FBI: South Carolina White Supremacist Purchased Gun For Dylann Roof-Style Attack

This police booking photo released Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017, by the Horry County (S.C.) Police Department in Conway, S.C., shows Benjamin McDowell. McDowell is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm. According to a sworn FBI statement, agents began investigating McDowell after he threatened a synagogue on Facebook and told an undercover agent he wanted to commit an attack in the “spirit of Dylann Roof.”
(Photo: Horry County (S.C.) Sheriff’s Office via AP)

A South Carolina white supremacist was arrested Wednesday after buying a gun he wanted to use in a Dylann Roof-style attack, the FBI said.

Benjamin Thomas Samuel McDowell, 29, was arrested at a motel in Myrtle Beach, S.C., after buying a .40-caliber Glock, FBI agent Grant Lowe wrote in an affidavit.

McDowell, a convicted felon, caught the attention of authorities after a December Facebook post about a synagogue in Myrtle Beach. Horry County Police had kept track of McDowell since his release from prison on felony burglary charges a few years ago because he made connections with white supremacists while behind bars, according to the affidavit.

According to a criminal complaint filed in federal court, McDowell, of Conway, S.C., referenced Dylann Roof, the man convicted of the racially motivated killing of nine African Americans at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., in 2015. Roof was sentenced to 18 death sentences and 15 life sentences, the statutory maximum for each of the 33 federal counts lodged against him in January.

McDowell’s expletive-filled posts on Facebook complained about Jewish people destroying “the white man” and about people being willing to have the heart to do what Roof did.

After putting a message on Facebook that he wanted “iron,” or a gun, McDowell agreed to meet with an undercover FBI agent to make the purchase. McDowell believed the person handled problems for the Aryan Nations.

The agent said McDowell voiced frustration over other white supremacists, saying that screaming “white power” wasn’t getting the job done.

He told the agent, according to the complaint, that he was looking for a way to conduct an attack on non-whites without getting caught.

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SOURCE: USA Today / WLTX-TV, Columbia, S.C.