South Carolina

Man who discussed Dylann Roof attack set to be in court

This police booking photo released Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017 by the Horry County Police Department in Conway, S.C., shows Benjamin McDowell. McDowell is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm. According to a sworn FBI statement, agents began investigating McDowell after he threatened a synagogue on Facebook and told an undercover agent he wanted to commit an attack in the "spirit of Dylann Roof." (Horry County Sheriff's Office via AP)

This police booking photo released Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017 by the Horry County Police Department in Conway, S.C., shows Benjamin McDowell. McDowell is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm. According to a sworn FBI statement, agents began investigating McDowell after he threatened a synagogue on Facebook and told an undercover agent he wanted to commit an attack in the "spirit of Dylann Roof." (Horry County Sheriff's Office via AP)  (The Associated Press)

A white supremacist who authorities say illegally bought a gun he planned to use in an attack similar to the South Carolina church shootings is scheduled to appear in court.

A preliminary hearing for 29-year-old Benjamin McDowell is set for 2:30 p.m. Tuesday in federal court in Florence.

The FBI says McDowell told an undercover agent he wanted to buy a gun for an attack in "the spirit of Dylann Roof."

Roof was sentenced to death last month for a racist shooting that killed nine black worshippers at a Charleston church.

McDowell couldn't legally own a gun because of a felony burglary conviction. Authorities say he didn't give a specific target for an attack.

FBI agents say they arrested McDowell last week after he bought the gun for $109 from the undercover agent.