A Nevada man affiliated with a neo-Nazi group was arrested this week for allegedly plotting to blow up either a synagogue or a gay club in Las Vegas, Yahoo News reports.
Conor Climo, 23, first came to the attention of authorities in April. How or why that happened is unclear, but what is known is that authorities came to believe he had been in communication with Atomwaffen Division (AWD), a white supremacist neo-Nazi group. According to the criminal complaint against Climo, AWD “encourages attacks on the federal government, including critical infrastructure, minorities, homosexuals and Jews.”
Soon, a confidential informant was speaking to Climo via an encrypted chat, and Climo and the informant allegedly discussed weapons and explosives. During these chats, he allegedly used “derogatory racial, anti-Semitic and homosexual slurs.”
On May 10, Climo allegedly began discussing with the informant his plans to burn down a Las Vegas-area synagogue. Later in May, an undercover FBI agent began speaking with Climo. During these conversations, Climo allegedly told the undercover agent he was “more interested in action than online s**t”
By June and July, Climo was allegedly discussing plans to attack a business on downtown Las Vegas’ Fremont Street, which he claimed “catered to homosexuals.” He also allegedly tried to recruit a homeless person to conduct “pre-attack surveillance” on a Las Vegas-area synagogue.
Police say a 23-year-old man has been arrested for plotting a white supremacist attack in Las Vegas. FBI agents say Conor Climo told them that he hated blacks, Jewish people, and the LGBTQ community. He was allegedly planning an attack on Fremont St. and at a local synagogue. pic.twitter.com/gnMrENqc2N
— Shakala Alvaranga (@SMAlvaranga) August 10, 2019
On Thursday, FBI agents raided Climo’s home and allegedly found thermite, sulfuric acid, a soldering iron, circuit boards and other bomb-making components. According to NBC News, agents also found an AR-15 style rifle and a bolt-action rifle, as well as a sketch outlining two “infantry squads” attacking the Fremont Street bar with firearms, one of which would attack patrons from the inside, one from the outside. He was placed under arrest.
Climo allegedly told agents that he had thought of several ideas to carry out attacks on Jews over the past couple of years. Further, he allegedly admitted to agents that he hated “African-Americans, Jews and Homosexuals,” and that he was planning on building an improvised explosive device.
Climo is currently behind bars, held on suspicion of possessing parts to make a bomb, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Nevada said Friday.
In a statement, U.S. Attorney for the District of Nevada Nicholas A. Trutanich said that would-be domestic terrorists are not safe from the law in Nevada. “Law enforcement in Nevada remains determined to use the full weight of our investigative resources to prevent bias-motivated violence before it happens,” he said.