Warrant: Man accused of threatening Cary synagogue distributed anti-Semitic fliers
A Cary man accused of recently making threats against a Cary synagogue was already on law enforcement’s radar because he had twice distributed anti-Semitic leaflets in Cary neighborhoods, according to a new search warrant.
William Josephus Warden, 20, faces two counts of ethnic intimidation. Police say Warden burned a cross on Oct. 26 at Bond Park in Cary. On Nov. 3, he allegedly rang the doorbell at Congregation Sha’arei Shalom, at 700 Old Apex Road, and made threats to the person who answered.
A Cary police officer and an FBI agent met with Warden two days before the incident at the synagogue to discuss fliers that appeared twice in Cary neighborhoods in October, according to the application for a warrant to search Warden’s home on Preston Grove Avenue.
On Oct. 16, fliers were found at homes on Roebling Lane that contained a swastika, the words “Aryan Youth” and a link to a channel on the online music-sharing platform Soundcloud that contained neo-Nazi music, the application states. Two days later, at least 60 fliers were in Cary with a swastika and the statement, “White man, are you sick and tired of the Jews destroying your country through mass immigration and degeneracy? Join us in the struggle for global white supremacy at the Daily Stormer.”
The Daily Stormer is a white supremacist website.
The Soundcloud link on first flier also included Warden’s name and photo, so police contacted him to discuss the matter. When the Cary officer and the FBI agent met with Warden at a Starbucks in Cary on Nov. 1, he admitted to distributing the fliers and “stated emphatically that he strongly subscribes to the anti-Semitic ideology,” according to the search warrant application.
Warden told the officers that he is part of a group, the Traditionalist Youth Network, that exchanges ideas on Facebook and Gab, a far-right social media platform that was used by Robert Bowers, the man charged in a mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue last month. Warden declined to name anyone else in the group.
“Warden appeared to have absolutely no concern for the loss of life [in Pittsburgh] and stated that he suspected that Robert Bowers was ‘out of options,’” the warrant application states. “Over the course of the interview, Warden repeatedly mentioned a clear hatred for Jews and reaffirmed his belief that they should be eliminated.”
Police searched Warden’s home on Nov. 4, seizing a cellphone and “digital data,” according to the search warrant. They wanted a speedy search, according to the application, because the threats made at the Congregation Sha’arei Shalom synagogue included the statement “November 5th, remember that lady, November 5th.”
Warden’s parents issued a statement after his arrest stating that he has suffered from mental illness and has been exploited by others to advance their agenda.