Ten suspects linked to a white supremacist group were arrested for planning attacks on Jews, immigrants and minorities in Central Florida, authorities said on Tuesday.
The arrests were based on evidence from a confidential informant who infiltrated the neo-Nazi organization known as the American Front 17 months ago, according to an arrest affidavit. "The American Front (AF) is a military-styled, anti-Semitic, white supremacist, skinhead organization and is known as a domestic terrorist organization," the affidavit said.
It said the group's alleged leader, Marcus Faella, 39, had been "planning and preparing the AF for what he believes to be an inevitable race war" and had stated "his intent ... to kill Jews, immigrants and other minorities."
According to the affidavit, Faella operated a heavily fortified paramilitary training center for the AF on his isolated property in St. Cloud, Florida, 11 miles from the Walt Disney World theme parks.
Faella's compound, where he regularly conducted firearms, explosives and tactical training for AF members and other neo-Nazi groups, was protected by two pit bull dogs, a barbed-wire fence and three military-style trenches, Reuters reported.
Faella and his alleged followers were each charged with paramilitary training, shooting into an occupied dwelling and evidence of prejudices while committing an offense, according to a written statement from the prosecutor's office.
The investigation into the AF was conducted by the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force and local law enforcement agencies. The compound was shut down and the arrests were made after the confidential informant came to believe his life was in danger, the affidavit said.
The Faellas were reportedly released after posting bail of $500,000 each.
According the Anti-Defamation League, the AF is a nationwide skinhead movement, originally modeled after Britain's far right, whites-only National Front.