Federal court papers filed in the Western District of Michigan say that FBI agents arrested a man in Michigan on Friday. The man is accused of planning to kill many people at a synagogue in East Lansing.
Court documents say Seann Patrick Pietila talked about the attack on Instagram, where he often posted anti-semitic comments about how much he hated Jews and how he was inspired by the men convicted of two mass shootings in New Zealand and Norway, who shot and killed dozens of people because of religious hatred and far-right extremism.
The tweet below verifies the news:
BREAKING: The FBI has arrested a man accused of planning a mass killing at a synagogue in Michigan, court documents show. https://t.co/FATi8qcpVu
— CBS News (@CBSNews) June 16, 2023
He was charged with one count of making threats across state lines, and court records show that Friday was his first time in court.
Court papers said that Pietila was arrested and told FBI agents that he was the Instagram user who made the posts. Investigators say they found a note on his phone with the name of a synagogue in East Lansing, Michigan, and the date March 15, 2024. This seems to be a reference to the deadly mass shooting in New Zealand that happened on March 15, 2019.
Along with the date and place was a list of tools, which included pipe bombs, Molotov cocktails, and guns.
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FBI agents searched his home and found a 12-gauge shotgun and ammunition, a.22 caliber rifle, a Sig Sauer.40 caliber pistol, knives, skull masks, and a red and white Nazi flag, according to court papers.
Court records show that his next hearing will be on June 22. CBS News asked his public defender for a response, but he didn’t answer right away.
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