An alleged white supremacist has been charged in attempt to blow up a Colorado synagogue.

Richard Holzer, 27, was arrested on Friday after federal authorities gave him two fake pipe bombs and 14 sticks of dynamite to detonate at Temple Emanuel, Colorado’s second-oldest synagogue, in Pueblo, about two hours from Denver.

He was charged with intentionally attempting to obstruct persons in the enjoyment of their free exercise of religious beliefs, through force and the attempted use of explosives and fire.

Holzer allegedly met with undercover agents posing as fellow white supremacists to discuss a plan to attack Temple Emanuel; they then visited the synagogue together. An affidavit alleges that he then made additional trips on his own to inspect the synagogue and coordinated with undercover agents to obtain explosives to “get that place off the map.”

On the evening of Nov. 1, Holzer allegedly met with undercover agents, who provided him with inert explosive devices that had been fabricated by the FBI, including two pipe bombs and 14 sticks of dynamite. Holzer planned to detonate the explosives several hours later, in the early hours of Nov. 2, according to the affidavit.

He told undercover FBI agents that he wanted to do something to tell Jewish people in the community that they are not welcome in Pueblo, and they should leave or they will die. The affidavit states that during a meeting with the undercover agents, Holzer repeatedly expressed his hatred of Jewish people and his support for a racial holy war.

Following his arrest, Holzer confessed to the plot, but said that he wasn’t trying to hurt anyone, even though he would’ve blown up the house of worship if someone had been inside.

If convicted, Holzer could face up to 20 years in prison.

Richard Holzer. Credit: El Paso County Sheriff’s Office.

Colorado’s leading politicians applauded the FBI for thwarting Holzer’s plot.

“I’m thankful for the law enforcement personnel who stopped this reprehensible act of domestic terrorism from taking place, and I’ve been in contact with the @FBI. White supremacists should be condemned each and every time they raise their heads and their ugliness,” tweeted Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.).

“Grateful to law enforcement for their actions in stopping this domestic terrorist. Time and again, places of faith and worship around the country have been targeted by anti-Semitism, white supremacy, and hate. No one should live or worship in fear—not in Pueblo, not anywhere,” tweeted Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.).

Jewish organizations echoed the senators’ appreciation to federal authorities.

“We commend law enforcement for arresting a man who allegedly plotted to bomb a Colorado synagogue, and who posted violent threats against Jewish & Latinx people. Our Center on Extremism has been tracking this white supremacist since 2016,” tweeted the Anti-Defamation League.

“We are extremely grateful to law enforcement for stopping what could have been yet another horrific and deadly anti-Semitic attack on a synagogue,” said Orthodox Union president Moishe Bane.

“This latest plot reminds us all that we must be vigilant in safeguarding our synagogues,” added Orthodox Union executive vice president Allen Fagin. “The Orthodox Union has been working for 15 years to strengthen security at U.S. synagogues, Jewish day schools as well as other houses of worship and nonprofits at risk of terrorist attacks through the federal Nonprofit Security Grant Program we helped create in 2005. We will continue to advocate for the safety and security of all citizens at risk.”

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