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A Michigan teen was arrested for an alleged plot to carry out a mass shooting at a synagogue, according to a criminal complaint filed against the teen.
The complaint accuses Seann Pietila, 19, of “transmitting a communication that contained a threat to harm another.” FBI special agent Ryan Roskey said the young man demonstrated through Instagram messages his neo-Nazi ideology, antisemitic beliefs, suicidal ideologiespraise from mass shooters of the past who held similar ideologies and intent to copy their actions.
The complaint states that Pietila specifically mentioned that he admires Brent Tarrant.who carried out mass shootings at mosques in New Zealand in 2019, killing more than 50 people.
The Instagram account Pietila used sent a message saying they needed a camera for the live feed, as Tarrant did during his attack.
The researchers also found a Pinterest account of Pietila that included posts containing Nazi imagery and references to mass shooters. They were able to connect the Instagram and Pinterest accounts with Pietila and also found TikTok and Discord accounts linked to him to confirm his identity.
After being arrested, Pietila confirmed during an interview with the authorities that he was the Instagram user, but said he had no intention of carrying out the mass shootings he was referring toaccording to the complaint.
According to CNN, investigators found the name of an East Lansing synagogue, a date and a list of weapons — including bombs, Molotov cocktails and pistols — in the notes app on Pietila’s phone.
“Anti-Semitic threats and violence against our Jewish communities or any other group will not be tolerated in the Western District of Michigan,” US Attorney Mark Totten said in a press release.
Pietila appeared in court for the first time on Friday and his detention hearing is set for June 22according to court documents.
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