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He Unnerved a Neighborhood in 2016. Now, an Unnerving Arrest

Feds say Conor Climo plotted to attack Jews, LGBT bar patrons in Las Vegas
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 10, 2019 6:00 AM CDT
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This Sept. 22, 2016, photo shows Conor Climo during an interview while walking a Las Vegas neighborhood, heavily armed.   (KTNV 13 Action News via AP)

(Newser) – Jews in synagogues and LGBT bar patrons were allegedly a Las Vegas man's targets—and he was working up a plan to attack them, the FBI says. NBC News reports 23-year-old Conor Climo was arrested Thursday and charged with possession of an unregistered firearm, which a Justice Department release notes was "the component parts of a destructive device"—i.e., a bomb Climo was allegedly trying to assemble. Per a criminal complaint, Climo, who authorities say worked as a security guard, was tied to white supremacists through encrypted online conversations, in which he "would regularly use derogatory racial, anti-Semitic, and homosexual slurs." The complaint goes on to describe Climo's discussions about attacking a Las Vegas synagogue—FBI agents say he told them he wanted to put together an eight-man sniper unit to attack Jews there or elsewhere—and about his surveillance of a bar on Fremont Street he believed had LGBT clientele.

Per charging documents, FBI agents found at Climo's residence bomb-making components, chemical compounds, an AR-15-style rifle, and another firearm. In 2016, Climo was featured in a local news story that "raised eyebrows." The short clip on KTNV showed residents expressing both ambivalence and concern for Climo's plan to patrol a Las Vegas neighborhood visibly armed, in his attempt, as he put it, to look out for "suspicious activity." CBS News reports Climo wasn't arrested at the time because Nevada is an open carry state and he hadn't done anything illegal, per a Las Vegas police officer. BuzzFeed notes Climo also started a petition four years ago to pressure Sen. Dean Heller to help repeal the Hughes Amendment, which banned civilians from having machine guns; the petition closed with 46 signatures. If convicted of the latest allegations against him, Climo could see up to 10 years behind bars. He's next set to appear in court Aug. 23. (Read more white supremacists stories.)

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