FBI arrests man in Myrtle Beach allegedly planning attack ‘in the spirit of Dylann Roof’
MYRTLE BEACH, SC — A man connected to a white supremacy group was arrested in Myrtle Beach Wednesday after purchasing a gun from an undercover FBI agent, apparently intending to commit an attack “in the spirit of Dylann Roof,” WMBF reported.
Benjamin McDowell, 29, from Conway, posted numerous messages on Facebook in December and January including one that said: “I love love to act what u think,” followed by a link to the Temple Emanu-El Conservative Synagogue in Myrtle Beach, according to court documents obtained by WMBF. Horry County Police let the FBI know that McDowell had White Supremacy Extremist connections from his time in prison for various criminal offenses. He also had tattoos indicating an affiliation with these groups.
One of the Facebook messages posted in early January gave an anti-semetic screed referencing Dylann Roof, which included the statement: “you want to post if you ain’t got the heart to fight for Yahweh like dylann roof did you need to shut the f***** up…”
McDowell first met with the undercover FBI agent on January 12, believing that the agent “handled problems for the Aryan Nations,” the court document states. McDowell discussed obtaining a gun, saying that he didn’t want it being traced back to him. McDowell said he didn’t want an attack coming back to him either.
McDowell went on to say that “I got the heart to do that s***, but I don’t have to the good training,” the document states. He continued: “If I could do something on a f***** big scale and write on the f***** building or whatever, ‘In the spirit of Dylann Roof.’”
The next day, McDowell requested in a phone call with the agent a .40 caliber handgun to conduct an attack on an unknown location outside the county where he lived, WMFB reported.
After another racist Facebook post and more conversations with the agent, McDowell planned to meet again in person to discuss the plan for the attack.
That’s when McDowell was arrested.