A former Marine is accused of leading a neo-Nazi group that was alleged to have been planning an attack on a New York synagogue.
Matthew Belanger is charged with gun violations and could spend up to 20 years in prison if he is convicted, according to court documents.
A criminal complaint filed last month in U.S. District Court for Hawaii alleged that Belanger, while he was serving as a Marine in Honolulu, paid a police officer on Long Island, New York, to buy him guns that he wouldn't be allowed to buy legally.
When the FBI questioned Belanger about guns he owned, he didn't mention a PTR assault rifle or a Luger-style pistol that he had the officer buy for him.
The FBI began investigating Belanger because it suspected he was planning to harm people and destroy property in hate-motivated attacks, according to court documents filed this month.
"The investigation was grounded in evidence that defendant was using social media to conspire with others, including members of a group called Rapekrieg, to commit ... hate crimes," the documents said.
The group, based on Long Island, "had procured weapons, uniforms, and tactical gear, and discussed committing attacks on a synagogue, Jewish persons, women, and minorities, including the rape of 'enemies' to injure, oppress, threaten, and intimidate, and the rape of white women to increase the production of white children in furtherance of Rapekrieg’s goal of creating a white ethno-state through accelerationist means."
Other members of the group identified Belanger as a leader and administrator of the group, who had written Rapekrieg’s manifesto.
"Rape, for example, is an extremely effective tool against our many foes, as its verbal use as a threat or direct use against an individual greatly reduces enemy morale and strikes a nameless fear in their hearts," read part of the manifesto, according to court documents. "While this is especially effective against females, the emasculated cesspool of progressive males is just as affected, being inherently effeminate themselves."
"If you have any doubts about being able to pull the trigger on a jewish child, then you are not mentally prepared for the level of violence that first-world collapses will bring," read another part. "To be successful in this battle for survival, the white man must learn to hate, seeing red the moment he lays his eyes on a member of the race that has inflicted unspeakable horrors onto his people."
Rapekrieg members would conduct training once a year — since 2017 — using real firearms. They also trained with airsoft guns in woods across from a Long Island synagogue that they had initially planned to "shoot up," the documents said.
They later "decided that burning it down at night using Molotov cocktails was a better plan," according to the FBI.
The FBI's investigation into Belanger's social media accounts found he had a Facebook profile under the name Adolf Hitler, among others that he would use to procure guns.
Belanger is alleged to have had an account on Twitter under the name @Ishillingstein, which he said he used "to generate Black hate towards the Jewish community by making derogatory statements while disguised as a Jewish man," the court documents said.
Prosecutors released the additional information to persuade a judge to keep Belanger detained pending trial.
"Given that a sentence of imprisonment would force defendant to reside with members of racial and ethnic groups for which he has articulated extreme hate and whose existence he has advocated be eliminated through violence ... demonstrates that defendant is a risk of non-appearance or flight that cannot be reasonable mitigated by any condition of combination of conditions," prosecutors argued.
The court denied Belanger's motion for release and detained him pending trial, according to documents filed Monday. He was being held at Federal Detention Center Honolulu.
Attorneys for Belanger didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday. Belanger was discharged from the Marines under "other than honorable" conditions for misconduct, "specifically for dissident/extremist activity," in 2021, according to the FBI.