Supremacist Convicted in Synagogue Attack

Associated Press/April 27, 2005

Oklahoma City -- A former member of a white supremacist group was convicted of federal charges of hurling a fire bomb at a synagogue, causing minor exterior damage.

Sean Gillespie, 21, of Spokane, Wash., was found guilty Tuesday of three bombing charges. He was being held without bail and faces a minimum of 35 years in prison.

Prosecutors showed jurors two videotapes, one from a surveillance camera at Temple B'Nai Israel that showed a person attacking the synagogue with a fire bomb on April 1, 2004.

Prosecutors say the other videotape, found in Gillespie's truck, showed him plotting his attack. On it, he said: "I'm going to firebomb (the temple) with a Molotov cocktail. I will film it for your viewing enjoyment, my kindred. White power.''

Gillespie, a former member of the supremacist group Aryan Nations, was convicted of carrying a firearm during a crime of violence, damaging a building used in interstate commerce and having an unregistered destructive device.

The defense had argued that federal case was not warranted, contending the synagogue was not involved in interstate commerce.

Sentencing is expected in about three months.

"This kind of religious violence is so fundamentally un-American that, as a society, we simply cannot tolerate it,'' said U.S. Attorney Robert McCampbell.

Gillespie was arrested in Arkansas about two weeks after the attack.

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