Neo-Nazi in Florida planned to bomb synagogues, nuclear plants

21-year old self-described white supremacist in Florida nabbed with bomb-making materials, plans to hit synagogues and US nuclear plants.

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David Rosenberg, | updated: 14:57

White supramcist Brandon Russell
White supramcist Brandon Russell
Pinellas County Sheriff's Office:

A self-proclaimed white supremacist planned to bomb synagogues and nuclear facilities with home-made explosive devices, federal prosecutors said.

Brandon Russell, 21, a resident of Pinellas County, Florida, was reportedly the founder of a neo-Nazi group called Atomwaffen. Russell planned attacks on a number of targets, including nuclear power plants and Jewish houses of prayer, authorities claimed in court documents submitted on Monday.

Prosecutors say Russell, a member of the Florida National Guard, had begun building explosive devices with the expressed intent to “kill civilians and target locations like power lines, nuclear reactors, and synagogues.

Police discovered Russell’s bomb-making operation in May, after his former friend and roommate, Devon Arthurs, murdered Jeremy Himmelman, 22, and Andrew Oneschuk, 18, both of whom had been roommates in the same unit. Arthurs reportedly murdered the two after the mocked his recent conversion to Islam.

Devons, 18, took three hostages after the murders, and later admitted to killing his two roommates.

When investigators searched the apartment, they uncovered explosive material in Russell’s room, along with a framed picture of Timothy McVeigh, the man responsible for the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City in 1995; an attack which killed 168.

While prosecutors claimed Monday that Russell posed an immediate threat to the public if released, the rejected their request to deny Russell bail and hold him in custody until the end of his trial. The bail was set at $200,000.

“I am unable to conclude there is clear and convincing evidence that Defendant represents a threat to any other person and the community should he be released,” Judge Thomas McCoun IIIMcCoun wrote in response to the prosecution’s request.