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Alleged domestic terrorist admits to plot to bomb a Colorado synagogue

October 16, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

This photo provided by the El Paso County Sheriff's Office shows Richard Holzer, who was arrested Friday, Nov. 1, 2019, in Pueblo, Co. Holzer, who is accused of plotting to bomb a historic Colorado synagogue, appeared briefly in court on Monday, Nov. 4. (El Paso County Sheriff's Office via AP)

A Colorado man pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday to federal hate crime and explosives charges for plotting to blow up the Temple Emanuel Synagogue in Pueblo, Colorado, according to federal prosecutors.

(CNN)A Colorado man pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday to federal hate crime and explosives charges for plotting to blow up the Temple Emanuel Synagogue in Pueblo, Colorado, according to federal prosecutors.

"Holzer pleaded guilty to intentionally attempting to obstruct persons in the enjoyment of their free exercise of religious beliefs. . . and with attempting to maliciously damage and destroy, by means of fire and explosives, a building used in interstate commerce," the Justice Department announced Thursday.

The FBI began its investigation of Holzer in late September after receiving a tip about comments he made online, the bureau's top official in Colorado said last year.

Undercover FBI agents approached Holzer online soon after the tip and interacted with him as he allegedly plotted the attack on Temple Emanuel, authorities said.

Holzer allegedly wanted to shut down the synagogue and send a message to the congregation that they were not welcome, according to the criminal complaint.

In a subsequent meeting with three undercover agents at a restaurant in Colorado Springs, Holzer proposed using Molotov cocktails to destroy the Pueblo synagogue, according to the complaint in his case.

"I want something that tells them they are not welcome in this town," Holzer said, referring to Jewish people in the community, adding, "Let's get that place off the map," according to the criminal complaint.

The Justice Department said Holzer displayed a copy of Adolf Hitler's manifesto, "Mein Kampf," during his interaction with undercover FBI agents and told them "this is a move for our race. "

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