Mom of Man Who FBI Says Planned Dylann Roof-Style Attack: 'I Raised Him Better'
Convicted felon Benjamin McDowell, 29, allegedly said he wanted to shoot a group of black people after purchasing a Glock from an undercover FBI agent.
A South Carolina felon is behind bars Friday after authorities say he purchased a gun from an undercover agent, who he allegedly told he wanted to kill a group of black people "in the spirit of Dylann Roof."
Authorities arrested Benjamin McDowell in Myrtle Beach, the FBI said Thursday, after the 29-year-old former convict with alleged white supremacist ties made anti-Semitic and other racist statements on Facebook before illegally purchasing a Glock handgun, according to an affidavit.
According to the complaint, McDowell made non-specific threats while citing the teenage Charleston church shooter, who authorities say he repeatedly praised in Facebook posts.
"All they wanne (sic) do is stay loaded on drugs the Jews put here to destroy white man and they feast on the drugs. they should be Feasting on the enemy that stole their Heritage and their bloodline and trying to run us off of this Earth," McDowell wrote on Facebook, the complaint alleges. "If you ain't got the heart to fight for Yahweh like dylann roof did, you need to shut the f*** up."
The FBI reportedly began investigating McDowell because of a social media post in which they say he threatened a local synagogue.
According to the complaint, McDowell requested an "iron," which authorities believe is code for a gun, from an agent over Facebook Messenger days later.
Shortly after allegedly purchasing the gun from an agent, McDowell was arrested and charged as a felon in possession of a firearm.
In an interview with WBTW, McDowell's mother said she was completely in the dark about her son's alleged intentions until feds showed up to her home.
"He didn't' say mama I'm gonna go do it. I raised him better than that. Had him in church every Sunday," Joann McDowell said.
However, the shocked mother said her son had made questionable statements in the past.
"He said those people and the Pakistans and the Jewish are against us. He said, telling me stuff out of the bible. I said Benji, I don't understand all that stuff. I'm not going to fuss with all of that," she said.
Joann McDowell said she last heard from her son when he called her from jail to apologize and ask that she not be mad at him.
Benjamin McDowell remains in jail following an initial court appearance Thursday. He's due back in court for a preliminary hearing Tuesday.
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