SEATTLE (May. 23)
Three members of the white supremacist group Aryan Nations, who were arrested and indicted this month by a federal grand jury on charges of conspiring to bomb a gay disco here, had also targeted for bombing a Seattle synagogue.
An FBI affidavit filed in Seattle reported that in a May 6 conversation intercepted and recorded by the FBI, Robert Winslow, 29, of Laclede, Idaho, stated that he and Stephen Nelson, 35, of Hayden Lake, Idaho, “wanted to blow up a Jewish synagogue in Seattle.” No specific synagogue was named in the FBI affidavit.
In the same conversation, Winslow described to several individuals the plan to bomb the gay bar, Neighbours Disco. Winslow also described his and Nelson’s intention to bomb several black bars and several Korean businesses in Tacoma, Wash.
Nelson and Winslow were arrested May 12 as they arrived at a motel near Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. They were subsequently indicted by a federal grand jury in Boise and charged with conspiring to bomb Neighbours Disco, possessing materials to make a bomb and carrying a firearm while carrying out a conspiracy.
Explosives were found in the van they were driving. A third man, James Baker, 57, of Hayden Lake, was charged with conspiracy and possession of materials to make a pipe bomb. He was arrested May 12 in Idaho.
Seattle Mayor Norm Rice responded to the arrests with a statement calling for a state law to track the number of hate crimes.
“Washington state has seen a growing number of beatings, and acts of harassment and violence against individuals because of race, ethnicity or sexual orientation,” Rice said at his weekly news conference.
“These acts simply must not be tolerated,” he said. “They threaten the dignity, freedom and personal safety of everyone in our community.”