Police have been continuously arresting white men after several tried to imitate the El Paso domestic terrorist attack.
In just a week’s time, police around the nation have arrested or investigated at least six men, most of whom are young and white, for making terrorist threats, stockpiling weapons or planning attacks, Vice News reports. The attacks appear to stem from the series of three mass shootings that happened in El Paso, Texas, Dayton, Ohio and Gilroy, Calif. The FBI is currently investigating the shootings which left a total of 34 people dead. All three of the shootings were acted out by white men.
U.S. experts say “copycat” threats are likely to happen after mass shootings. However, specialists say last week’s suspects showed a high level of preparedness and ideological motivation. Many of the men follow or support far-right beliefs and white supremacy. Brian Levin, who leads the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, said it’s not unusual for crimes to “manifest in clusters around publicity.” However, Levin went on to say there are other deep-rooted issues connected to the mass shootings.
“What makes these different is that many of these offenders consider themselves as part of an allied chain of so-called ‘lone’ warriors who combine their violence with a memorialization on social media, with references to past terrorists and bigoted folkloric texts.” Experts say the constant mass shootings are greatly related to the increasing number of far-right terror in the country. “Obviously, there’s a lot of focus on the attacks that occur when there are bodies in the street,” said Oren Segal, director of the ADL’s Center on Extremism. “But what these arrests serve as a reminder of is that the threat is broader than any one attack. It’s an ongoing, consistent threat, and this underscores the role of law enforcement in tracking it.”
FBI Director Christopher Wray said the organization has arrested 100 people of domestic terror investigations over 10 months; the majority of the people involved share a white supremacist ideology.