Former US Marine accused of plotting mass murder at NY synagogue

Matthew Balenger, a former US Marine, was allegedly plotting a mass murder at an unnamed Long Island Synagogue.

 The inscription on the Supreme Court building reads "equal justice under law."  (photo credit: JENS GRABENSTEIN/FLICKR COMMONS)
The inscription on the Supreme Court building reads "equal justice under law."

A former US Marine has been allegedly plotting a mass murder at a Long Island Synagogue as a member of the neo-Nazi group Rapekrieg. According to federal prosecutors, he planned to rape many women in order to “decrease the minorities and increase the production of white children.”

Balenger is currently being held in federal detention in Honolulu, Hawaii where he was stationed before being kicked out of the military, according to the New York Post.

If convicted, Balenger may face up to 20 years in prison. His attorney, Leighton Lee, argued that Balenger is not a risk of flight due to the fact that even though he knew he was being investigated, he didn’t try to run or hide. Lee also argued for Balenger to be on house arrest rather than going to prison. He used the United States v. Motamedi as his argument.

Court Memo

According to the court memo on July 14, the prosecutors argued that Balenger is a “danger to the community” due to the fact that he had allegedly plotted an attack on the Long Island Synagogue with firearms and homemade explosives (Molotov Cocktails). They also argued that he is a flight risk.

The memo further states that he trained with airsoft guns in the woods behind the unnamed Long Island Synagogue for an attack on the “Zionist Order of Government”, a phrase commonly used by neo-Nazi groups and antisemites.

The prosecutors claimed that Balenger hired an NYPD police officer to purchase a PTR91 assault rifle (an assault rifle based on the Heckler & Koch G3 Rifle) for him while he was stationed in Hawaii. He hired that same officer to buy him a Luger pistol, a handgun that was used by the Nazis in WWII, for almost $1,000.

According to Rolling Stone, the FBI had gotten two unnamed witnesses from within Rapekrieg to speak up. One witness told the FBI that Balenger came to his house looking to train in combat tactics so that he can use that for his attack on the Synagogue. 

The witness claims that Balenger had also used a social media account, “Adolf Hitler,” to discuss an attack. He used it to also plot other attacks on the Jewish communities. 

Rolling Stone also stated that a confidential source also told the FBI that Balenger discussed wanting to potentially rape a girl in an encrypted group chat with other Rapekrieg members. He would describe this girl in such detail and would send pictures of her in high school and at recitals to the chat.

Balenger and Rapekrieg

Rapekrieg is known for having overlapping beliefs and memberships with “Rapewaffen” and "Atomwaffen,” two other neo-Nazi terrorist groups that are charged with federal firearms offenses and for threatening journalists. They also have one murderer connected to one of the groups according to Rolling Stone.

Balenger also allegedly made a fake Twitter account posing as a Jewish man and tried to create chaos by making derogatory comments against minorities. 

In October 2020, the Marine Corps officials and the FBI started an investigation on Balenger and searched his barracks housing and electronic devices. They found 1,950 images, videos and documents on “white power” groups, Nazi literature, brutality against Jewish communities and against women, rape and mass murders, such as Dylan Roof.

Matthew Balenger joined the US Marine Corps in 2019 and was dishonorably discharged in May 2021. He was then arrested on June 10 in New York on firearms charges. He was making false statements to the federal firearms licensees and purchased an assault rifle and a handgun.