A self-proclaimed neo-Nazi was arrested in Florida Sunday when police found materials used to manufacture explosives in his apartment. The case was directly concerning a double murder that occurred in a Tampa apartment building Friday where a former neo-Nazi who converted to Islam killed 2 individuals for “disrespecting the Muslim religion.”
Tampa police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation found a material inside Brandon Russell’s garage that tested positive for hexamethane triperoxide diamine, used to create explosives, the Miami Herald reported Monday. Authorities also found empty bullet casings with fuses that could be used to detonate the material. inside Russell’s bedroom was a framed photograph of Timothy McVeigh, the man who bombed a federal building in state capital in 1995. Police also located white supremacist and Nazi propaganda and detected the presence of radiation coming from thorium and americium.
Russell was arrested on possession of unregistered destructive devices and unlawful storage of explosive charges. He told authorities the explosives were from a rocket-making project he was working on in 2013 for the engineering club at the University of South FL to propel balloons into the atmosphere. FBI agents, however, said the materials they found were “too energetic and volatile” to be used for such purposes.
Russell failed to instantly answer the charges.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation didn’t say why Russell was in the Keys or why he had been pulled over. Russell told the Federal Bureau of Investigation upon his arrest that he was a “national socialist” and a member of the group “Atom Waffen,” or “atomic weapon” in German.
Russell returned from U.S. Army national guard duty Friday to discover that his friend had killed 2 men within the Tampa apartment they shared, according to the Miami Herald. His roommate, Devin Arthurs, was arrested Friday for the deaths of both men and for holding another 3 individuals hostage within a nearby store. Arthurs, 18, was also a neo-Nazi till he converted to Islam and told police he was angered by the world’s “anti-Muslim” sentiments and “wanted to bring attention to his cause.” He said the 2 men he killed were also neo-Nazis.
“This wouldn’t have happened if your country didn’t bomb my country,” he reportedly said, yelling “Allah Mohammed” while being led into the patrol car.
After being called to the hostage scene and arresting Arthurs, police located the bodies of Jeremy Himmelman, 22, and Andrew Oneschuk, 18, within an apartment at the Hamptons Condominium complex. both men appeared to have died of gunshot wounds to the head and chest. police detective Kenneth Nightlinger said in the arrest report that Arthurs informed those who he was holding hostage “that he was upset because of America bombing his Muslim countries.”
At the time of Arthurs’ arrest police were concerned about the possible presence of explosives in the building. The Tampa Police bomb squad and the Tampa fire Rescue HAZMAT team were called to the complex where they worked “though the night” to make sure it absolutely was safe, though no explosives were ultimately found.
Arthurs quickly confessed to the murders, going so far as to detail the order in which he killed the men and the kind of rifle he used. Police aforesaid they were making an attempt to determine what happened in the lead-up to the shooting.