On Friday, the FBI released a statement that state police Lt. Brian Parrish, one of the biggest faces of last week’s white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, was a possible target of an anti-government group that infiltrated the group during a congressional candidate forum. Parrish was leading a press conference when the question, on working with local law enforcement, was posed. That group, named “Alt-Right Oppression,” infiltrated the event to “criticize” the candidate, as the statement explained.
The group’s leader, 31-year-old Tim Gindl, confessed to the FBI that he followed and took photos during the press conference of Lt. Parrish. Gindl told the FBI he believed the group, along with its associated online publication website, would also get Parrish killed, either with a bomb or an assault rifle. (Gindl also told the FBI the white nationalist group wanted to kill Kaine, the Virginia Democratic senator, in an attempt to spark a race war, which the FBI said did not corroborate.)
According to a letter sent by Heather Heyer’s father to the FBI: “On April 8, Kaine’s office hosted a debate between Kaine and his Republican primary opponents, including Gindl, whose chilling threats against Kaine were repeated in speeches and videos on July 4 and 5, 2017 at the Gindl Family BBQ in Richmond, Virginia, for over a thousand supporters.”
Some of Gindl’s threats came across a Twitter thread that a senior law enforcement official told NBC News was “the most frightening story” to come out of Charlottesville. The thread detailed a map of cities where he wanted to try to kill Kaine. One of the tweets was to attach a picture of Kaine, saying, “I will walk at front in a full wolf pack tonight, thru violence, across cityline. We are so hard to kill, Paedophile clown, come on out & be murdered.”
The country’s director of national intelligence, Dan Coats, told the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on Thursday that the anti-government group was trying to portray the movement as racist, and Coats expressed concern that threats against Kaine, who is a possible vice presidential pick for Hillary Clinton, could influence the election and increase partisan discord.
On Saturday, the chair of the F.B.I.’s counterintelligence branch in Washington, D.C., Tom Fuentes, told reporters the group made that disturbing map last month, three weeks before a 27-year-old man, James Fields Jr., allegedly drove his Dodge Challenger into a crowd, killing Heather Heyer, and injuring 19 others. Coats had been briefed by Fuentes about that incident and noted that the group was planning to try to show that the movement and various anti-government groups had anything in common but racism.
The group had made the map mostly in order to make people think that they were part of the movement, which is “antisemitic, bigoted,” according to its website, which is more or less a white supremacist rant with two lines of text on each page of a 30-to-40-page document. “We must build a superior race, in which we have high standards, which are uncompromising,” the document reads.
“They are far-right nazis,” said Peter Feaver, a Duke University professor and former aide to Condoleezza Rice, who spoke to the F.B.I. as part of an investigation into two pro-gun groups that traveled to Virginia to help hold the rally. (It is unclear which pro-gun groups were involved, though one of them was suspected of organizing the rally.) “To say they are pathetic is an understatement. Their mission is nihilistic.”
According to F.B.I. officials, Gindl is in custody in Las Vegas, Nev., and will appear in a Virginia court on Tuesday. The group, along with its writing materials, accessories, and literature, was seized by the F.B.I. Agents hope to be able to return the items to the alleged perpetrator once they complete their investigation.