Richard Holzer had brought a knife and a mask to a motel room and was examining inert pipe bombs prepared by undercover agents moments before he was arrested late Friday, according to a criminal complaint.Holzer is charged with attempting to obstruct the free exercise of religious beliefs with the attempted use of explosives — a hate crime. In court documents, officials called him a domestic terrorist and described his alleged anti-Semitic ideology and desires for a racial holy war. According to the complaint, Holzer talked about killing Jews in forums online and shared video of himself casing a synagogue in Pueblo. He described himself as a skinhead, and shared pictures of himself with other social media users with guns and knives alongside white supremacist symbols, the complaint says.Holzer, according to prosecutors, wrote on one Facebook account: "I wish the Holocaust really did happen …. they need to die."He also said he paid a "witch doctor" $70 to put arsenic in the water pipes of the synagogue and "hex" the place last year, according to the complaint.Holzer made his first appearance in Denver federal court on Monday afternoon. A preliminary hearing and a detention hearing are scheduled for Thursday morning, according to US Attorney Jason R. Dunn.The suspect, who does not yet have an attorney listed on his case, faces a maximum 20-year sentence if convicted of a hate crime, officials said.
How suspect came to FBI's attention
Domestic terrorism and hate crimes have become a growing concern for law enforcement in recent years as a number of high-profile attacks have left scores dead across the country. Eleven worshippers were killed in October last year when a white supremacist opened fire at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh.Holzer first came on the FBI's radar after a tip in late September regarding comments he'd made online "of concern indicating a possible threat to the community," FBI Denver Special Agent in Charge Dean Phillips said at a news conference."This case emphasizes our continued efforts to aggressively and promptly address threats to our community to include violence against places of worship. I cannot stress enough the importance of reporting threats in our neighborhoods," Phillips said.Undercover FBI agents approached Holzer online soon after the tip and were interacting with him as he allegedly plotted the attack on Temple Emanuel.In a meeting with three undercover agents at a restaurant in Colorado Springs last month, Holzer proposed using Molotov cocktails to destroy the Pueblo syRead More – Source