Las Vegas man faces weapons charge in synagogue, other plots

Las Vegas man faces weapons charge in synagogue, other plots
FILE - This Sept. 22, 2016 file photo from video from KTNV 13 Action News shows Conor Climo during an interview while walking a Las Vegas neighborhood, heavily armed. Climo, accused of assembling materials to bomb and shoot people at a synagogue, a bar catering to LGBTQ customers or a fast-food restaurant has been indicted on a federal firearm charge. Climo's appointed defense attorneys didn't immediately respond Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2019 to messages about the indictment filed Sept. 11 in U.S. District Court in Nevada. (KTNV 13 Action News via AP, File)

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A former security guard accused of compiling bomb components and guns to kill people at a Las Vegas synagogue and of drawing up plans to attack a bar catering to LGBTQ customers or a fast-food restaurant has been indicted on a federal firearm charge, court records show.

Conor Climo's court-appointed attorney, Paul Riddle, said Tuesday that Climo plans to plead not guilty at his arraignment Wednesday on the one-count indictment filed Sept. 11 in U.S. District Court in Nevada.

Climo, 23, was arrested Aug. 8 and remains in federal custody pending arraignment Wednesday in Las Vegas on a charge of possessing "firearms, specifically destructive devices" found at his home. He could face up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted.

Prosecutors and a U.S. magistrate judge who rejected Climo's bid for release from custody ahead of trial said he identifies himself as a white supremacist and shared with an FBI informant detailed plans to attack a synagogue near his northwest Las Vegas home. He also compiled a journal with sketches of attacks on a downtown Las Vegas LGBTQ bar or a McDonald's restaurant, the judge said.

"The defendant is a member of the Feuerkrieg Division of Atomwaffen, which is known as an organization that encourages, and may even commit, violent attacks on people of the Jewish religion, homosexuals, African Americans and federal infrastructures," Magistrate Judge Nancy Koppe wrote in Climo's detention order.

"The defendant had gathered component parts that can readily be assembled into a destructive device," Koppe said, and "had very specific plans about attacking one specific synagogue near his house," including "wanting to light an incendiary device and having others join him to shoot people as they came out of the synagogue."

"The defendant talked about the (McDonald's) attack as a suicide mission," the judge added.

Climo was interviewed by a KTNV-TV news crew in September 2016 as he patrolled his neighborhood wearing battle gear and carrying an assault rifle, survival knife and extended-capacity ammunition magazines. He was not arrested at that time because Nevada does not prohibit open carrying of firearms.

The FBI reported finding hand-drawn schematics and component parts of a destructive device at Climo's home in August, including flammable liquids, oxidizing agents and circuit boards, according to a criminal complaint.

Agents also confiscated an AR-15 assault-style weapon and a bolt-action rifle.

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