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Feds: White supremacists hoped rally would start civil war

White supremacist group members hoped violence at the gun rights rally in Richmond would start a civil war.

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — A hidden camera captured members of a violent white supremacist group expressing hope that violence at a gun rights rally in Virginia this week could start a civil war, federal prosecutors said in a court filing Tuesday.

Former Canadian Armed Forces reservist Patrik Jordan Mathews also videotaped himself advocating for killing people, poisoning water supplies and derailing trains, a prosecutor wrote in urging a judge in Maryland to keep Mathews and two other members of The Base detained in federal custody.

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The Canadian national didn’t know investigators were watching and listening when he and two other group members talked about attending the Richmond rally in the days leading up to Monday's event, which attracted tens of thousands of people and ended peacefully.

Credit: Royal Canadian Mounted Police via AP
This undated photo provided by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police shows Patrik Mathews. FBI agents on Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020, arrested the former Canadian Armed Forces reservist and two other men who are linked to a violent white supremacist group and were believed to be heading to a pro-gun rally next week in Virginia’s capital.

Last month, a camera installed by investigators captured Mathews talking about the Virginia rally as a “boundless” opportunity.

“And the thing is you’ve got tons of guys who are just in theory should be radicalized enough to know that all you gotta do is start making things go wrong and if Virginia can spiral out to (expletive) full blown civil war,” he said.

FBI agents arrested Mathews and two others - Brian Mark Lemley Jr., 33, of Elkton, Maryland; and William Garfield Bilbrough IV, 19, of Denton, Maryland - last Thursday as part of a broader investigation of The Base. Authorities in Georgia and Wisconsin also arrested four other men linked to the group.

Detention hearings for Mathews and Bilbrough are scheduled Wednesday at the federal courthouse in Greenbelt, Maryland.

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