An FBI operation in Virginia has led to the arrest of a group of men described as white supremacists who were allegedly plotting violent attacks on synagogues and black churches, reports the Associated Press and the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Here’s the scoop: the FBI learned that Robert C. Doyle of Chester, south of Richmond, was allegedly putting together a get-together of white supremacists at his home to talk about “shooting or bombing the occupants of black churches and Jewish synagogues, conducting acts of violence against persons of Jewish faith, and doing harm to a gun store owner in the state of Oklahoma,” according to an affidavit filed in U.S. District Court by agent James R. Rudisill. That meeting apparently went off as scheduled in September. Then, in October, Doyle and Ronald Beasley Chaney III allegedly attempted to purchase weapons for carrying out these attacks.

Here’s a wild twist: Doyle and Chaney reportedly “ascribe to a white supremacy extremist version of the Ásatrú faith,” which, if I’m reading this here thing correctly, is a Pagan, uhh, religion? And they’ve got runes? And the hammer of Thor is one of their major symbols? I may have made that last part up. Who can say?

Tied, as it is, to Norse Mythology, and expressed as a matter of Nordic heritage, parsing out how this is not a club for white folks can be tricky. The bylaws of the Ásatrú Alliance, for example, go out of their way to say, basically, “yeah, this is mostly for white people, but racism is definitely not cool.”

The Asatru Alliance promotes the native culture of the Northern European peoples. However, we do not practice, preach, or promote hatred, bigotry, or racism. We believe that Northern Europeans can believe and promote their own culture and heritage in a positive manner, this is expressed through our native religion. Asatru.

At any rate, apparently there’s a sizable chunk of Ásatrú types who associate with Neo-Nazi, white power-type stuff. Doyle and Chaney allegedly fall into that group. And it is reportedly on behalf of their whites-rule, non-whites-drool version of this faith that they sought to prepare themselves for “an impending race war.”

The weapons dealer they contacted to build their arsenal, though, was an undercover FBI agent. Chaney, for his part, seems to have smelled the rat:

Chaney was recorded at one point saying “It just sounds like, it sounds like ATF to me. It sounds like a ... Fed operation.”

On Sunday, despite his buddy’s misgivings, Doyle allegedly met with three agents disguised as weapons dealers and picked out “two firearms, silencers, as well as explosives, with the intent to purchase the weapons.” He reportedly turned over an unspecified amount of cash in the deal, and placed a future order for “$50,000 in diamonds, $30,000 in gold, and $20,000 in silver to be paid by Doyle and delivered by the undercover agents at a later date.” The plan, apparently, was to “buy land and stockpile weapons” for the epic racial throw-down to come.

The two men were arrested Sunday. On Monday, they were named in a criminal complaint charging them with conspiracy to possess firearms after having been convicted of felonies. According to the FBI, Doyle has seven prior felony convictions on his record, and Chaney has a few of his own.

But that’s not all!

Henrico police said Tuesday that [Chaney’s] father, Ronald Beasley Chaney Jr., 58, a felon, is facing firearms and drug charges in the wake of a search warrant executed Sunday at his home in the 300 block of East Jerald Street in Highland Springs.

A woman at the home declined to comment Tuesday.

Also charged with drug and firearms charges is Terry Gunn Chaney, 52, believed to be his wife.

An alleged third conspirator, named as Charles D. Halderman, was also arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit robbery. The three men are currently in custody, and will appear in court over the next few days.

[Associated Press] [Richmond Times-Dispatch]

Image via Richmond Times-Dispatch