An Indiana Nazi supporter planned to set fire to a synagogue but got spooked by the building’s security cameras and lights.
Instead, Nolan Brewer, 21, and his wife, Kyomi, defaced a wall of the Shaarey Tefilla synagogue in Carmel, Indiana, with Nazi symbols and burned the grounds with homemade napalm.
Brewer, who was charged with a federal hate crime pleaded guilty in court and
received a three-year prison sentence. He was also ordered to pay the synagogue $700.
His wife, who was 17 at the time but charged as an adult, pleaded guilty to arson and received only probation.
Brewer told FBI investigators his path to radicalization, which his co-workers at the two jobs in which he worked also noticed in the months before the July 28, 2018 attack.
He met with members of and joined the group Identity Evropa and was inspired by the Nazi propaganda site Stomfront. At work, he spoke about Nazism and white supremacy, wearing a swastika necklace and making racist and anti-Semitic remarks.
He shared racist memes and selfies in which he wore the Nazi Germany symbol of an iron cross. The wallpaper on his phone was an image of a swastika.
He told investigators he wanted to “spark more radicalism” and make “news headlines” with the attack, as well as intimidate the synagogue’s congregation.
Brewer said he wanted to “scare the hell out of them” and send “a message of like, get out I guess.”
His original plan was to break into the synagogue, which was located 50 miles from his hometown of Eminence, Indiana, ignite homemade bombs made with Drano and let the spreading fire do the rest.
Instead, he painted swastikas and iron crosses on the walls of a trash enclosure located in front of the synagogue building and set fire to the grounds.
Brewer’s lawyers blamed his wife, who they said came from a troubled background and spend long periods of time chatting on Discord, an app known to be popular with white supremacists.