Man Pleads Guilty To Working With White Supremacist Groups To Vandalize Synagogues Nationwide

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Elizabeth Louise Contributor
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A New Jersey man pleaded guilty to working with white supremacist groups which intentionally targeted African Americans and Jewish Americans, according to a statement from the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Richard Tobin, 19, who was a member of the white supremacist group, “The Base,” admitted that he instructed other members to take part in an attack on Jewish Americans and Black Americans in which members vandalized victims’ properties.

Tobin likened the activity to a Nazi attack in 1938 called “Kristallnacht,” or “Night of the Broken Glass,” in which Nazi’s vandalized Jewish homes, synagogues, and storefronts and killed Jewish people,  according to the DOJ statement.

Tobin, who had been a member from Sept. 15 to Sept. 23, 2019, instructed members of “The Base,” to not only pass out propaganda against Black and Jewish Americans, but to take part in slashing tires and breaking windows of their properties, according to the DOJ statement.

Several members from “The Base,” took part in an attack on Sept. 21, 2019 which vandalized a synagogue in Hancock, MI with swastikas and other neo-Nazi symbols, The Guardian reported. In addition, the next day, a synagogue in Racine, WI was vandalized with other anti-Semitic symbols.

“Americans should never have to fear racist, anti-Semitic or any other form of bias-motivated violence,” stated Rachael A. Honig, the Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey.

“This defendant encouraged hateful acts of violence against individuals and their houses of worship, based solely on their religion or the color of their skin. Together with our colleagues in the Civil Rights Division and the Joint Terrorism Task Force, this office will continue to work every day to identify individuals like him and bring them swiftly to justice,” Honig continued. (RELATED: REPORT: Man Receives Life Sentence In Prison For 2019 Synagogue Shooting After Showing No Remorse)

Yousef Omar Barasneh, another member from “The Base,” previously admitted to his role in the vandalism of the synagogue in Racine, according to the DOJ statement.

“The FBI and our partners simply won’t tolerate crimes spurred by hate, which are meant to intimidate and isolate the groups targeted,” explained Michael J. Driscoll, the Special Agent in charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division.

“People of all races and faiths deserve to feel safe in their communities. Richard Tobin encouraged others to victimize innocent people, in furtherance of his abhorrent white supremacist beliefs. While we all have the right to believe whatever we want, when those views lead to violence, that’s a different and dangerous story,” Driscoll continued.

Tobin is set to be sentenced on Jun. 28, and if found guilty could receive a maximum of 10 years in prison in addition to a $250,000 fine.