The Slatest

White Supremacist Who Called the Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting a “Dry Run” Arrested in D.C.

A group of white supremacists and other alt-right figures wave flags and march in Charlotesville.
White nationalists, neo-Nazis, and members of the alt-right during the “Unite the Right” rally on August 12, 2017, in Charlottesville, Virginia. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

A self-proclaimed white nationalist living in D.C. has been arrested on gun-related charges after his family members reported to authorities that he believed in and wanted to hasten an upcoming race war.

Family members said in federal court filings that 30-year-old Jeffrey R. Clark Jr., who had long expressed violent white supremacist views, became increasingly agitated and worryingly vocal about his beliefs after the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting and his brother’s suicide, events that occurred on the same day last month.

His family members told investigators that he fantasized about murdering “Jews and blacks” and that he said he believed the victims of the Pittsburgh shooting “deserved it.” Online, he posted a picture of Robert Bowers, the Pittsburgh gunman, and captioned it with “This was a dry run for things to come.” On Gab, a popular social media platform among white supremacists and other violent racists, Clark was connected with Bowers and other figures of the far-right corners of the internet. According to the Washington Post, his family reported he had said, “[A]t some point if a line gets crossed, I would be violent, everyone has a line … ” The Huffington Post reported that Clark previously identified not just as a white nationalist but as an actual Nazi.

As the Huffington Post reported, Clark went by the username “DC Bowl Gang” on Gab, a reference to the bowl cut–sporting Dylann Roof, the mass murderer who killed nine black churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015. On his profile, Clark posted a graphic depiction of Roof’s killing spree.

Clark’s younger brother, Edward, had also held violent white supremacist beliefs and believed in an impending civil war, according to the filings. Both brothers were spotted at alt-right rallies, including the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, according to the Huffington Post, and both at one point worked with far-right conspiracy theorist Jack Posobiec.

Clark was arrested on Nov. 9 and appeared in court on Tuesday. He was charged with illegally possessing a firearm while using or addicted to a controlled substance and with possessing a high-capacity magazine. Clark and his brother owned four registered guns and had another handgun not registered to them. FBI agents confiscated kits to convert semi-automatic AR-15s to fully automatic rifles, according to the Washington Post.