At A Glance | August 19

Las Vegas Man Accused of Plotting to Bomb Synagogue, LGBTQ Bar

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A Nevada man who authorities said planned attacks against a synagogue and an LGBTQ bar is charged with possessing bomb-making materials and illegal firearms. The FBI arrested Conor Climo (pictured), 23, of Las Vegas, on August 8 after seizing components and chemicals that could be used for explosives, as well as an AR-15-style rifle and a bolt-action rifle, at his residence. Authorities also discovered sketches outlining plans to attack a bar. Law enforcement received information in April that Climo communicated with extremists associated with the neo-Nazi group Atomwaffen Division, according to a criminal complaint. In discussions with an FBI informant through an encrypted app, Climo is accused of using anti-Semitic, homophobic, and racist language while talking about weapons and explosives. The complaint said he mentioned plans to attack a Las-Vegas area synagogue with Molotov cocktails and improvised explosive devices. In later talks with an undercover agent, Climo discussed conducting surveillance on a downtown Las Vegas bar he believed catered to the LGBTQ community. He tried to recruit a homeless man to assist with surveilling the synagogue and bar, according to the complaint. Climo, who worked as a security guard, faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.


Authorities Believe Ohio Gunman Visited Bar, Planned Attack Before Shooting

There is a “strong possibility” the gunman who killed nine people and injured 27 in Dayton, Ohio, cased a bar ahead of the shooting, police said on August 13. In a timeline constructed by Dayton police based on security camera footage of the incident on August 4, Betts arrived at the Oregon District—popular for its restaurants and nightclubs—and went to a bar with his sister and a friend at 11:04 p.m. Betts headed to a different bar by himself at 12:14 a.m. before returning to his vehicle about 30 minutes later, where he retrieved a .223-caliber rifle with a 100-round drum magazine and changed his clothes. He was not seen on surveillance footage for a few minutes, during which time police believe he assembled and loaded the firearm. He then walked back to the original bar at 1:04 a.m. and opened fire before police killed him 32 seconds later. Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl noted Betts knew the area well and had been there the night before. “This was a plan well before he got to the Oregon District [that night],” Biehl said. Betts’ sister was among those killed, and police said he knew her location since they communicated via cellphone. However, authorities remain uncertain whether she was targeted and continue to seek out a motive, having thus far investigated “violent ideologies” of Betts.


Arkansas Man Charged With Supporting Al-Qa’ida Affiliate in Yemen

An Arkansas resident faces a terrorism charge in connection to suspected support of an affiliate of al-Qa’ida in Yemen, prosecutors said on August 9. Bilal al-Rayanni, 28, a Yemen national, is accused of providing material support and resources to al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), as well as providing false information when applying for a passport. Prosecutors noted Rayanni’s activity with AQAP occurred between October and December 2014 when he provided personnel and services to the group while outside the United States. He was arrested on June 27 after authorities said he used a false name while filling out a passport application. He faces up to 20 years in prison on the terrorism charge and 15 years for providing false information if convicted.


For more information, please contact NJOHSP's Intelligence Management Bureau at outreach@njohsp.gov or 609-584-4000.