LAS VEGAS (JNS) — A former security guard pleaded guilty on Monday for possessing bomb-making components in an attempt to kill people at a Las Vegas synagogue and of drawing up plans to attack a bar catering to LGBTQ customers.
Conor Climo, 23, pleaded guilty to one count of possession of an unregistered firearm—specifically, the component parts of a destructive device, announced federal authorities.
He is scheduled to be sentenced on May 14 and faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Nevada said in a statement.
“Law enforcement’s swift action on this case, and today’s resulting guilty plea, is part of DOJ’s national strategy to disrupt and proactively stop potential bias-motivated mass violence,” said U.S. Attorney Nicholas Trutanich for the District of Nevada.
“The defendant’s threats of violence, which were motivated by hate and intended to intimidate or coerce our faith-based and LGBTQ communities, have no place in this country,” he continued. “We remain fully committed to working with our law-enforcement partners to assess threats and intervene before mass violence can occur.”
Prosecutors and a U.S. magistrate judge said the suspect identifies himself as a white supremacist. He apparently shared with an FBI informant detailed plans to attack a synagogue near his northwest Las Vegas home.
According to court documents, Climo was communicating with individuals who identified with the white-supremacist extremist group Feuerkrieg Division, an offshoot of the U.S.-based white-supremacist extremist group Atomwaffen Division.
Feuerkrieg Division members share a common goal of challenging laws, social order and the government via terrorism and other violent acts. The organization encourages attacks on the federal government, critical infrastructure, minorities and members of the LGBTQ community.
Climo admitted that during online conversations between May 2019 and July 15, 2019, he discussed setting fire to a Las Vegas synagogue, and making Molotov cocktails and improvised explosive devices.
He further confessed that he conducted surveillance on a bar that he believed catered to the LGBTQ community, located on Fremont Street in Downtown Las Vegas, in preparation for a potential attack.
On Aug. 8, 2019, the FBI-led Joint Terrorism Task Force executed a search warrant at Climo’s residence. During the search, law enforcement located components that could be assembled into a destructive device, strong oxidizing agents that can be used as fuels and numerous hand-drawn schematics to construct improvised explosive devices. Law enforcement also seized an AR-15 rifle and a bolt-action rifle from Climo’s bedroom.