'In the Spirit of Dylann Roof': Feds Make a Chilling Arrest
South Carolina's Benjamin McDowell accused of plotting mass shooting
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 17, 2017 9:22 AM CST
This police booking photo released by the Horry County Police Department in Conway, S.C., shows Benjamin McDowell.   (Horry County Sheriff's Office via AP)

(Newser) – The FBI busted a South Carolina man after he bought a gun with the alleged intent to pull off a massacre "in the spirit of Dylann Roof." Agents arrested Benjamin McDowell, 29, at a sting in which he thought he was getting a weapon from someone affiliated with the white supremacist Aryan Nations, reports NBC News. McDowell had come to the attention of the feds after a series of online posts in which he ranted against Jews and minorities. Before the arrest, he allegedly professed his admiration for Roof to an undercover 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---," McDowell said, per the federal complaint

He added that he wanted to do a "big-scale" attack and then write his ode to Roof's spirit on the wall. He didn't seem to have settled on any specifics for where and when, however. For now, he faces felony charges for possession of a firearm—a previous string of arrests for burglary and other crimes, detailed at WMBF, bar him from owning a gun. The Daily News has examples of his online rants, often riddled with misspellings: "All they wanne do is stay loaded on drugs the Jews put here to destory white man and they fest on the drugs," he wrote on Jan. 5, per the FBI complaint.

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