U.S. Department of Justice
Press Release

Oak Creek Man Who Vandalized Racine Synagogue Pleads Guilty


By - Aug 13th, 2020 03:36 pm

United States Attorney Matthew D. Krueger of the Eastern District of Wisconsin announced that on August 12, 2020, Yousef O. Barasneh (age: 22) of Oak Creek, Wisconsin, pleaded guilty to conspiring to violate citizens’ rights to use property free from threats and intimidation, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 241.

According to court documents, Barasneh was a member of a neo-Nazi, white supremacist group called “The Base.” From September 13, 2019, through September 21, 2019, Barasneh participated in online group chats with other Base members in which they agreed to threaten and intimidate African Americans and Jewish Americans, who they viewed as enemies of the white race. Following this agreement, on the evening of September 21, 2019, Barasneh went to the Beth Israel Sinai Congregation in Racine and spray-painted anti-Semitic words and phrases, as well as a swastika and the symbol for “The Base,” on various parts of the synagogue building.

“Violence and intimidation motivated by white supremacist ideology are abhorrent and have no place in this country. The Justice Department is commitment to prosecution such civil rights violations aggressively,” stated United States Attorney Krueger.

Chief United States District Judge Pamela Pepper set a sentencing hearing for November 23, 2020. At sentencing, Barasneh faces up to ten years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Eastern District of Wisconsin’s Joint Terrorism Task Force. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Benjamin Proctor and Adam Ptashkin.

The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice. Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years.

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