Man accused of plotting to bomb Colorado synagogue

Image source, El Paso Country, Colorado

A Colorado man has appeared in court for allegedly plotting to bomb a synagogue in a case US prosecutors describe as "domestic terrorism".

According to court documents, Richard Holzer planned to bomb the Temple Emanuel synagogue in the town of Pueblo as part of a "racial holy war".

Following a sting operation, the 27-year-old met FBI undercover agents to visit the temple and plan his attack, prosecutors say.

Mr Holzer has not yet entered a plea.

During his court appearance he requested a court-appointed lawyer.

FBI special agent John Smith said in an affidavit that Mr Holzer had "used several Facebook accounts to promote white supremacy ideology and acts of violence".

He told undercover officers that he used to be a member of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) - one of the oldest white supremacy groups in the US - and was now a skinhead.

Image source, CBS
Image caption,
Mr Holzer allegedly targeted the Temple Emanuel synagogue in Pueblo, Colorado

Mr Smith detailed instances of Mr Holzer threatening mass violence and using racial epithets against Jews and Hispanics.

Mr Holzer was arrested on Friday and admitted to planning to blow up a synagogue that evening with pipe bombs and dynamite, prosecutors say.

He faces charges of attempting to obstruct religious exercise by force using explosives and fire.

Following a mass shooting in El Paso Texas in August - which is being treated as a hate crime - more than two dozen people were reportedly arrested in three weeks over threats of mass violence.

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