(TotalConservative.com) – Nathan Weeden, 23, was convicted on charges of religious property damage and conspiring against rights for his role in defacing a synagogue with graffiti, including a swastika in 2019. Weeden was convicted by a jury on the two counts according to announcements from federal prosecutors last Thursday, January 25th.
Swastikas and symbols referencing a white supremacist group were spray-painted on the exterior of the Temple Jacob in Hancock, Michigan. Prosecutors alleged Weeden and others had called the attack “Operation Kristallnacht” which was a reference to the “Night of Broken Glass” of World War 2 infamy. On the evening of November 9th, 1938, German Nazis raided Jewish homes and businesses, killing many and destroying their businesses and homes.
Prosecuting attorney Kristen Clarke with the Attorney General’s office called the act “unacceptable and criminal.” She further slammed Weeden for referencing the Kristallnacht, suggesting the attitudes involved were “beyond disgraceful.”
FBI Agent in charge for Michigan, Cheyvoryea Gibson said that everyone deserves to feel safe regardless of what religion they practice.
Weeden’s co-conspirators, Richard Tobin and Yousef Barasneh were members of an organization called “The Base,” which officials said was a white supremacist group. The trio allegedly communicated their plans via an encrypted messaging application wherein they discussed the destruction of property belonging to Jewish and black residents.
Weeden’s arrest followed FBI arresting Seann Patrick Pietila, 19, from Pickford, claiming Pietila was making threats to carry out a mass casualty attack at an East Lansing synagogue. Pietila was allegedly planning his attack on the anniversary of the March 2019 incident where 51 Muslims were killed in New Zealand.
Pietila ultimately pleaded guilty to the charges in early November of last year. In exchange for the plea, prosecutors dropped a heavier charge of threatening to kill by arson which carried prison sentences of up to ten years. His sentencing is scheduled for March 4th and he faces up to five years behind bars.
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