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Orthodox Union Commends FBI for Arrest of White Supremacist Who Plotted to Blow up Colorado Synagogue and Calls for Federal and State Governments to Increase Protection for Synagogues, other Houses of Worship

Posted on November 5, 2019 In Blog, Press Releases

Today, the Orthodox Union, the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization representing hundreds of synagogues across the U.S., commended the FBI and other law enforcement agencies for foiling a white supremacist who plotted to blow up Temple Emanuel, an historic synagogue in Pueblo, Colorado.

The man who allegedly planned the attack was Richard Holzer, a 27-year-old who professed to be a former member of the Ku Klux Klan and said he wished the Holocaust “really did happen.” He also said he had a cook at the synagogue put arsenic in the building’s water pipes and planned to use pipe bombs and dynamite. Holzer’s arrest comes just one year after a gunman killed 11 people at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue while they were praying, and six months after a deadly attack at a Chabad synagogue in Poway, California.

“We are extremely grateful to law enforcement for stopping what could have been yet another horrific and deadly anti-Semitic attack on a synagogue,” said Orthodox Union President Mark (Moishe) Bane.

“This latest plot reminds us all that we must be vigilant in safeguarding our synagogues,” said Orthodox Union Executive Vice President Allen Fagin. “The Orthodox Union has been working for 15 years to strengthen security at U.S. synagogues, Jewish day schools as well as other houses of worship and nonprofits at risk of terrorist attacks through the federal Nonprofit Security Grant Program we helped create in 2005. We will continue to advocate for the safety and security of all citizens at risk.”