Published: Fri, February 17, 2017
National | By Glenda Ortiz

SC man arrested for plotting Dylann Roof-inspired attack on synagogue

SC man arrested for plotting Dylann Roof-inspired attack on synagogue

Federal authorities have busted a SC man with white supremacist links for attempting to buy a gun in order to carry out a massacre "in the spirit of Dylann Roof", according to federal court papers. Horry County police told federal investigators that McDowell had "established connections" to white supremacy extremists while serving time in a SC prison, and that he also has tattoos indicating affiliations with these groups.

The agent also allegedly agreed to pick McDowell up at his mother's house, then drive to his grandfather's home where he planned to borrow money to buy the gun.

The next day, McDowell requested in a phone call with the agent a.40 caliber handgun to conduct an attack on an unknown location outside the county where he lived, the complaint states.

Roof was sentenced to death in January after being convicted of crimes stemming from the massacre of a Bible study group at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston on June 17, 2015, which left nine people dead.

The South Carolina native never disclosed a specific target to the Federal Bureau of Investigation agent for his premeditated slaughter, but he did post a link to Facebook of the Temple Emanu-El Conservative Synagogue in Myrtle Beach, SC.

"If I could do something on a f****** big scale and write on the f****** building or whatever, 'In the spirit of Dylann Roof", McDowell allegedly told the undercover agent during a meeting at a Myrtle Beach hotel January 12.

The next day, he wrote on Facebook that he wanted an "iron", a term for a gun.

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McDowell went on to say that "I got the heart to do that s***, but I don't have to the good training", the document states. "I want to do that s-", McDowell told the undercover employee, according to a criminal complaint.

McDowell met with the undercover agent one week later, believing the agent was someone who "handled problems for the Aryan Nations". "Like, I got desire ... not for nobody else ... it just ..."

On Wednesday, McDowell handed the operative $109 for hollow point bullets and a.40-caliber Glock pistol that had been disabled without his knowledge.

Several days after the threat, McDowell posted on Facebook again, saying fellow white supremacists were all talk and no action.

McDowell is scheduled for a detention hearing at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday in Florence, S.C. He also met with an undercover Federal Bureau of Investigation agent at a hotel in Myrtle Beach and talked about conducting an attack on non-whites without getting caught.

Soon after the purchase, agents saw McDowell holding a red bag while in the parking lot of a Myrtle Beach hotel on Celebrity Circle. McDowell brought marijuana with him to the meeting, but the undercover agent asked him not to smoke it.

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