Agents from the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) arrested 29-year-old South Carolina man Benjamin Thomas Samuel McDowell infor illegally buying a pistol from an undercover agent. The FBI alleged he said he was planning a mass shooting "in the spirit of ," who fired into the 's in 2015, killing nine.
According to the FBI, McDowell, now 29, has served time in prison, eighteen months forstarting in 2011 and thirty days for in 2013. Local police said this is where he developed white supremacist leanings. According to an affidavit filed by the FBI in U.S. federal court, McDowell made a series threatening online posts about and Jews. "We have no skinheads, no real KKK, no one doing anything but talking on the internet," reads one post. Some time later, he said he was looking for "iron," his term for a gun.
McDowell then arranged to meet with an undercover agent whom he believed worked for the. According to the FBI, he told this agent, "I seen what Dylann Roof did and in my heart I reckon I got a little bit of hatred and [...] I want to do that s---" and that he wanted to escape without being returned to prison. He then paid the agent $109 for a .40 caliber Glock with ammunition.
Court documents said McDowell had not yet selected where or when to attack.
McDowell was charged with illegal possession of a firearm but not. His detention hearing is scheduled for Tuesday.