New Jersey Marine accused of threats to kill white people, commit mass shooting

A former Marine from New Jersey was arrested Friday and accused of threatening to kill white people and carry out a mass shooting, federal prosecutors said Monday.

Joshua Cobb, 23, of Trenton, wrote on social media in December 2022, before he joined the Marines last year: “I want to cause mayhem on the white community” and “I want to erase them,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey said in a statement.

He went on in the Dec. 17, 2022, post to say he wanted to commit a mass shooting in 2023 and: “As of today I have officially began planning my attack,” the office said. It also alleged he said he had obtained two of the four guns he planned to use.

Federal public defenders listed as representing Cobb did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday.

Cobb joined the Marine Corps and attended basic training in South Carolina from June to October last year, according to a criminal complaint. He was stationed at Marine Corps Air-Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms, California, in February and discharged on or around May 10, the complaint indicated.

Cobb identified himself as Black in the online posts, under the account “1dayUsuffer,” an FBI special agent wrote in an affidavit that is part of the complaint.

He mentioned what he called the struggles of young men in America, and he wrote they “have so many obstacles stacked against us we cannot excel no matter how hard we try. Especially those like myself who are BLACK & come from poverty,” and that he wanted to cause bloodshed, the FBI agent said in the affidavit.

Interviewed by the FBI at the Marine base in California, Cobb admitted the accounts on social media were his and told agents he continued to have homicidal ideations, according to the FBI affidavit.

Cobb said that he sometimes fantasized about attacking a gym or a grocery store that what he called “rich-a– white people” frequented and that wealthier people “don’t know what it’s like to like be in a bad spot,” the affidavit alleges. He allegedly said, “So my thing was to like bring the pain to them.”

No attack was ever carried out. He is charged with one count of transmitting a threat in interstate and foreign commerce, which carries a maximum of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, the prosecutor’s office said.

The Marine Corps did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment Monday evening about the nature of the discharge, and court documents do not detail the reason.

Cobb on Monday waived a preliminary hearing and was ordered detained pending a bail hearing Friday, federal court records show.

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