Neo-Nazi accused of planning to bomb LGBT clubs wanted to ‘recruit kids’
A neo-Nazi arrested by the FBI for allegedly planning to bomb LGBT+ clubs was also trying to recruit students from middle schools, high schools and colleges, according to reports.
Conor Climo was arrested on August 8 and charged with possession of an unregistered firearm and bomb-making materials.
The Las Vegas Joint Terrorism Task Force had been investigating the 23-year-old for months and believe he was also planning on targeting a Jewish synagogue.
Reportedly, in messages seen by Vice, “Climo expressed a desire to target middle schools, high schools, and college campuses in the area with propaganda for the purposes of recruitment”.
In has also been suggested by Vice and the investigative journalism site ProPublica that the specific neo-Nazi group that Climo was affiliated with was the Atomwaffen Division (AWD).
The group embraces a “Third Reich ideology” towards gay people and other minorities, and last year was connected to the murder of a gay, Jewish college student.
Climo was first in the media in 2016, when he was interviewed by KTNV Channel 13 Las Vegas while walking around a local neighbourhood heavily armed and looking for “suspicious activity”.
The US Department of Justice said that Climo had been engaging with neo-Nazi and white supremacy groups.
A spokesperson said: “Members believe in the superiority of the white race and have a common goal of challenging the established laws, social order, and government via terrorism and other violent acts.
“The organisation encourages attacks on the federal government, including critical infrastructure, minorities, and members of the LGBTQ community.”
The complaint alleges that in the encrypted messages, Climo used racist, antisemitic and homophobic slurs, discussed attacking a synagogue, and spoke about conducting surveillance on a Las Vegas LGBT+ bar.
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He also discussed making Molotov cocktails and improvised explosive devices, and items seized from his home included a notebook “with several hand-drawn schematics for a potential Las Vegas-area attack”, and “drawings of timed explosive devises”.
If found guilty, the maximum penalty for Conor Climo would be 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
“Threats of violence motivated by hate and intended to intimidate or coerce our faith-based and LGBTQ communities have no place in this Country,” said United States attorney Nicholas A. Trutanich for the District of Nevada.
“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.”
According to the Department of Justice, if found guilty Climo could face a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.