Dylann Roof on Friday pleaded not guilty to 33 federal charges in the deadly June attack at a church in Charleston, South Carolina, CNN reported.
Earlier this month, a grand jury indicted Roof on 33 counts, including federal hate crime and firearms charges, in the shooting that killed nine people.
Roof, 21, already faces a number of state charges in the shooting. South Carolina, however, doesn't have a hate crime law, prosecutors said.
Roof was captured in North Carolina the day after the June 17 attack and was brought back to South Carolina. Law enforcement officials have said he admitted to the killings.
If he is found guilty of the federal charges, Roof faces life imprisonment or the death penalty, but federal prosecutors said they haven't decided on whether to seek the death penalty, noted CNN.
After his arrest, Roof reportedly confessed to the murder of the nine people gunned down in the attack, and told police that he had opened fire with his .45-caliber pistol in order to start a "race war."
South Carolina authorities have provided an image on Twitter of Roof wearing a jacket with the flags of apartheid-era South Africa and Rhodesia, a former British colony where a white minority ruled until 1980 and whose name was changed to Zimbabwe, noted CNN.
The website also included a 2,444-word manifesto raging against Blacks, Jews, and Asians.
In it, Roof launched a bizarre rant against Jews – one which has more sympathy for Jews than the mainstream white supremacist or neo-Nazi ideology, but wars mainly against the concept of Jewish identity itself.
(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)