While Donald Trump refuses to answer questions about the rise of anti-semitism in America, the FBI arrested 29-year-old Benjamin Thomas Samuel McDowell for planning to shoot up a local synagogue in the style of Charleston shooter Dylann Roof.
Police were tipped off about the potential massacre after McDowell posted some mysterious and alarming messages on Facebook: “I love love to act what u think,” he wrote on social media, followed by a link to the Temple Emanu-El Conservative Synagogue in Myrtle Beach. The FBI is now saying that McDowell had established white-supremacist and extremist connections while in prison for a handful of crimes, according to WMFB News.
McDowell had been posting alarming messages on social media for a while. A post from last month read: "they should be Feasting on the enemy that stole their Heritage and their bloodline and trying to run us off of this Earth you can post pictures of f****** Viking and swords all the s*** you want to post if you ain’t got the heart to fight for Yahweh like dylann roof did you need to shut the f*** up…” according to the federal complaint document. Furthermore, messages between McDowell and others had allegedly suggested he had begun to equip himself with various arms in anticipation of violent acts.
Eventually, an undercover agent met with McDowell to investigate his intentions. "I seen what Dylann Roof did and in my heart I reckon I got a little bit of hatred and I..I want to do that s***. Like, I got desire, not for nobody else...it just...I want something where i can say, 'I f****** did that'...me personally," said McDowell in his communications with the agent.
Agents sold McDowell a non-functioning gun and later arrested him in a parking lot where he was found with ammunition. He appeared in court yesterday, alongside his mother who does not think he is guilty of any crimes. "I love him very much and I hope the community does not judge us on this," she said.
The synagogue that dodged the attack has not commented on the situation.
The news is particularly alarming considering that the Trump administration has re-prioritized terror watch lists to focus exclusively on Islamic extremism, with indications that they will no longer be investigating white supremacists as potential domestic terrorists.
[Photo: J. Reuben Long Detention Center]
Crime Time is your destination for true crime stories from around the world, breaking crime news, and information about Oxgen's original true crime shows and documentaries. Sign up for our Crime Time Newsletter and subscribe to our true crime podcast Martinis & Murder for all the best true crime content.