Antisemite arrested for threatening Tree of Life jurors had made threats referencing Alabama

A known white supremacist, previously jailed on weapon charges, threatened jurors in the federal trial of the now-convicted shooter, who killed 11 Jewish worshippers at a Pittsburgh synagogue. Federal agents arrested the man, Hardy Carroll Lloyd, in West Virginia on Aug. 10.

Lloyd, 45, is “accused of trying to influence witnesses and testimony in the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting trial through emails and blogs posts calling for violence against Jews and threatening to dox jurors, witnesses and anyone who pushed back against his hateful rhetoric,” the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.

“We have struck Pittsburgh and shall continue to pass out flyers until Richard Bowers, the great WHITE hero of Pgh, is freed,” Lloyd wrote earlier in the year in an email that was provided to JNS.

Robert Bowers, 50, has since been sentenced to death for the mass shooting at Tree of Life*Or L’Simcha Synagogue in October 2018.

“We shall also file for the names of the jury once it is over to make sure they voted the right way. If Bowers is not freed then we shall not only up our flyers but also make PGH sorry. We cannot state what this is, of course,” he added at the time.

Lloyd is the “self-appointed reverend of the hate group dubbed the Church of Ben Klassen, named for the late Florida congressman and white supremacist,” the Post-Gazette reported. “He founded the hate group/religious movement known as the Creativity Movement. He has taken responsibility for racist and antisemitic flyers and stickers left across Pittsburgh in recent months and weeks.”

The Klassen group is an offshoot of the virulent, racist and antisemitic World Church of the Creator. That group’s leader, Matthew Hale, was imprisoned in 2004 after he was convicted of soliciting the murder of a federal judge in Chicago.

Lloyd claimed credit for racist stickers dotting a park in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh.

In subsequent emails, which were provided to JNS, and posts on Telegram, a channel favored by right-wing extremists, Lloyd openly called for the murder of Jews. Throughout those posts, which the Anti-Defamation League confirmed, he incorrectly referred to the defendant in the trial as Richard Bowers.

“So let us raise a glass to Richard Bowers and learn from his Strike of Freedom,” Lloyd posted on Telegram. “Let us take notes so we can increase the body count. Don’t go on a podcast and rant… Don’t hold a rally with 5 people. Don’t wave your gun in the air without shooting anyone. No, go out there and KILL A FEW JEWS!!”

Mark Pitcavage, a senior researcher at the Anti-Defamation League, said Lloyd has a volatile past history, which includes a murder, although he was acquitted. He’s a volatile and unstable person,” Pitcavage added. “More than that, he’s broadcasting this stuff to his mailing lists, to Telegram, to VK. It’s not just the risk he might personally represent. It’s the influence on someone who might see his posts.” (VK is a Russian social network.)

In a mass email, Lloyd warned against a conviction of Bowers.

“But just know that any guilty verdict could bring down the wrath of lone wolves in the region,” Lloyd wrote. “Not saying we would directly do or plan anything. But know that lone wolves will do something, and we cannot prevent them, nor would we want to. Free this great WHITE hero!”

The term “lone wolf” is used in extremist circles to describe gunmen who carry out targeted attacks against minority or political groups without directly coordinating their actions with established groups.

Lloyd’s website includes a page with photographs of nine such attackers, including Bowers. Among those pictured is Dylann Roof, who gunned down nine black worshippers at a South Carolina church.

Lloyd, 45, was acquitted of murder in 2006 after he shot his girlfriend, Lori Hann, following an argument. He went on to publish online posts taunting her family.

In addition to his threats in Pittsburgh, an advisory had been circulated to Jewish institutions in Alabama stating that Lloyd had also “made several direct and credible threats to minority communities, including the Jewish community in Alabama.” The advisory added that he was not known to be in Alabama or pose any imminent threat.

Texas media reports from last year report that Lloyd is currently sought in Austin on charges of making terroristic threats. Law enforcement said he threatened to bring a firearm into the Texas State Capitol and confront any law-enforcement official who challenged him.

From SJL and JNS reports. Photo courtesy ADL.