NY Man Who Praised New Zealand Shooter On Facebook Arrested On Gun Charges

The Facebook login screen is seen in this photo illustration on March 13, 2019 in Warsaw, Poland. (Photo by Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto)
The Facebook login screen is seen in this photo illustration on March 13, 2019 in Warsaw, Poland. (Photo by Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

A New York man who praised the New Zealand mosque shooter was arrested this week for lying to the FBI about possessing a weapon.

In an affidavit filed Wednesday, the FBI claims they obtained Facebook records that show Thomas Alonzo Bolin, 22, promoting the manifesto of the man who opened fire on two Christchurch mosques last month. Bolin allegedly spoke with his cousin about something similar happening in the United States.

HuffPost first reported on Bolin’s arrest.

According to the FBI, Bolin, under the pseudonym Peter Vincent, was a member of multiple white supremacist Facebook groups and managed a group called Odin’s Warriors. Odinism is an obscure, cultish Nordic mythology that was popular among Nazi leaders in Germany and influenced the American Nazi Party, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Bolin allegedly exchanged a series of Facebook messages with his cousin Austin Witkowski, who went by the name Ragnar Odinson, about the Christchurch shootings. He shared posts on his page about the “destruction of our homeland by Islamic trash.”

“Brugh dude killed 40 muslims,” Bolin said in one March 15 message to his cousin, per the affidavit.

Witkowski allegedly responded with a heart emoji and the word, “Lovely.”

In a separate message to his girlfriend, Bolin called the New Zealand victims “muslim rats they would gladly do the worse to you or me” and said it “does my [heart] good to see [them] run down.”

Over the following days, Bolin and his cousin discussed a vague plot to commit violence, according to the affidavit.

On March 16, the day after the Christchurch massacre, Bolin wrote in a message that he’d broken his arm in a car accident.

“There goes all that shit then,” Witkowski wrote, according to the affidavit.

“[O]nly takes one arm to fire a glock,” Bolin responded.

Witkowski allegedly replied, “I guess I’ll do this shit my self. I’m not waiting months and months or a week. It was supposed to be done by Halloween.”

Bolin also posted photographs of handguns on his Facebook page, according to the affidavit.

During a March 30 interview with FBI agents, the 22-year-old claimed that he had no plans to hurt anyone but believed that Muslims should be removed from the United States for “contributing to a corruption of his culture,” per the affidavit. He denied possessing a gun.

During a subsequent search of Bolin’s apartment in Greece, New York, FBI agents found a loaded shotgun and multiple rounds of ammunition. Per court records, Bolin is being held in Monroe County Jail.

Read the FBI affidavit below.

This post has been updated.

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