US white supremacist turned Muslim accused of killing neo-Nazis

AFP , Tuesday 23 May 2017

A young man who was once a white supremacist but recently converted to Islam allegedly killed two of his roommates over their neo-Nazi views and disrespect for his new faith, according to police.

Devon Arthurs, 18, was arrested Friday after confessing to killing two of his roommates, setting off an investigation that led to the arrest of his third roommate after police discovered bomb-making materials at the shared Florida apartment.

Following the alleged double homicide Arthurs briefly held three people hostage at a shop near his apartment in the Florida city of Tampa, police said in a report obtained Monday by the Tampa Bay Times newspaper.

Arthurs told police he had killed two of his roommates -- Jeremy Himmelman, 22, and Andrew Oneschuk, 18 -- because of their disrespect for his new religion.

Officers then went to search the apartment Arthurs shared with the three other young men who identified as neo-Nazis, the FBI said in a complaint.

There they found the fourth roommate, 21-year-old Florida National Guardsmen Brandon Russell, "crying and visibly upset."

The search led to Russell's arrest after officers discovered bomb materials including the explosive white substance hexamethylene triperoxide diamine.

He was detained for "possession of an unregistered destructive device and unlawful storage of explosive material," the FBI affidavit said.

Police had found additional chemicals as well as empty ammunition casings with fuses, materials that could be used in bomb-making.

Officers also discovered white supremacist and Nazi propaganda in Russell's bedroom -- including a framed photo of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.

Arthurs said in his confession that before his recent conversion to Islam he, Russell and the two slain men had shared their neo-Nazi ideology.

According to the FBI Arthurs said that "for some time before the murders, he had been privy to Russell participating in online neo-Nazi internet chat rooms where he threatened to kill people and bomb infrastructure."

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