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Neo-Nazi, 19, pleads guilty to plotting mass shooting at Michigan synagogue

A Michigan teen pleaded guilty Monday to plotting a mass shooting targeting Jewish people after he was busted spouting violent antisemitic and Neo-Nazi threats on Instagram, federal prosecutors said.

Seann Pietila, 19, copped to discussing the plans to kill or injure Jewish people at an East Lansing synagogue as he exchanged Instagram messages with another user back in June, according to prosecutors.

In his plea agreement, Pietila also admitted that he had discussed wanting to stream the attack online.

One of the messages showed Pietila saying he hoped to “inspire others to take arms against the Jewish controlled state,” prosecutors said.

The FBI said Pietila had also shown admiration, at one point, for Brenton Tarrant, the New Zealand mass shooter who is serving life in prison for killing 51 people and injuring dozens more in the 2019 Christchurch mosque massacre.

After being alerted to the disturbing messages last summer, federal agents raided his Pickford home where they found a cache of weapons, tactical equipment, a Nazi flag, a camouflage ghillie suit, gas masks, and a military sniper manual.

A subsequent search of his phone also uncovered a note where he’d written the name of the Shaarey Zedek congregation, near Michigan State University, alongside a 2024 date and a list of weapons, the feds said.

“Thank God that we were in a situation where we prevented a possible atrocity rather than being in a situation to respond to one,” U.S. Attorney Mark Totten said outside federal court in Grand Rapids on Monday in the wake of the guilty plea.

“This is a tense moment because of the situation that is happening overseas,” Totten added of the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.

“We will show zero tolerance for hate-fueled acts of violence and threats of violence against anybody based on their race, their ethnicity, their religion.”

Pietila, who has been in custody since his June arrest, pleaded guilty to transmitting threatening communications in interstate commerce.

He will be sentenced on March 4 and is facing up to five years in prison.

With Post wires

He will be sentenced on March 4 and is facing up to five years in prison.


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