Hours after police released a neo-Nazi arrested at a murder scene in 2017, he was caught in a car with an arsenal of weapons headed to what police suspected was an intended mass shooting, according to a major investigation from ProPublica and Frontline published on Tuesday.
The investigation reveals how officials failed to investigate a violent neo-Nazi group called Atomwaffen after one of its founders killed two of its members and then offered to help police prevent future violent attacks.
According to ProPublica, police quickly released one of the Atomwaffen members arrested at the scene of the murder. Hours later, he was arrested again, this time in a car full of weapons and ammunition.
“When we found all the weapons, we were convinced that we had just stopped a mass shooting,” Deanna Torres, one of the officers who arrested the Atomwaffen member told ProPublica.
ProPublica reports that experts see the handling of the Atomwaffen case as a sign that the federal government are lagging in confronting white supremacist terrorist groups.
Josh Nathan-Kazis is a staff writer for the Forward. He covers charities and politics, and writes investigations and longform.
Police Released Neo-Nazi Hours Before Shooting Attempt