Neo-Nazi group member pleads guilty to vandalizing Wisconsin synagogue
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Neo-Nazi group member pleads guilty to vandalizing Wisconsin synagogue

Yousef Barasneh faces up to 10 years after arrest as part of a probe into The Base, which planned vandalism attacks nationwide in ‘Operation Kristallnacht’

Anti-Semitic graffiti found on Beth Israel Sinai in Racine, Wisconsin, September 22, 2019 (Joyce Placzkowski via JTA)
Anti-Semitic graffiti found on Beth Israel Sinai in Racine, Wisconsin, September 22, 2019 (Joyce Placzkowski via JTA)

JTA — A Wisconsin man pleaded guilty to federal charges that he vandalized a synagogue as part of his involvement in a white supremacist and neo-Nazi group.

Yousef Barasneh was 22 when he was arrested in January as part of a nationwide investigation into The Base, which planned to carry out coordinated vandalism of synagogues across the country in an effort the hate group called Operation Kristallnacht, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported.

Six other men involved in the group were arrested at the same time.

Barasneh spray-painted a swastika and other Nazi imagery, as well as the word “Jude,” German for Jew, on the building of the Beth Israel Sinai Congregation in Racine in September. Racine is about 12 miles from his suburban Milwaukee home.

According to the plea agreement approved Friday, Barasneh admitted that he had online conversations with other members of The Base about “acts of violence against Jewish Americans and non-white Americans, Base military training camps, and ways to make improvised explosive devices,” the Journal-Sentinel reported.

He faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

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