FBI agents have arrested three eastern Virginia men on weapons and robbery conspiracy charges in connection with an alleged terrorist plot to attack Jewish and African-American religious institutions and conduct “acts of violence against persons of the Jewish faith.”
The three men, Robert Curtis Doyle and Ronald Beasley Chaney III, charged with conspiracy to possess firearms despite felony convictions, and Charles Daniel Halderman, charged with conspiracy to commit robbery, are white supremacists with past criminal records. They all are from the greater Richmond area.
According to criminal complaints, a meeting took place at Doyle’s house in September “to discuss…shooting or bombing the occupants of black churches and Jewish synagogues.” Doyle allegedly discussed criminal acts they could employ for getting money with which to carry out their plans, including robbing and killing a jewelry dealer, committing an armored car robbery, and attacking a gun store owner. The proceeds would allegedly be used to buy land and weapons and to train “for the coming race war.”
The following month, Doyle and Chaney allegedly met with an undercover FBI agent to purchase weapons and explosives from the agent. FBI agents arrested the three at their homes on November 8.
All three suspects have lengthy criminal histories, including crimes of violence. Chaney, for example, pleaded guilty in 2006 to a number of charges related to an attempted robbery and subsequent shootout with the intended victims. He was released from his most recent prison stay in the spring of 2015.
The men may have met in prison, where all were designated by prison officials as white supremacists while in custody. According to the FBI, the suspects were adherents of a white supremacist variety of Asatruism. Asatru is the most common name given to the modern revival of ancient Norse paganism. Most Asatruists are not white supremacists, but a minority are, often referring to themselves by terms such as Odinists or Wotanists.
Halderman and Doyle both have Asatru tattoos, as well as white supremacist tattoos, while Chaney identifies himself as Asatruist on his Facebook profile.
White supremacists have been involved in many of the right-wing terrorist conspiracies and acts in recent decades. Many white supremacist terrorist plots and acts involve attacks against Jewish targets, as most white supremacists view Jews as their “ultimate enemy.”