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Investigators say Salem man held on weapons charges talked about blowing up government building

The U.S. Attorney’s Office described Morris as someone with “self-avowed extremist ideas.” Conversations from July 2020 obtained by the office depicted Morris’ extremist views, including allegedly advocating for a violent takeover of a building in Massachusetts alongside starting a race war and raising a swastika over a symbolic building in the Bay State, WMUR reported. 

Investigators used these conversations to explain the extent of a threat Morris posed. They described a conversation in which he allegedly spoke of driving a truck into the Massachusetts State House and blowing it up.

Prosecutors also said Morris talked about attacking “mosques, synagogues, diversity centers and businesses that hire nonwhites.” Not only was he willing to attack these places, but he allegedly was willing to die in those attacks.

Of course, the defense attempted to paint a different picture. They called Morris a productive member of his community and emphasized that he was an honorably discharged decorated Army veteran of the war in Afghanistan. According to WMUR, they also noted his lack of criminal history.

After a judge sided with prosecutors due to substantial evidence, Morris was ordered to be held pending trial.

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