FBI says white supremacists were recorded plotting terror attacks in Virginia
FBI tapes revealed that two members of the white supremacist group “The Base” were intent on orchestrating terror attacks at a pro-gun rally in Virginia, according to a report by ABC News, which obtained the newly released tapes.
Former Canadian Army reservist Patrik Mathews and Brian Lemley reportedly discussed killing Black people and law enforcement in addition to destroying critical infrastructure during an FBI recording of the two in Delaware in 2019.
The efforts were expected to amount to bringing down the U.S. government and creating a racial civil war, according to the network.
Both men were sentenced last month to nine years in jail after a Maryland judge applied a “terrorism” enhancement to their sentences. U.S. District Judge Theodore Chuang claimed that the “virulence” and “passion” to murder lawmakers and take down the government was clear in recorded conversations.
“We need to go back to the days of … decimating Blacks and getting rid of them where they stand,” Mathews said in one recording, according to the network. “If you see a bunch of Blacks sitting on some corner you f—ing shoot them.”
“I mean, even if we don’t win, I would still be satisfied with a defeat of the system … and whatever was to come in its place would be preferable than what there is now,” Lemley said in one recording, according to ABC. “And if it’s not us, then you know what, we still did what we had to do.”
Both men said last month that their conversations did not reflect who they were as people. The Associated Press reported that FBI recordings of the two also revealed that they had wanted to free mass murderer Dylann Roof from jail and kill a Virginia lawmaker.
Roof was convicted in the 2015 shooting of a church in Charleston, S.C., that killed nine Black people.
“The things I said are horrible and don’t reflect who I really am or who my family raised me to be,” Lemley said in October, according to the AP. “Murder was never in my heart. Only foolish dreams of war glory and valor.”
However, law enforcement officials claimed that their intent was malicious and dangerous.
“Brian Lemley and Patrik Mathews betrayed their countries and forfeited their freedom when they conspired, with others, to attack and murder innocent civilians, children, police officers and federal agents,” Thomas Sobocinski, special agent in charge of the FBI Baltimore Field Office, said in a statement in late October.
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