A SC man with white supremacist connections and an apparent admiration for Charleston, S.C., church shooter Dylann Roof was arrested Wednesday and accused of plotting an attack, not knowing he was describing his plans to an undercover Federal Bureau of Investigation employee. The documents reportedly said McDowell connected with white supremacist groups while serving earlier prison sentences and told the agent he didn't want to go back.
According to the complaint, McDowell made repeated anti-Semetic social media postings that referenced, and even praised, convicted mass killer Roof, according to the complaint.
Roof, a white nationalist, was sentenced to death for the killings of nine members of a historically black church in 2015. That extremism was also supported by tattoos he has, according to the complaint.
He also criticized fellow white supremacists for failing to take action, writing that they "ain't got the heart to fight for Yahweh like dylann roof", the white supremacist who gunned down nine parishioners at a SC black church in 2015.
The FBI says a day later, McDowell requested on Facebook Instant Messenger that he wanted "iron", which is a code word for a gun.
McDowell agreed to meet with the agent under the pretense the undercover was someone who "handled problems for the Aryan Nations", the papers read. They met at a Myrtle Beach hotel and discussed getting a gun, saying that he didn't want it traced back to him. "I want to do that s-", McDowell stated.
"I've got the heart to do that s***, but I don't have the good training", he allegedly claims.
The agent says McDowell said he had not decided on a place or time to conduct an attack.
The document states he went on to say: "If I could do something on a f****** big scale and write on the f****** building or whatever, 'In the spirit of Dylann Roof'". He also met with an undercover Federal Bureau of Investigation agent at a hotel in Myrtle Beach and talked about conducting an attack on non-whites without getting caught.
In a phone call later that same day, McDowell told the operative that he wanted a.40-caliber pistol. Additionally, McDowell said he would like hollow-point ammunition for the gun. He has multiple convictions for burglary, and has also been convicted of assault of a high and aggravated nature, petty larceny, third-degree assault and malicious injury to property, according to State Law Enforcement Division records.
Benjamin McDowell, 29, was arrested in Myrtle Beach shortly after buying the.40-caliber Glock and ammunition for $109 from the agent who picked him up at his mother's house, then took him to his grandfather's house to get the money, Federal Bureau of Investigation agent Grant Lowe wrote in an affidavit.
McDowell was arrested in the Hampton Inn parking lot soon after the purchase was completed.