An avowed white supremacist pleaded guilty on Monday for planning bomb and shooting attacks at a synagogue and LGBTQ bar in Las Vegas.
Conor Climo, a former security guard, told U.S. District Judge James Mahan he possessed materials to make a destructive device and is a member of the Feuerkrieg Division, an offshoot of a U.S.-based neo-Nazi group called Atomwaffen Division.
The 24-year-old also pleaded guilty to felony possession of an unregistered firearm and could face between two and three years behind bars. An anti-terrorism task force arrested Climo in August after he told an FBI informant he was scouting places to attack. Federal agents reviewed his encrypted messages to white nationalists.
When searching his home, authorities found hand-drawn schematics and firebomb parts including flammable liquids, oxidizing agents and circuit boards, according to federal documents. They also found a journal with sketches of mass shootings at a McDonald’s restaurant and LGBTQ bar in a downtown tourist corridor, according to federal documents.
Self-described white supremacist:Vegas man accused of plotting to bomb synagogue or LGBTQ bar
“Climo drew what he described as two infantry squads attacking the bar with firearms from the outside and one attacking it with firearms from the inside,” the complaint said. “Agents seized an AR-15 rifle and a bolt action rifle from Climo’s bedroom.”
The Las Vegas resident referred to his journal as a manifesto, a U.S. magistrate judge said. A review of his posts in online message boards revealed he wanted to plant neo-Nazi propaganda inside Nevada middle and high schools. Climo claimed he also targeted college campuses – particularly University of Nevada, Reno, where he described plans to infiltrate student-run political groups.
He also planned an attack on the Las Vegas headquarters of The Anti-Defamation League – an organization that tracks the spread and evolution of extremist activities.
In the two years before his arrest, Climo chatted with the leader of the white nationalist Traditionalist Worker Party, offering details about his job and asking questions about starting a local chapter.
“I’m beginning to work towards chapter formation in my area, Las Vegas,” Climo wrote in April 2017, “so that way then the chapter can begin working on defunding and shutting down Section 8 alongside white community building.”
The Feuerkrieg Division, which Climo said he is a member of, calls for the destruction of “the system,” or society at large, according to the Anti-Defamation League. It is an offshoot of the Atomwaffen Division, which has been linked to several killings, including the 2017 shooting deaths of two men at an apartment in Tampa, Florida.
The group “encourages, and may even commit, violent attacks on people of the Jewish religion, homosexuals, African Americans and federal infrastructures,” a U.S. magistrate judge wrote when she rejected Climo’s bid for release last August.
Contributing: Ed Komenda, Reno Gazette Journal and The Associated Press