The head of security for Pittsburgh’s Jewish Federation has urged members of the community to “be vigilant” following the release from prison of white supremacist Hardy Lloyd.
Mr Lloyd, 42, is said to have espoused antisemitic rhetoric and to have held beliefs similar to Robert Bowers, the neo-Nazi gunman currently on trial for the massacre of eleven worshipers at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life Synagogue in October 2018. Mr Lloyd was released last week after serving a one-year sentence for violating his parole.
The Director of Community Security at the Jewish Federation said: “The notion is to be vigilant, to be mindful, but also to feel empowered because we’ve done such great work trying to build and protect our community.”
Mr Lloyd reportedly declared on social media: “Anyone who supports such laws [a ban on assault rifles] must be targeted, and their families murdered. Lone Wolves GET BUSY.” In another post, he is alleged to have directed the “lone wolves” to a Pittsburgh neighbourhood with a large number of Jewish homes. “Target: Jew Hill,” Mr Lloyd allegedly wrote.
At his last hearing, Lloyd reportedly apologised for his actions and acknowledged that he was suffering from mental illness, but local Jews have been encouraged to be cautious nonetheless. “I would hope that he is getting mental health counselling, and the appropriate rehabilitation, but as a community, we need to be vigilant,” the Director said.
Mr Lloyd is alleged to have been active with white supremacist groups for nearly 20 years, beginning with his affiliation to the World Church of the Creator, which has been described as “espousing antisemitic and racist ideology.” In 2004 Mr Lloyd was acquitted of murdering a 41-year-old woman whom he had met via an online dating service when a jury accepted his claim of self-defence.