Pueblo synagogue relieved to what FBI calls thwarted terror attack


Temple Emanuel synagogue in Pueblo.

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PUEBLO, Colo. -- Congregants at Temple Emanuel in Pueblo say they are thankful and relieved the FBI and local police prevented a terror attack at their synagogue.

Temple Emanuel dates to 1900. It is the second-oldest synagogue in Colorado. Currently, 35 families worship at the location.

“It didn’t happen, and that’s the good news," said Michael Atlas-Acuna, the congregation's president.

At a news conference in Denver on Monday, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced the arrest of 27-year-old Richard Holzer.

The FBI said Holzer conspired with undercover agents to use pipe bombs to destroy Temple Emanuel.

“Mr. Holzer self identifies as a skinhead and a white supremacist," U.S. Attorney Jason Dunn said.

Holzer stands charged with a hate crime.

Agents posing as white supremacists say Holzer confessed to his plan of attacking the synagogue in the early-morning hours of Saturday.

Agents arrested Holzer just hours before the alleged planned attack.

On Monday, as news of the arrest broke, the synagogue’s phone was ringing nonstop with calls from well-wishers and concerned congregants.

“It really brings the community out," Atlas-Acuna said.

The temple said the hatred in the suspect’s heart will not lead to fear.

“You’re not going to make us cower in fear, and we’re not going to just be sheep and go to the slaughter," congregant Helena Atlas-Acuna said. "We’re going to fight back.”

The synagogue’s leadership said security is always top of mind and their property is not a "gun free zone."

They say, if anyone comes to attack them, they’re ready to defend themselves.

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