A convicted felon from Ohio with neo-Nazi sympathies and an illegal arsenal of assault rifles, semi-automatic pistols and other weapons was tracking Jewish and African-American community leaders in Detroit before his recent arrest by a federal anti-terrorism task force, according to a report by Michael Isikoff of NBC News.
“The FBI averted a catastrophe in this case, there’s no doubt about it,” Steven M. Dettelbach, the U.S. Attorney in Cleveland, told NBC News.
The suspect, Richard Schmidt, who spent 13 years in an Ohio prison for killing a man and wounding two others during a traffic dispute, had a notebook in his home with the names, addresses and other personal information of the Detroit area community leaders and their families, the report said. Members of an FBI Joint terrorism Task Force arrested Schmidt, who lives in Bowling Green, Ohio, where he also owns a sporting goods store.
According to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Schmidt wasn’t just sympathetic to national socialism; he was a long-time member of the neo-Nazi National Alliance, (NA) acting as the Toledo contact for the group that once dominated the American radical right. Schmidt also occasionally attended meetings of the National Socialist Movement (NSM), currently the country’s largest neo-Nazi group, the ADL said.