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Arrests continue worrying trend

Arrests continue worrying trend

Following fires in churches around the country, and in the wake of this summer’s shooting at Emanuel AME church in Charleston, SC, the arrest this week of two men in Virginia accused of plotting fires and bombs at churches and synagogues is chilling.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports

Two men said to be part of a white supremacy group plotting to shoot up or bomb churches and synagogues have been charged with attempting to buy guns and explosives from FBI agents posing as illegal arms dealers….

… “Doyle and Chaney and others known and unknown to the FBI, ascribe to a white supremacy extremist version of the Asatru faith,” alleges a five-page affidavit from FBI Special Agent James R. Rudisill. Asatru is a pagan religion.

Rudisill wrote that in September the FBI learned that Doyle and others were going to have a meeting at Doyle’s house “to discuss acting out in furtherance of their extremist beliefs by shooting or bombing the occupants of black churches and Jewish synagogues, conducting acts of violence against persons of the Jewish faith, and doing harm to a gun store owner.”

An arrest was made in recent weeks of a suspect in seven church fires set around the St Louis, MO area. Police there believe that race was not a factor in that particular spate of arson attacks. From the Washington Post:

Authorities said the fires don’t appear to be the result of a hate crime or the targeting of a particular Christian denomination of ethnic group. Several of the churches that were attacked were predominantly African American, but at least two were not. Jackson [the suspect] is black, according to police.

[St Louis Police Chief] Dotson said the motive is still unclear.

“Arson of any kind is disturbing,” St. Louis Mayor  Francis Slay said Friday. “It is especially disturbing when arson is directed at the very foundation of our community.”

 

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