By Steve Pope | November 13, 2018
Federal authorities in Washington, D.C., announced Tuesday that they have arrested a man on firearms charges that has social media ties to Robert Bowers, the man charged in the Oct. 27 deadly attack on the Tree of Life synagogue.
Jeffrey Clark, 30, faces one count of unlawful possession of firearms by a person who is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance, and one District of Columbia count of possessing high-capacity magazines, according to a court document.
An FBI agent alleged in a criminal complaint that was unsealed today that Clark and Bowers were “friends” on Gab, the social media site that authorities alleged in court documents Bowers used to post anti-Semitic messages before the attack.
Several of Clark’s family members contacted the FBI on Nov. 2 and reported that Clark and his brother Edward Clark, were “heavily involved in the ‘Alt-Right’ movement and that they were connected with the Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooter through Gab,” the agent wrote.
Just hours after the attack on the synagogue, Edward Clark committed suicide by shooting himself. After his brother’s death Clark said, “that he and Edward Clark had both fantasized about killing ‘Jews and blacks,'” the complaint alleged.
Clark’s family members showed investigators photos of him and his brother standing next to the man accused of driving a car into a crowd during the 2017 “Unite the Right” rally in Virginia.
Clark allegedly told a family member that he “believed that a homosexual Jewish couple was having an adopted baby circumcised that week, and that justified Bowers’ actions.”
Authorities found a post on Clark’s Gab account that shows a “picture of Robert Bowers armed with a gun, splattered in what appears to be blood, followed by the following post by Clark: ‘Nah he was BASED! Get used to it libtards. This was a dry run for things to come.'”
In a statement U.S. Attorney Scott W. Brady said, “The United States Attorney’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Pittsburgh want to assure the victims and the victims’ families of the Tree of Life Synagogue attack that their safety is of paramount concern and that law enforcement continues to devote all available resources to the investigation and prosecution of this case.”
Clark is being held without bond and is scheduled to appear for a detention hearing on Nov. 16. If convicted on the firearms charge he faces up to 10 years in prison.
Steve Pope can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org