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17 February 2017, 12:42 | Leonard Manning
Benjamin Thomas Samuel McDowell, 29, became known to federal agents after a series of Facebook posts were flagged in which he made threats and professed violent white supremacist ideologies, said Special Agent Grant Lowe of the FBI's office in Columbia. He continued: "If I could do something on a (expletive) big scale and write on the (expletive) building or whatever, 'In the spirit of Dylann Roof'".
'All they wanne do is stay loaded on drugs the Jews put here to destroy white man and they fest on the drugs (sic),' he wrote January 5, according to an arrest complaint. I want to do that s-'.
His plan ran into some other logistical problems along the way: his mother wouldn't let him use her cellphone, and he had to borrow money from his grandfather to buy a weapon from the undercover Federal Bureau of Investigation agent he thought was a member of the Aryan Nations.
McDowell met with the undercover agent on January 12th, believing the agent was someone who 'handled problems for the Aryan Nations.' Speaking in a hotel while carrying marijuana, McDowell told the agent he wanted to unleash a massacre on non-whites and walk away 'scot-free' because he feared going back to prison.
"I seen what Dylann Roof did and in my heart I reckon I got a little bit of hatred and I ..."
"Screaming "white power" was not getting the job done", the undercover agent told Lowe after talking to McDowell.
McDowell invoked the name of the Emanuel AME Church shooter in describing his desire to commit an attack on "non-whites" at an unknown location in another county, authorities said. Roof was sentenced to death for killing nine black worshippers in a Charleston church.
McDowell was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm and/or ammunition.
A S.C. Law Enforcement Division background check on McDowell indicates he received a suspended sentence and was put on probation in 2009 after a felony third degree burglary charge and a misdemeanor charge of attempted burglary.
Federal agents then arrested McDowell in the parking lot of a Hampton Inn.
McDowell, the complaint states, has established connections with white supremacist extremists that he gained while serving in prison, and has tattoos on his body that show his affiliation with those groups.
He went on to say that Jews were "here to destroy the white man".
McDowell allegedly told the undercover agent that he didn't want to be caught in an attack either and didn't want to go back to jail, according to the document. The prosecution requested a preliminary hearing and detention hearing by held at the same time, Tuesday, February 21 at 2:30 p.m. McDowell had not hired an attorney and was represented by a state-appointed attorney.
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