Black shoppers at Menlo Park Mall in Middlesex County, N.J., were spared from a savage machete attack, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Richard Tobin, 18, reportedly devised a plan and even sat in the mall’s parking lot obsessing over the violent idea to “let loose” on black patrons with a machete. The proposed attack was caused by a large number of Black people around the mall, according to a report written by FBI Special Agent Jason D. Novick.
“There were so many African Americans around [the mall] that enraged him,” Novick wrote.
Federal investigators implicated Tobin as one of many alleged white supremacists in South Jersey who have come under the radar of law enforcement agents.
The man, who hails from Brooklawn, N.J., about 10 miles from Philadelphia, also is believed to have been the mastermind behind the vandalism of two synagogues in Michigan and Wisconsin in September. Tobin reportedly used a neo-Nazi social network called “The Base” to select the individuals who would later deface the buildings.
Though FBI investigators have connected Tobin to only those two occurrences, he allegedly had a vision for committing more hateful acts on a much grander scale. He dubbed the sinister national plan “Operation Kristallnacht.” Kristallnacht refers to a night in November 1938 when Nazis in Germany set synagogues ablaze while vandalizing property that belonged to Jews, according to The History Channel. Nearly 100 Jews were killed on that tragic night.
It’s not clear how the FBI linked Tobin to the synagogue attacks. The agency declined to give information on the details of the pending investigation. The FBI did disclose to the Inquirer that Tobin is now in federal custody and discussing his role in what happened.
The actual perpetrators of the desecration of the religious buildings in the Midwest have not been identified.
The Inquirer also reported that U.S. Magistrate Judge Karen M. Williams ordered Tobin to be detained while he undergoes a psychiatric evaluation. After the evaluation, Williams will consider bail for the terrorist next month.