned he had been communicating with Atomwaffen Division, an extremist white supremacy group.
Atomwaffen specifically urges violence against gay people and had connections to an attack in 2018 that saw gay, Jewish student Blaze Bernstein stabbed 20 times and buried in a shallow grave in California. The group reportedly celebrated Bernstein’s murder.
Climo, who has been arrested on multiple federal charges including possession of an unregistered firearm, faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if he is convicted.
In a statement, US Attorney Nicholas A. Trutanich said, “Threats of violence motivated by hate and intended to intimidate or coerce our faith-based and LGBTQ communities have no place in this country.”
JoDee Winterhof, Senior Vice President of Policy and Political Affairs at the Human Rights Campaign, said in a statement that HRC was “extremely alarmed to hear that Conor Climo, who was arrested last night in Las Vegas, was allegedly planning to attack a synagogue & LGBTQ bar.”
“While Climo’s actions are concerning, they are not in a vacuum,” she continued. “Dangerous & hateful rhetoric start at the top levels of government and heavily influence the rest of American society. Each and every day, the Trump-Pence administration has sought to dehumanize LGBTQ people, undermine our rights and treat us like second class citizens. The LGBTQ community is under attack, and the Trump-Pence administration is fueling the flames.”
Three years ago, Climo gained notoriety after local media reported that he planned to patrol his Las Vegas neighborhood while carrying an AR-15-style assault rifle and survival knife.
Climo abandoned his plan after neighbors complained, instead saying he would join a neighborhood watch group.
Watch KTNV’s report of that story below:
Despite white supremacists being responsible for all race-based domestic terrorism in 2018, the Trump administration reportedly blocked a report stating as much from reaching Congress.
It has also reduced or eliminated funding and programs designed to combat white supremacists, according to the New Civil Rights Movement.