Saturday, 23 June, 2018

Man Converts to Islam, Murders Neo-Nazi Roommates

Tampa Police Department Tampa Police Department
Sandy Vega | 23 May, 2017, 15:02

A man arrested after leading police to the bodies of his two roommates told officers that he killed them because they were neo-Nazis who disrespected his recent conversion to Islam.

A Florida man killed his fellow neo-Nazi roommates after he converted to Islam and they did not respect his new faith, police said.

Police arrested Devon Arthurs Friday after he took hostages at a smoke shop near his apartment.

Police took Arthurs into custody, but during a search of the apartment, agents say they found a cooler containing a white cake-like substance that bomb squad technicians recognized as the explosive hexamethylene triperoxide diamine, or HTMD for short. According to the police report, Arthurs told them he killed someone and was upset over America bombing his Muslim countries.

Arthurs says that, in addition to killing his ex-friends over their lack of respect, he also committed the gruesome crime because he was mad at global anti-Muslim sentiment and was seeking to bring attention to his "cause".

The Herald also reports that Russell is a member of a group called "Atomwaffen" (meaning "atomic weapon" in German.) The group has been promoted by the white supremacist Daily Stormer website since a year ago.

Tampa Police said the apartment was full of Nazi propaganda, bob-making materials, and two dead Nazis: Jeremy Himmelman, 22, and Andrew Oneschuk, 18.

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Major Caitlin Brown, spokeswoman for the Florida National Guard, confirmed Russell was a current member of the Florida National Guard. "This wouldn't have had to happen if your country didn't bomb my country".

Two Tampa police officers arrived about five minutes after the second customer entered the store.

Arthurs confessed to the killings and said the victims were also white supremacists, according to the arrest report. He said his roommates disrespected his Muslim faith.

Brandon Russell faces federal charges of possession of a destructive device and unlawful storage of explosive material. He was crying, according to a federal criminal complaint, and was visibly upset. Authorities also found empty bullet casings with fuses that could be used to detonate the material.

Arthurs is facing is facing two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of aggravated assault and three counts of armed kidnapping.

When asked what the explosives were for, Russell reportedly said he was used them in 2013 while part of a science club at college that launched homemade rockets and balloons.

A special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Timothy Swanson, said in the court records that the material was "too energetic and volatile" for such uses.

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