New Jersey Judge Releases Neo-Nazi Behind ‘Operation Kristallnacht’ Without Explanation
A convicted neo-Nazi who planned a campaign of vandalism and desecration against synagogues and fantasized about murdering black people has been freed from jail by a judge in New Jersey.
Richard Tobin, 19, was released on a $100,000 bond last Wednesday, according to Matthew Reilly, a spokesman for the US Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey.
A federal magistrate ordered Tobin to remain under house arrest, prohibited him from accessing the internet and barred him from having any contact with current or former members of two neo-Nazi groups — one called The Base, and the other called Atomwaffen Division.
From his home in Brooklawn, New Jersey, Tobin communicated online with other members of The Base and directed them to vandalize synagogues in Michigan and Wisconsin last year. He later told investigators that he had launched “Operation Kristallnacht,” a reference to the deadly pogrom in 1938 when Nazis looted and burned synagogues and Jewish-owned homes and stores in Germany.
He also told federal agents that he fantasized about killing black people, and once became enraged at the sight of large crowds of African-Americans shopping at a mall in New Jersey.
“That day, he had a machete in his car and he wanted to ‘let loose’ with it,” the criminal complaint against Tobin said.
His animosity also extended towards LGBT+ people and he was reportedly “triggered” by Pride parades.
“Richard Tobin said that he was triggered by the state of the country, such as when he saw a Pride parade or a large number of African Americans in one location. For example, simply being in Times Square in New York caused Tobin to have these feelings,” wrote FBI special agent Jason Novick.
Court records did not disclose why US Magistrate Judge Karen Williams in Camden, New Jersey, chose to release Tobin, who was arrested by the FBI last November. The magistrate sealed court records related to Tobin’s bond request.