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FBI arrests Nevada man after alleged synagogue threat

By Sommer Brokaw

Aug. 10 (UPI) -- The FBI has arrested a Nevada man who allegedly plotted to attack a Jewish synagogue and LGBTQ bar after bomb-making materials were found in his Las Vegas home.

Authorities arrested Conor Climo, 23, of Las Vegas, who is employed as a security guard, Thursday morning, and he was arraigned Friday in federal court. Climo was charged by a criminal complaint with one count of possession of an unregistered firearm, mainly possession of parts to make a bomb.

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If convicted, he could face a maximum prison sentence of 10 years and a $250,000 fine.

His next court date is set for Aug. 23.

Climo was connected to white supremacists through encrypted online conversations this year, where he routinely used racist, anti-Semitic and homosexual slurs, the Justice Department statement said. He discussed attacking a Las Vegas synagogue and making Molotov cocktails and improvised explosive devices. And he also discussed surveillance on an LGBTQ bar in downtown Las Vegas.

Law enforcement seized items from his home while executing a search warrant Thursday, which included "a notebook with several hand-drawn schematics for a potential Las Vegas-area attack," and "drawings of timed explosive devices," the criminal complaint said.

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Authorities said they also seized unregistered AR-15 style and bolt-action style rifles from his home.

Climo also claimed to have unsuccessfully tried to recruit a homeless individual for surveillance to prepare for attack against at least one Las Vegas synagogue and other targets.

The FBI's Terrorism Task Force began investigating Climo about four months ago after discovering he was discussing "challenging the established laws," through "terrorism and other violent acts" with a white supremacist group.

In particular, FBI officials received information that Climo was communicating with the neo-Nazi terrorist network, Atomwaffen Division. Climo also communicated with people who "identified with" the National Socialist Movement, one of the largest and most prominent neo-Nazi groups in the United States, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The NSM believes white people are superior and encourages attacks on federal government, critical infrastructure, minorities and the LGBTQ community.

Climo had also drawn authorities attention about three years ago when he was featured in a news program on KTNV-TV walking in a Centennial Hills neighborhood carrying an AR-15 with four magazines, each containing 30 rounds of ammunition. And a couple years ago, he used a profile picture of the same weapon while quoting Adolf Hitler on the social media site Quora.

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He told authorities he had studied how to make bombs for several years and expressed racist beliefs.

"Threats of violence motivated by hate and intended to intimidate or coerce our faith-based and LGBTQ-communities have not place in the country," United States Attorney Nicholas A. Trutanich for the District of Nevada said in a statement. "Law enforcement in Nevada remains determined to use the full weight of our investigative resources to prevent bias-motivated violence before it happens. I commend our partners who identified the threat and took swift and appropriate action to ensure justice and protect the community."

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