MURDER USA: Richard Holzer charged with planning to blow up Synagogue in terror attack
DENVER, COLORADO – A self-described skinhead is now cooling his heels in a federal jail cell while he awaits trial on charges of planning to blow up a place of worship in Colorado.
Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband announced Nov. 4, 2019, that a Colorado man has been charged with a federal hate crime for plotting to blow up the Temple Emanuel Synagogue in Pueblo, Colorado.
Richard Holzer, 27, of Pueblo, Colorado, was charged by criminal complaint with intentionally attempting to obstruct persons in the enjoyment of their free exercise of religious beliefs, through force and the attempted use of explosives and fire, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 247.
Holzer repeatedly expressed his hatred of Jewish people and his support for RAHOWA, shorthand for a racial holy war.
According to the affidavit in support of the criminal complaint, Holzer planned to destroy Temple Emanuel, a synagogue in Pueblo, Colorado, that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Feds say Holzer claimed his goal was to drive Jews out of Pueblo
After visiting Temple Emanuel and observing Jewish congregants, Holzer, who self-identifies as a skinhead and a white supremacist, told undercover FBI agents that he wanted to do something that would tell Jewish people in the community that they are not welcome in Pueblo, and they should leave or they will die.
Met with fellow G-Men posing as white supremacists to plot to bomb Synagogue
The affidavit states that during a meeting with the undercover agents, Holzer repeatedly expressed his hatred of Jewish people and his support for RAHOWA, shorthand for a racial holy war. Holzer went on to suggest using explosive devices to destroy the Synagogue and “get that place off the map.” The affidavit notes that Holzer’s actions meet the federal definition of domestic terrorism in that his actions involve criminal acts dangerous to human life that are intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population.
Holzer allegedly met with undercover agents posing as fellow white supremacists to discuss a plan to attack Temple Emanuel, then visited the Synagogue together. The affidavit alleges that Holzer then made additional trips on his own to inspect the Synagogue and coordinated with undercover agents to obtain explosives.
On the evening of Nov. 1, 2019, Holzer allegedly met with undercover agents, who provided Holzer with inert explosive devices that had been fabricated by the FBI, including two pipe bombs and 14 sticks of dynamite. According to the affidavit, Holzer planned to detonate the explosives several hours later, in the early hours of Saturday morning, Nov. 2, 2019.
Assistant United States Attorney Julia Martinez and Trial Attorney Michael J. Songer of the Civil Rights Division are prosecuting the case, with assistance from Counterterrorism Section Trial Attorney Erin Creegan of the Justice Department’s National Security Division. The FBI conducted the investigation with the assistance of the Pueblo Police Department and Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office.
Holzer is currently in federal custody. He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison if convicted.
Synagogue president not taking the threat lightly, beefing up security to add to armed guards presently posted
From Colorado Public Radio
For People Not To Be Armed, They’re Crazy,’ Says Leader Of Pueblo Synagogue Threatened By White Supremacist
Monday night, hours after the FBI announced it thwarted an attack on Temple Emanuel in Pueblo, Mike Atlas-Acuna was wide awake in his home, trying to process the news.
Atlas-Acuna is the president of Temple Emanuel’s board of directors. As he discussed it with his wife late into the evening, Atlas-Acuña said he was sure of one thing: the synagogue needed even more security.
I have a sign on the outside of our synagogue that says ‘This is not a gun-free zone.’
“We already have armed guards. We already have members of the congregation who are carrying weapons. I have a sign on the outside of our synagogue that says ‘This is not a gun-free zone.’ Churches, synagogues, mosques — places of worship are vulnerable soft targets. And for people not to be armed, they’re crazy. I mean, they’re just nuts. There’s a reality out there and we have to address that reality and that is we have to protect ourselves,” he said.
Now he plans to add security cameras to the outside of the building.