(Reuters) - An accused neo-Nazi sympathizer employed as a Las Vegas security guard was charged on Friday with possession of unregistered bomb-making materials that he clandestinely discussed using to attack a synagogue, federal prosecutors said.
The suspect, Conor Climo, 23, was arrested on Thursday after FBI agents searching his Las Vegas home seized fireworks, fuses, wiring and other components for constructing timed explosive devices, according to court documents filed in the case.
Climo, who faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted, was arraigned in federal court on Friday, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney for Nevada.
His arrest stemmed from an investigation conducted by an FBI task force specializing in monitoring the activities and online communications of extremists and domestic terror groups.
The investigation was detailed in an 11-page criminal complaint and probable cause statement filed in court federal prosecutors and the FBI.
The suspect admitted during FBI questioning that he belonged to a neo-Nazi splinter group of a white supremacist organization known as the Atomwaffen Division, which encourages attacks on the federal government, racial minorities, Jews and the gay and lesbian community, the documents alleged.
The FBI said it began tracking Climo after he was featured in a Las Vegas news report patrolling his Centennial Hills neighborhood wearing a tactical vest and armed with an assault rifle and several magazines of ammunition.
During encrypted online conversations with undercover FBI operatives, Climo discussed attacking a Las Vegas synagogue and making Molotov cocktails and improvised explosive devices, according to the criminal complaint.
It said he also discussed conducting surveillance on a Las Vegas bar he believed catered to the LGBTQ community and claimed to have tried to recruit a homeless person for pre-attack surveillance of a synagogue and other targets.
The arrest comes days after a 22 people were killed in a shooting rampage at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas, that authorities said they are investigating as a hate crime and active of domestic terrorism.
A manifesto linked to the suspect arrested in that case said the massacre was a “response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas.”
The FBI issued a statement voicing concern that the El Paso killings, and a separate deadly mass shooting 13 hours later in Dayton, Ohio, might inspire additional hate violence.
Reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles