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Florida High School Shooting: Assist, Greenwald

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Repub­lic of Flori­da

COMMENT: In the wake of the Flori­da high school shoot­ing, an under-report­ed aspect of the killings con­cerns accused shoot­er Niko­las Cruz’s par­tic­i­pa­tion (includ­ing weapons train­ing and polit­i­cal indoc­tri­na­tion) with the Repub­lic of Flori­da. The ROF is ” . . . a white suprema­cist group . . . .” It describes itself:  “. . . .  as a ‘white civ­il rights orga­ni­za­tion fight­ing for white iden­ti­tar­i­an pol­i­tics’ and seeks to cre­ate a ‘white eth­nos­tate’ in Flori­da. . . .”

Of par­tic­u­lar inter­est in analy­sis of the Flori­da shoot­ing is the advo­ca­cy on the part of ROF leader Jor­dan Jereb for the “lone wolf/leaderless resis­tance” strat­e­gy: ” . . . . A train­ing video the group post­ed online shows mem­bers prac­tic­ing mil­i­tary maneu­vers in cam­ou­flage cloth­ing and salut­ing each oth­er, along with music with the lyric: ‘They call me Nazi / and I’m proud of it.’ In the weeks before the attack, on Gab, a social media net­work some­times used by white nation­al­ists, Jereb had recent­ly praised Nor­we­gian mass killer Anders Breivik as a ‘hero.’ He also post­ed a dia­grammed strat­e­gy for using the Repub­lic of Flori­da mili­tia to cre­ate ‘lone wolf activists.’ . . . .”

Niko­las Cruz (insert at left)

Sev­er­al con­sid­er­a­tions to be weighed in con­nec­tion with the inci­dent:

  • Whether by coin­ci­dence or design, this inci­dent has fun­da­men­tal­ly eclipsed dis­cus­sion of the Trump admin­is­tra­tion’s bru­tal bud­getary pro­pos­als, not unlike the fash­ion in which Stephen Pad­dock­’s gun play in Las Vegas eclipsed dis­cus­sion of the GOP tax pro­pos­als.
  • In Mis­cel­la­neous  Archive Show M55, we not­ed the Nazi and Uni­fi­ca­tion Church links of one of the pro­to­typ­i­cal school shoot­ers, Patrick Edward Pur­dy. Like Cruz, he had  links to Nazi groups and–in the Moonies–a mind con­trol cult with strong intel­li­gence and Japan­ese fas­cist links.
  • In FTR #‘s 967 and 995, we not­ed that the Nazi Atom­waf­fen Divi­sion, which also gives para­mil­i­tary instruc­tion, makes ISIS-style videos advo­cat­ing “lone wolf/leaderless resis­tance” attacks, was linked to a Flori­da Nation­al Guards­man who was plan­ning to attack a nuclear pow­er plant. Giv­en that many of the Nazi/white suprema­cist groups have fluc­tu­at­ing mem­ber­ships and often over­lap each oth­er as a result, it would not be sur­pris­ing to find that Atom­waf­fen Divi­sion and ROF have some com­mon­al­i­ty.
  • In FTR #888, we high­light­ed Glenn Green­wald’s his­to­ry of run­ning legal inter­fer­ence for the “lone-wolf/lead­er­less resis­tance strat­e­gy.” Specif­i­cal­ly, Green­wald’s efforts freed groups like the Nation­al Alliance, Atom­waf­fen Divi­sion and the ROF from lit­i­ga­tion direct­ed at hold­ing the groups to civ­il lia­bil­i­ty for advo­cat­ing may­hem. This is fun­da­men­tal­ly dif­fer­ent from the excuse prof­fered by Green­wald and his defend­ers that he was work­ing against the “crim­i­nal­iza­tion of free speech.” The issue in ques­tion has noth­ing what­so­ev­er to do with crim­i­nal­iz­ing free speech. Advo­cates of “lone wolf/leaderless resis­tance” are per­fect­ly free to advo­cate vio­lence. Pri­or to Green­wald’s efforts, they were open to civ­il suits hold­ing them to account for the suf­fer­ing of vic­tims of the vio­lence espoused by ROF and their ilk. 
  • Thanks to Green­wald, they are now free to pro­pa­gan­dize for vio­lence with­out fear of incur­ring a civ­il judge­ment against them. But for Cit­i­zen Green­wald’s efforts, the sur­viv­ing vic­tims and fam­i­lies of vic­tims in the Flori­da shoot­ing might have been able to sue ROF for their suf­fer­ing. Good job Glenn! Good job Green­wald apol­o­gists!

 1.  “Flori­da school shoot­ing sus­pect linked to white suprema­cist group: ADL” by Aaron Kater­sky, Noor Ibrahim, Josh Mar­golin, Bri­an Epstein; ABC News; 02/15/2018

The Anti-Defama­tion League, a civ­il rights watch­dog, told ABC News they have infor­ma­tion they believe to be cred­i­ble link­ing Niko­las Cruz, the Flori­da school shoot­ing sus­pect, to a white suprema­cist group called Repub­lic of Flori­da.The ADL said ROF leader Jor­dan Jereb told them Cruz was asso­ci­at­ed with his group. Jereb, who is based in Tal­la­has­see, said Cruz was brought into the group by anoth­er mem­ber and had par­tic­i­pat­ed in one or more ROF train­ing exer­cis­es in the Tal­la­has­see area, the ADL said. Law enforce­ment offi­cials have not con­firmed the link.

ROF has most­ly young mem­bers in north and south Flori­da and describes itself as a “white civ­il rights orga­ni­za­tion fight­ing for white iden­ti­tar­i­an pol­i­tics” and seeks to cre­ate a “white eth­nos­tate” in Flori­da.

Three for­mer school­mates of Cruz told ABC News that Cruz was part of the group. They claimed he marched with the group fre­quent­ly and was often seen with Jereb, who also con­firmed to ABC News that Cruz was, at least at one point, part of that group.

Jereb told the ADL that ROF had not ordered Cruz to take any such action. He told ABC News he has not spo­ken to Cruz in “some time” but said “he knew he would get­ting this call.” He would not com­ment fur­ther but empha­sized that his group was not a ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion.

Fam­i­ly mem­bers, class­mates and for­mer friends described Cruz, a 19-year-old for­mer stu­dent, as a trou­bled teen who was large­ly alone in the world when he alleged­ly stormed through the school car­ry­ing an AR-15 rifle and mul­ti­ple mag­a­zines.

He was able to leave the school after the shoot­ing by blend­ing in with oth­er stu­dents who were try­ing to escape, but he was appre­hend­ed short­ly there­after. He has been answer­ing ques­tions from inves­ti­ga­tors work­ing on the case.

Cruz was adopt­ed as an infant, but he had been liv­ing with the fam­i­ly of a class­mate after the sud­den death of his adop­tive moth­er late last year. His adop­tive father died in 2005.

In an inter­view with ABC News’ George Stephanopou­los, an attor­ney for the fam­i­ly that had tak­en Cruz in for the past few months said Cruz was “depressed” fol­low­ing his mother’s death but he had been going to ther­a­py.

The fam­i­ly is still “shocked,” he said, that Cruz would alleged­ly engage in mass vio­lence.

“They indi­cat­ed they saw noth­ing like this com­ing,” Lewis said. “They nev­er saw any anger, no bad feel­ings about the school.”

They were aware that Cruz was in pos­ses­sion of a mil­i­tary-style assault weapon, he said, which two law enforce­ment offi­cials tell ABC News was legal­ly pur­chased by Cruz with­in the past year from a fed­er­al­ly licensed deal­er. They insist­ed that it be locked in a safe.

“He brought it into the home and it was in a locked gun safe,” Lewis said. “That was the con­di­tion when he came into their home that the gun was locked away.”

Cruz’s for­mer class­mates, how­ev­er, were less sur­prised.

A stu­dent who told ABC News that he par­tic­i­pat­ed in Junior ROTC with Cruz described him as a “psy­cho.” Cruz was a well-known weapons enthu­si­ast, the stu­dent said, who once tried to sell knives to a class­mate.

Anoth­er stu­dent told ABC News that before Cruz was expelled from the school he was barred from car­ry­ing a back­pack on cam­pus. The class­mate said the rule was put in place after the school found bul­let cas­ings in his bag after a fight with anoth­er stu­dent.

One stu­dent said Cruz even once threat­ened to “shoot up” the school.

“About a year ago I saw him upset in the morn­ing,” stu­dent Brent Black told ABC News. “And I was like, ‘yo what’s wrong with you?’ And he was like ‘umm, don’t know.’ And I was like ‘what’s up with you?’ He’s like ‘I swear to God I’ll shoot up this school.’ And then I was like ‘watch what you’re say­ing around me,’ and then I just left him after that. He came up to me lat­er on the day and apol­o­gized for what he said.”

On Thurs­day, the FBI issued a state­ment say­ing that it was alert­ed in 2017 to a threat on YouTube by some­one who said “I am going to be a school shoot­er.”

“In Sep­tem­ber 2017, the FBI received infor­ma­tion about a com­ment made on a YouTube chan­nel. The com­ment said, “I’m going to be a pro­fes­sion­al school shoot­er.” No oth­er infor­ma­tion was includ­ed in the com­ment which would indi­cate a par­tic­u­lar time, loca­tion, or the true iden­ti­ty of the per­son who post­ed the com­ment. The FBI con­duct­ed data­base reviews and oth­er checks, but was unable to fur­ther iden­ti­fy the per­son who post­ed the com­ment.”

Accord­ing to Broward Coun­ty Sher­iff Scott Israel, inves­ti­ga­tors have already found some “dis­turb­ing” con­tent on social media that could have pro­vid­ed warn­ing signs.

“We have already begun to dis­sect his web­sites and things on social media that he was on, and some of the things that have come to mind are very, very dis­turb­ing,” Israel said.

The pho­tos post­ed on an Insta­gram account law enforce­ment sources tell ABC News belongs to the sus­pect­ed shoot­er shows a young man dis­play­ing an arse­nal of weapons.

2. “Attor­ney: Flori­da shoot­ing sus­pect is ‘sad, mourn­ful, remorse­ful’ and ‘a bro­ken human being’” by Matt Pearce, Mol­ly Hen­nessy-Fiske and Jen­ny Jarvie; The Los Ange­les Times; 02/15/2018

The expelled stu­dent accused of killing 17 peo­ple at his for­mer South Flori­da high school is “sad, mourn­ful, remorse­ful” and “he’s just a bro­ken human being,” one of his attor­neys told reporters Thurs­day.

After a judge ordered Niko­las Cruz, 19, held with­out bond as he faces 17 counts of pre­med­i­tat­ed mur­der, defense attor­ney Melis­sa McNeil said that Cruz was “ful­ly aware of what is going on,” but had a trou­bled back­ground and lit­tle per­son­al sup­port in his life before the attack.

Cruz appeared via video, in an orange jump­suit and with his head slight­ly bowed, for an ini­tial Broward Coun­ty court hear­ing Thurs­day.

Mean­while, inves­ti­ga­tors were scour­ing Cruz’s social media posts for pos­si­ble motives or warn­ing signs of the attack. Sev­er­al social media accounts bear­ing Cruz’s name revealed a young man fas­ci­nat­ed by guns who appeared to sig­nal his inten­tions to attack a school long before the event.

Nine months ago, a YouTube user with the han­dle “niko­las cruz” post­ed a com­ment on a Dis­cov­ery UK doc­u­men­tary about the gun­man in the 1966 Uni­ver­si­ty of Texas shoot­ing that read, “I am going to what he did.”

Oth­er past com­ments by YouTube users with Cruz’s name report­ed­ly includ­ed one remark in Sep­tem­ber, say­ing: “Im going to be a pro­fes­sion­al school shoot­er.” At a news brief­ing in Flori­da, Robert Lasky, the FBI spe­cial agent in charge, con­firmed that the FBI had inves­ti­gat­ed that com­ment. But he said the agency couldn’t iden­ti­fy the per­son in ques­tion.

In anoth­er post on Insta­gram, where he post­ed pho­tos of him­self in masks and with guns, Cruz wrote anti-Mus­lim slurs and appar­ent­ly mocked the Islam­ic phrase “Allahu Akbar,” which means God is great­est.

Con­fu­sion also swirled after the leader of a white nation­al­ist mili­tia said that Cruz had trained with his armed group, a claim that drew wide atten­tion but could not be imme­di­ate­ly ver­i­fied.

The leader of the Repub­lic of Flori­da mili­tia, Jor­dan Jereb, told researchers at the Anti-Defama­tion League that Cruz had been “brought up” into the group by one of its mem­bers, the ADL said in a blog post. ABC News also claimed to have spo­ken to three peo­ple who ver­i­fied Cruz’s mem­ber­ship, but some white nation­al­ists expressed con­cern that the news out­let may have been tar­get­ed by a coor­di­nat­ed hoax.

The Repub­lic of Flori­da calls itself “a white civ­il rights orga­ni­za­tion fight­ing for white iden­ti­tar­i­an pol­i­tics” on its web­site, adding that its “cur­rent short-term goals are to occu­py urban areas to recruit sub­ur­ban young whites” in pur­suit of “the ulti­mate cre­ation of a white eth­nos­tate.”

A train­ing video the group post­ed online shows mem­bers prac­tic­ing mil­i­tary maneu­vers in cam­ou­flage cloth­ing and salut­ing each oth­er, along with music with the lyric: “They call me Nazi / and I’m proud of it.”

In the weeks before the attack, on Gab, a social media net­work some­times used by white nation­al­ists, Jereb had recent­ly praised Nor­we­gian mass killer Anders Breivik as a “hero.” He also post­ed a dia­grammed strat­e­gy for using the Repub­lic of Flori­da mili­tia to cre­ate “lone wolf activists.”

Jereb lat­er told the Asso­ci­at­ed Press that he didn’t know Cruz per­son­al­ly and that the group had no knowl­edge of his plans for the vio­lent attack. “He act­ed on his own behalf of what he just did, and he’s sole­ly respon­si­ble for what he just did,” Jereb said.

 

 

Discussion

9 comments for “Florida High School Shooting: Assist, Greenwald”

  1. I would­n’t be so quick with the ‘neo-nazi’ label and jar­gon this ear­ly into the stage­craft of WHATEVER 3 let­ter agency may be run­ning a psy ops PR event.
    The Repub­lic of Flori­da mili­tia may be well be just anoth­er asset,a lim­it­ed mod­i­fied hang­out to use the term.

    Posted by JOHN COKOS | February 17, 2018, 7:21 am
  2. We should revis­it the mur­ders com­mit­ted by “18-year-old Devon Arthurs, one of Atomwaffen’s found­ing mem­bers, was charged in state court in Tam­pa, Flori­da, with mur­der­ing two of his room­mates, Andrew Oneschuk, 18, and Jere­my Him­mel­man, 22. Both vic­tims were Atom­waf­fen loy­al­ists.” This was cov­ered in FTR # 995 and the orga­ni­za­ton Atom­waf­fen was cov­ered in FTR #667.

    https://www.propublica.org/article/california-murder-suspect-atomwaffen-division-extremist-hate-group

    This Jan­u­ary 26, 2018 arti­cle in ProP­ub­li­ca, by Ali Win­ston, involved a seri­ous event that sur­pris­ing­ly got min­i­mal press cov­er­age in terms of its impli­ca­tions. The arti­cle stat­ed.

    “When law enforce­ment searched the apart­ment in Tam­pa, Flori­da, where Arthurs and the oth­ers lived, they found firearms, a framed pho­to­graph of Okla­homa City bomber Tim­o­thy McVeigh, rifles, ammu­ni­tion, and a cool­er full of a high­ly volatile explo­sive called HMTD. Inves­ti­ga­tors also dis­cov­ered radioac­tive mate­r­i­al in the home.” There are a cou­ple of points in this para­graph worth not­ing. First, Arthurs had pho­to­graph of Nazi Tim­o­thy McVeigh who con­spired to blow up the Okla­homa City Fed­er­al Build­ing is a clue to this under­ground Nazi orga­ni­za­tion. The sec­ond is that they found “high­ly volatile explo­sives” and radioac­tive mate­ri­als” in his home. Was he plan­ning on mak­ing a dirty bomb? It rais­es as seri­ous ques­tion as to how many oth­er naz­i’s have sim­i­lar mate­r­i­al and plans.

    “The bomb-mak­ing mate­r­i­al belonged to a fourth room­mate, Atom­waf­fen leader Bran­don Rus­sell, a Flori­da Nation­al Guards­man. Arthurs told author­i­ties that Rus­sell had been plan­ning to blow up a nuclear pow­er plant near Mia­mi. Ear­li­er this month Rus­sell plead­ed guilty in fed­er­al dis­trict court in Tam­pa to ille­gal pos­ses­sion of ​​explo­sives and was sen­tenced to five years in fed­er­al prison.” Note that th​is netw​ork w​as​ plot­ting to do seri­ous dam­age by blow­ing up a nuclear facility​, but got essen­tial­ly no cov­er­age in the press.

    The arti­cle also men­tions that “The mur­ders alleged­ly occurred after Arthurs trad­ed Nazism for rad­i­cal Islam.”. Keep in mind the fact that the Nazis employed rad­i­cal islam­ics in units such as the Han­jar Divi­sion of the Waf­fen SS. Also, was he going to make a dirty bomb and have it blamed on islamists to cre­ate a zena­pho­bic atmos­phere and jus­ti­fy the reduc­tion of civ­il lib­er­ties?

    “The orga­ni­za­tion, which cel­e­brates Hitler and Charles Man­son, has been tied to four oth­er mur­ders and an elab­o­rate bomb plot over the past eight months.” Note that Charles Man­son had a swasti­ka tat­tooed on his fore­head, hoped to start a race war in the US, and his peo­ple killed Sharon Tate who was pre­vi­ous­ly told by Robert Kennedy that he was going to open up the inves­ti­ga­tion into the Kennedy Assas­i­na­tion pri­or to his own assas­si­na­tion.

    Posted by Mary Benton | February 17, 2018, 7:30 am
  3. Here’s an illus­tra­tive exam­ple of how the ‘Alt-Right’ cul­ture of hoax­es and trolling might get used to obscure the role the far-right plays in domes­tic ter­ror attacks and actu­al­ly encour­age them: So it appears that the sto­ry about Niko­las Cruz being a mem­ber of the Repub­lic of Flori­da (ROF) neo-Nazi ‘mili­tia’, includ­ing the “three for­mer class­mates” who con­firmed that he was fre­quent­ly seen march­ing with the ROF, was actu­al­ly a hoax being per­pe­trat­ed by far-right trolls on the 4Chan mes­sage board. Yes, there are actu­al threads on 4Chan where mem­bers talk about how they are in con­tact with report­ed and dis­cus­sions on what an oppor­tu­ni­ty it is to troll the media. Threads that any­one can poten­tial­ly read. So it was a a hoax that was seem­ing­ly designed to be quick­ly found and iden­ti­fied as a hoax.

    And a hoax that relied on the leader of the ROP, Jor­dan Jereb, first telling mul­ti­ple reporters that, yes, Cruz was part of his group, only to walk it back by say­ing he was mis­in­formed and con­fused.

    Addi­tion­al­ly, the ABC News report that men­tioned the “3 for­mer class­mates” who cor­rob­o­rat­ed that Cruz was fre­quent­ly seen march­ing with the ROF has been tak­en down (an archived ver­sion is avail­able here).

    And as we’re going to see below, CNN is also inves­ti­gat­ing mes­sages that may have been cre­at­ed by Cruz on a now-delet­ed pri­vate Youtube account. The mes­sages were post­ed in a pri­vate Insta­gram group where Cruz talks exten­sive­ly about his neo-Nazi views. So it’s pos­si­ble Youtube con­tains a record of Cruz espous­ing neo-Nazi ideals but it’s also pos­si­ble this is anoth­er lay­er of the hoax.

    So almost imme­di­ate­ly after the attack we have a very pub­lic hoax pulled off by the ‘Alt-Right’ that appears to be designed to dis­cred­it the idea that Cruz was a fel­low neo-Nazi. And only now, after the media has wide­ly report­ed that Cruz’s ties to neo-Nazis is a big hoax, do we get the reports about pri­vate mes­sages that con­firm that, yes, Cruz real­ly was a mur­der­ous neo-Nazi. But those pri­vate mes­sages could, them­selves, be an ongo­ing exam­ple of this hoax. And it’s large­ly up to Youtube to con­firm or refute it. It’s a big exam­ple of how a cul­ture of trolling and hoax­es is vital to the neo-Nazi under­ground grow­ing pub­lic pres­ence.

    First, here’s a piece detail­ing the schem­ing on 4Chan about hoax­ing news orga­ni­za­tions about Cruz’s ties to the ROF. The pub­lic schem­ing on 4Chan:

    Politi­co

    How white nation­al­ists fooled the media about Flori­da shoot­er
    ABC, AP and oth­ers ran with false infor­ma­tion on shooter’s ties to extrem­ist groups.

    By SHAWN MUSGRAVE
    02/16/2018 03:13 PM EST
    Updat­ed 02/16/2018 06:27 PM EST

    Fol­low­ing mis­rep­re­sen­ta­tions by a white nation­al­ist leader and coor­di­nat­ed efforts by inter­net trolls, numer­ous researchers and media out­lets spread a seem­ing­ly false claim that the man charged with killing more than a dozen peo­ple at a Flori­da high school belonged to an extrem­ist group.

    Law enforce­ment agen­cies say they have no evi­dence so far to sup­port this claim, and the rumor appears to have been per­pe­trat­ed by white nation­al­ist trolls them­selves.

    On Thurs­day after­noon, the Anti-Defama­tion League report­ed that a white suprema­cist group claimed ties with Niko­las Cruz, who con­fessed to the shoot­ing spree that killed at least 17 peo­ple, includ­ing many high-school stu­dents, at Mar­jo­ry Stone­man Dou­glas High School in Park­land, Flori­da.

    “A spokesper­son for the white suprema­cist group Repub­lic of Flori­da (ROF) told the Anti-Defama­tion League on Thurs­day, Feb­ru­ary 15, that Niko­las Cruz [....] was asso­ci­at­ed with his group,” the ADL report­ed. The ADL quot­ed a man named Jor­dan Jereb, who runs the small group, which is based in Tal­la­has­see.

    “Jereb added that ROF had not ordered or want­ed Cruz to do any­thing like the school shoot­ing,” the ADL wrote in a blog post that was quick­ly picked up by ABC News and The Asso­ci­at­ed Press, and lat­er per­co­lat­ed through dozens of oth­er media out­lets. Even The Dai­ly Stormer, a neo-Nazi web­site, picked up the claim.

    Some out­lets report­ed they had their own con­ver­sa­tions with Jereb or class­mates of Cruz who alleged­ly cor­rob­o­rat­ed the asso­ci­a­tion of Cruz with ROF.

    But a few hours lat­er, after law enforce­ment agen­cies said they had no evi­dence link­ing Cruz to ROF, Jereb said his iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of Cruz was a “mis­un­der­stand­ing” and that he, too, had been the sub­ject of a “prank.” On online forums and Twit­ter, trolls and white nation­al­ists gloat­ed at the dis­in­for­ma­tion they had sowed.

    “All of our evi­dence seems to point to the ADL get­ting this wrong,” said Joan Dono­van, a researcher who tracks online mis­in­for­ma­tion cam­paigns for Data & Soci­ety, a think tank in New York City.

    The ADL sub­se­quent­ly revised its report, as did many news out­lets.

    ...

    At a news con­fer­ence on Thurs­day, Broward Coun­ty Sher­iff Scott Israel told reporters that such a con­nec­tion was “not con­firmed at this time,” but that law enforce­ment was con­tin­u­ing to inves­ti­gate. The sher­if­f’s office in Leon Coun­ty, which con­tains Tal­la­has­see, lat­er told the Tal­la­has­see Demo­c­rat that it had found “no known ties between the ROF, Jor­dan Jereb or the Broward shoot­er.”

    Dono­van called this an instance of “source hack­ing,” a tac­tic by which fringe groups coor­di­nate to feed false infor­ma­tion to author­i­ta­tive sources such as ADL researchers. These experts, in turn, dis­sem­i­nate the infor­ma­tion to reporters, and it reach­es thou­sands of read­ers before it can be debunked.

    “It’s a very effec­tive way of get­ting duped,” Dono­van said.

    The ADL traced its orig­i­nal tip to posts on 4chan, where researchers found “self-described ROF mem­bers” claim­ing that Cruz was a broth­er-in-arms. But many of those posts seem to have been writ­ten specif­i­cal­ly to deceive reporters and researchers.

    On Wednes­day, an anony­mous 4chan user post­ed about receiv­ing a mes­sage on Insta­gram from an ABC News reporter after mak­ing a joke sug­gest­ing he knew Cruz.

    “Prime trolling oppor­tu­ni­ty,” anoth­er user replied.

    “You have to take advan­tage of this,” a third chimed in.

    He asked for proof of the reporter’s iden­ti­ty, accord­ing to post­ed screen­shots from their cor­re­spon­dence. The reporter pro­vid­ed an offi­cial email address and sent a pho­to of an ABC iden­ti­fi­ca­tion badge.

    Some on the 4chan thread joked about send­ing back obscene pho­tos, but oth­ers gave con­crete tips for trick­ing the reporter: “Keep talk­ing to her so she gains your trust”; “Keep this going be real­is­tic ... say you have known him for years you met him on a Lib­er­al Face­book page years ago and you have kept in touch”; “Say you are scared to tell her in case you get blamed, it will get her excit­ed you know some­thing big.”

    This par­tic­u­lar 4chan user seems to have sent the reporter a racist car­toon and was quick­ly blocked. Many on the forum ripped into him for miss­ing a “a gold­en oppor­tu­ni­ty.”

    “You could have told her the shoot­er took ‘an unusu­al inter­est in islam late­ly,’” one user wrote.

    But the trolls now had a shared objec­tive: dis­sem­i­nate dis­in­for­ma­tion about Cruz. It’s unclear when exact­ly they set­tled on a nar­ra­tive that includ­ed Jereb and ROF.

    In posts to a neo-Nazi Web forum called The Right Stuff, a user called “Jor­dan Fash” said the idea orig­i­nat­ed in a group chat on Dis­cord, an app for gamers that is pop­u­lar with white nation­al­ists and the alt-right. (“Fash” is com­mon inter­net short­hand for “fas­cist.”)

    Accord­ing to Jor­dan Fash, an ABC News reporter reached out to one of the group’s mem­bers on Insta­gram. The group passed around her num­ber and told her Cruz was asso­ci­at­ed with Jereb. Group mem­bers com­mu­ni­cat­ed with at least two ABC News reporters in a coor­di­nat­ed effort.

    Their cor­re­spon­dence was not post­ed online in its entire­ty. In some of the post­ed exchanges, the reporters asked trolls to sub­stan­ti­ate their sto­ries.

    “Not to sug­gest that you aren’t being truth­ful, but it would be very help­ful if you could let me know how you know that,” one of the ABC News reporters wrote to one per­son via Insta­gram, accord­ing to screen­shots post­ed to 4chan on Thurs­day.

    “It was com­mon knowl­edge he did ral­lies with ROF, I fre­quent­ly saw him con­vers­ing with Jor­dan Jereb in per­son,” the per­son, whom the reporter addressed as “Ethan,” respond­ed. Jor­dan Fash post­ed some of the same screen­shots to The Right Stuff.

    “I was there. These are screen caps tak­en from when this shirt start­ed. 99% of it was done on the phone,” Jor­dan Fash wrote.

    In posts to Gab, a social-net­work­ing site used by many in the alt-right, ear­ly Fri­day morn­ing, one user said the Dis­cord group “spent around 18 hours orches­trat­ing, con­tact­ing ABC, being inter­viewed by reporters, etc.”

    Mem­bers swapped links to arti­cles that iden­ti­fied Cruz as a mem­ber of ROF, cel­e­brat­ing each sto­ry and keep­ing a tal­ly of media inter­view attempts.

    “ABC mes­saged me. Asked to use my name in this arti­cle,” wrote one user.

    “This is spread­ing like wild­fire,” wrote anoth­er user, “Rene­gade,” after some­one in the chat shared a link to the ADL blog post.

    “All it takes is a sin­gle arti­cle,” the first user wrote back. “And every­one else picks up the sto­ry.”

    ABC News report­ed that its reporters spoke with three “for­mer school­mates” of Cruz, but did not indi­cate whether these com­mu­ni­ca­tions were over social media. A spokesper­son for ABC News declined to com­ment on how its reporters vet­ted the iden­ti­ties of these pur­port­ed acquain­tances.

    For its part, an AP spokesper­son said, “AP spoke with the leader of Repub­lic of Flori­da, who said Cruz was a mem­ber of his group and had par­tic­i­pat­ed in exer­cis­es in Tal­la­has­see. In the course of con­tin­ued report­ing, police and oth­er groups were not able to con­firm Cruz’s asso­ci­a­tion with the white nation­al­ist mili­tia, and that is what is reflect­ed on the wire.”

    Oth­ers in the Dis­cord chat said they were con­tact­ed by a reporter from The New York Times.

    At some point, the trolls start­ed a “con­fes­sion­al” 4chan thread ded­i­cat­ed to con­vinc­ing read­ers that Cruz had been a mem­ber of ROF. The ADL con­firmed this 4chan post was the one that led to their blog post.

    “After see­ing that 4chan post, we called Jereb and he told us what he told us,” said an ADL spokesper­son.

    “I’ve kept qui­et for long enough,” reads the first anony­mous mes­sage on the 4chan thread. “I’ve decid­ed that its time the world know the truth about ROF.”

    “Niko­las Cruz was a rev­o­lu­tion­ary mem­ber of the Repub­lic of Flori­da, who preached twist­ed and dark things like ter­ror­ism and attack­ing inno­cent peo­ple.”

    The anony­mous user claimed to be a for­mer ROF mem­ber and post­ed a pho­to titled “Me and nick.jpg,” which depict­ed two men pos­ing with the ROF flag.

    Anoth­er post­ed a blur­ry pho­to of ROF mem­bers that was seem­ing­ly tak­en from a blog ded­i­cat­ed to coun­ter­ing extrem­ism in Tal­la­has­see.

    On the Dis­cord chat, a user called Curb­stomp sug­gest­ed shar­ing gener­ic pho­tos of ROF and claim­ing they depict­ed Cruz.

    “I have an idea. ... We can just take a pic of masked ROF mem­bers and claim one of them is Cruz,” Curb­stomp wrote.

    Mem­bers of the Dis­cord chat swapped poten­tial pho­tos.

    Oth­ers joined the cho­rus on 4chan, inter­spers­ing jokes with pur­port­ed con­fir­ma­tions.

    “I can con­firm this guy was try­ing to enact a race war and got kicked out of ROF,” wrote anoth­er poster.

    It’s unclear how direct­ly involved Jereb was in the decep­tion effort. Jor­dan Fash wrote on The Right Stuff that Jereb some­times “hangs around” in their Dis­cord chats.

    The post­ed screen­shots show a Dis­cord user called “The Florid­i­an” who seems to claim mem­ber­ship in ROF and who recounts calls with the ADL and reporters.

    “Its fun­ny the ADL guy said ‘I just want to warn you your group is going to be under scruti­ny,’ ” The Florid­i­an wrote.

    “Also ABC called back they are hav­ing trou­ble ver­i­fy­ing Niko­las envolve­ment,” The Florid­i­an also wrote. ABC News report­ed speak­ing with Jereb direct­ly, as did the AP, The Dai­ly Beast, and oth­er out­lets.

    “ROF now has a high­er kill ratio than Atom­waf­fen,” The Florid­i­an laughed in recount­ing the calls, refer­ring to a small neo-Nazi group in Flori­da that is report­ed­ly linked to sev­er­al mur­ders.

    The Florid­i­an also claimed to have been con­tact­ed by “the feds.”

    “I told the feds I have noth­ing to do with Cruz,” The Florid­i­an wrote. “I told them it was a prank and that I was also con­fused.”

    Jereb lat­er seemed to deflect respon­si­bil­i­ty, call­ing it all a “legit mis­un­der­stand­ing” because ROF has mul­ti­ple peo­ple named Nicholas.

    “You real­ize I was­n’t in on the prank? You real­ize I thought the infor­ma­tion I was being giv­en was legit?” he wrote on Gab, sug­gest­ing that his fel­low white nation­al­ists owed him an apol­o­gy.

    Jereb did not respond to a phone mes­sage or an email.

    As the sto­ry spread even fur­ther, one Dis­cord user post­ed a tweet from the AP: “BREAKING: Leader of white nation­al­ist group has con­firmed sus­pect in Flori­da school shoot­ing was mem­ber of his orga­ni­za­tion.” It had been retweet­ed more than 35,000 times at that point.

    The group crowed at such a quan­tifi­able achieve­ment.

    “Those 35 thou­sand peo­ple aren’t going to change their minds,” wrote one mem­ber, mock­ing those who would read the press cov­er­age he and his friends con­coct­ed.

    “They’re lem­mings. ... They will go to the grave con­vinced that the shoot­er was a white nation­al­ist.”

    By Thurs­day evening, 4chan users were cel­e­brat­ing their efforts, post­ing screen­shots of their com­mu­ni­ca­tions with reporters and faux posts pre­tend­ing to be ROF mem­bers.

    “[T]hey are so hun­gry for a sto­ry that they’ll just believe any­thing as long as its cor­rob­o­rat­ed by a few peo­ple and seems legit,” wrote the cre­ator of one 4chan thread.

    Dono­van, the dis­in­for­ma­tion researcher, said reporters need to be more vig­i­lant against these kinds of cam­paigns, which are going to get only more com­mon and more sophis­ti­cat­ed.

    “We have to start think­ing of these white nation­al­ist groups as what some of them describe them­selves — ‘media mili­tias,’” said Dono­van. “They think of media as adver­sar­i­al ter­ri­to­ry.”

    ———-

    “How white nation­al­ists fooled the media about Flori­da shoot­er” by SHAWN MUSGRAVE; Politi­co; 02/16/2018

    “Dono­van called this an instance of “source hack­ing,” a tac­tic by which fringe groups coor­di­nate to feed false infor­ma­tion to author­i­ta­tive sources such as ADL researchers. These experts, in turn, dis­sem­i­nate the infor­ma­tion to reporters, and it reach­es thou­sands of read­ers before it can be debunked.”

    “Source hack­ing”. That’s the term for what the ‘Alt-Right’ neo-Nazis were employ­ing. And note how the only way for “source hack­ing” to actu­al­ly work is for it to be iden­ti­fied as a hoax. And these fig­ures cer­tain­ly made sure it was iden­ti­fied as a hoax. Rapid­ly iden­ti­fied as a hoax. The first “tips” that Cruz was asso­ci­at­ed with the ROF orig­i­nat­ed on 4Chan, which is also where much of the pub­lic dis­cus­sion about it being a hoax took place:

    ...
    The ADL traced its orig­i­nal tip to posts on 4chan, where researchers found “self-described ROF mem­bers” claim­ing that Cruz was a broth­er-in-arms. But many of those posts seem to have been writ­ten specif­i­cal­ly to deceive reporters and researchers.

    On Wednes­day, an anony­mous 4chan user post­ed about receiv­ing a mes­sage on Insta­gram from an ABC News reporter after mak­ing a joke sug­gest­ing he knew Cruz.

    “Prime trolling oppor­tu­ni­ty,” anoth­er user replied.

    “You have to take advan­tage of this,” a third chimed in.
    ...

    “On Wednes­day, an anony­mous 4chan user post­ed about receiv­ing a mes­sage on Insta­gram from an ABC News reporter after mak­ing a joke sug­gest­ing he knew Cruz.”

    So a 4Chan user posts on 4Chan about receiv­ing a mes­sage on Insta­gram from an ABC News reporter about ‘mak­ing a joke sug­gest­ing he knew Cruz.’ Note that, in doing so, this anony­mous 4Chan use is appear­ing to pub­licly refute the idea that he knew Cruz and keep in mind that, in the arti­cle we’re going to look at below, it was an Insta­gram pri­vate mes­sage board where Cruz dis­cuss­es his neo-Nazi views. So you real­ly have to won­der if this 4Chan user is one of the mem­bers of that pri­vate Insta­gram group.

    And after post­ing about get­ting con­tact­ed by the reporter, the 4Chan peo­ple talk about how to hoax jour­nal­ists. A hoax that, again, is clear­ly designed to be rapid­ly iden­ti­fied as a hoax. Although the ini­tial hoax sug­ges­tions appear to be to sug­gest that Cruz was a lib­er­al or con­vert­ed to Islam:

    ...
    He asked for proof of the reporter’s iden­ti­ty, accord­ing to post­ed screen­shots from their cor­re­spon­dence. The reporter pro­vid­ed an offi­cial email address and sent a pho­to of an ABC iden­ti­fi­ca­tion badge.

    Some on the 4chan thread joked about send­ing back obscene pho­tos, but oth­ers gave con­crete tips for trick­ing the reporter: “Keep talk­ing to her so she gains your trust”; “Keep this going be real­is­tic ... say you have known him for years you met him on a Lib­er­al Face­book page years ago and you have kept in touch”; “Say you are scared to tell her in case you get blamed, it will get her excit­ed you know some­thing big.”

    This par­tic­u­lar 4chan user seems to have sent the reporter a racist car­toon and was quick­ly blocked. Many on the forum ripped into him for miss­ing a “a gold­en oppor­tu­ni­ty.”

    “You could have told her the shoot­er took ‘an unusu­al inter­est in islam late­ly,’” one user wrote.

    But the trolls now had a shared objec­tive: dis­sem­i­nate dis­in­for­ma­tion about Cruz. It’s unclear when exact­ly they set­tled on a nar­ra­tive that includ­ed Jereb and ROF.
    ...

    But the dis­cus­sion of this hoax­ing cam­paign were lim­it­ed to 4Chan. There were also dis­cus­sions on the neo-Nazi online forum The Right Stuff, where a user, “Jor­dan Fash,” claims the whole idea of cre­at­ing this hoax orig­i­nat­ed on a group chat on an app called Dis­cord that’s pop­u­lar with neo-Nazis. And this same user claims an ABC News reporter reached out to a mem­ber of that chat group over Insta­gram (the same sto­ry that the 4Chan user claimed above). And it was this same user who then claims they told the reporter that Cruz was fre­quent­ly seen with the ROF:

    ...

    In posts to a neo-Nazi Web forum called The Right Stuff, a user called “Jor­dan Fash” said the idea orig­i­nat­ed in a group chat on Dis­cord, an app for gamers that is pop­u­lar with white nation­al­ists and the alt-right. (“Fash” is com­mon inter­net short­hand for “fas­cist.”)

    Accord­ing to Jor­dan Fash, an ABC News reporter reached out to one of the group’s mem­bers on Insta­gram. The group passed around her num­ber and told her Cruz was asso­ci­at­ed with Jereb. Group mem­bers com­mu­ni­cat­ed with at least two ABC News reporters in a coor­di­nat­ed effort.

    Their cor­re­spon­dence was not post­ed online in its entire­ty. In some of the post­ed exchanges, the reporters asked trolls to sub­stan­ti­ate their sto­ries.

    “Not to sug­gest that you aren’t being truth­ful, but it would be very help­ful if you could let me know how you know that,” one of the ABC News reporters wrote to one per­son via Insta­gram, accord­ing to screen­shots post­ed to 4chan on Thurs­day.

    “It was com­mon knowl­edge he did ral­lies with ROF, I fre­quent­ly saw him con­vers­ing with Jor­dan Jereb in per­son,” the per­son, whom the reporter addressed as “Ethan,” respond­ed. Jor­dan Fash post­ed some of the same screen­shots to The Right Stuff.

    “I was there. These are screen caps tak­en from when this shirt start­ed. 99% of it was done on the phone,” Jor­dan Fash wrote.
    ...

    And there were sim­i­lar claims on Gab, a social-net­work­ing site pop­u­lar with neo-Nazis:

    ...
    In posts to Gab, a social-net­work­ing site used by many in the alt-right, ear­ly Fri­day morn­ing, one user said the Dis­cord group “spent around 18 hours orches­trat­ing, con­tact­ing ABC, being inter­viewed by reporters, etc.”

    Mem­bers swapped links to arti­cles that iden­ti­fied Cruz as a mem­ber of ROF, cel­e­brat­ing each sto­ry and keep­ing a tal­ly of media inter­view attempts.

    “ABC mes­saged me. Asked to use my name in this arti­cle,” wrote one user.

    “This is spread­ing like wild­fire,” wrote anoth­er user, “Rene­gade,” after some­one in the chat shared a link to the ADL blog post.

    “All it takes is a sin­gle arti­cle,” the first user wrote back. “And every­one else picks up the sto­ry.”

    ABC News report­ed that its reporters spoke with three “for­mer school­mates” of Cruz, but did not indi­cate whether these com­mu­ni­ca­tions were over social media. A spokesper­son for ABC News declined to com­ment on how its reporters vet­ted the iden­ti­ties of these pur­port­ed acquain­tances.
    ...

    So that all appears to be the core ele­ments of the pub­licly avail­able dis­cus­sions by the ‘Alt-Right’ neo-Nazis that they were car­ry­ing out this hoax. And, again, as we’ll see below, it’s a ‘Cruz is a neo-Nazi’ hoax that appears to be actu­al­ly backed up by Cruz’s own posts on a pri­vate Youtube account. But those mes­sages from Cruz were post­ed on a pri­vate Insta­gram mes­sage board.

    And let’s not for­get the role ROF leader Jor­dan Jereb played in this, first claim­ing that, yes, Cruz was a mem­ber, and then back­track­ing and act­ing like he was a vic­tim of this same hoax. And not how “Jor­dan Fash” actu­al­ly claims Jereb “hangs around” on their Dis­cord chats...the same place this hoax appar­ent­ly orig­i­nat­ed. And “Jor­dan Fash” even post­ed screen­shot on “The Right Stuff” of a Dis­cord mem­ber called “The Florid­i­an” dis­cussing his inter­ac­tions with an ABC News reporter:

    ...
    It’s unclear how direct­ly involved Jereb was in the decep­tion effort. Jor­dan Fash wrote on The Right Stuff that Jereb some­times “hangs around” in their Dis­cord chats.

    The post­ed screen­shots show a Dis­cord user called “The Florid­i­an” who seems to claim mem­ber­ship in ROF and who recounts calls with the ADL and reporters.

    “Its fun­ny the ADL guy said ‘I just want to warn you your group is going to be under scruti­ny,’ ” The Florid­i­an wrote.

    “Also ABC called back they are hav­ing trou­ble ver­i­fy­ing Niko­las envolve­ment,” The Florid­i­an also wrote. ABC News report­ed speak­ing with Jereb direct­ly, as did the AP, The Dai­ly Beast, and oth­er out­lets.

    “ROF now has a high­er kill ratio than Atom­waf­fen,” The Florid­i­an laughed in recount­ing the calls, refer­ring to a small neo-Nazi group in Flori­da that is report­ed­ly linked to sev­er­al mur­ders.

    The Florid­i­an also claimed to have been con­tact­ed by “the feds.”

    “I told the feds I have noth­ing to do with Cruz,” The Florid­i­an wrote. “I told them it was a prank and that I was also con­fused.”

    Jereb lat­er seemed to deflect respon­si­bil­i­ty, call­ing it all a “legit mis­un­der­stand­ing” because ROF has mul­ti­ple peo­ple named Nicholas.

    “You real­ize I was­n’t in on the prank? You real­ize I thought the infor­ma­tion I was being giv­en was legit?” he wrote on Gab, sug­gest­ing that his fel­low white nation­al­ists owed him an apol­o­gy.
    ...

    ““I told the feds I have noth­ing to do with Cruz,” The Florid­i­an wrote. “I told them it was a prank and that I was also con­fused.””

    So it would appear that “The Florid­i­an” is indeed Jereb post­ing to the Dis­cord group chat where all this orig­i­nat­ed. Unless, of course, the screen­shots of “The Florid­i­an” that “Jor­dan Fash” post­ed to “The Right Stuff” neo-Nazi forum were them­selves hoax­es. But it sure does­n’t seem out­landish that “The Florid­i­an” is indeed Jereb.

    So it would appear that Jor­dan Jereb, leader of the ROF, was coor­di­nat­ing with the rest of the neo-Nazis were were cook­ing up this hoax over a Dis­cord group chat. And the evi­dence of this is the evi­dence post­ed by “Jor­dan Fash” on “The Right Stuff,” online forum. So the whole world can see it, which is, again, part of how this entire hoax oper­a­tion has a prob­lem with get­ting iden­ti­fied as a hoax oper­a­tion.

    So there is clear­ly a big gas light­ing ele­ment to all this. But as we’re going to see, it’s a gas light­ing ele­ment that pos­si­bly obscures the fact that Cruz does actu­al­ly appear to hold neo-Nazi views. Views he may have expressed on a pri­vate Youtube account that were post­ed to a pri­vate Insta­gram group that CNN just report­ed on. Recall that the 4Chan user who ini­tial­ly post­ed about get­ting con­tact­ed by an ABC News report­ed was con­tact­ed over Insta­gram after ‘jok­ing’ over Insta­gram about know­ing Cruz. And “Jor­dan Fash” also wrote that one of the mem­bers of the Dis­cord group chat was also con­tact­ed by an ABC News reporter over Insta­gram.

    So were the peo­ple who were behind the pub­lic ‘hoax’ also mem­bers of this pri­vate Insta­gram group where Cruz express­es his neo-Nazi views? And are these posts on the Insta­gram account of these Youtube chats real or fake? Keep in mind that they report­ed­ly go back to August 2017 and the group large­ly involves six peo­ple. So if it’s a hoax, it’s poten­tial­ly a more elab­o­rate one than the above ‘hoax’ because months of chats would would have be rapid­ly gen­er­at­ed to show to jour­nal­ists:

    CNN

    Exclu­sive: Group chat mes­sages show school shoot­er obsessed with race, vio­lence and guns

    By Paul P. Mur­phy, CNN
    Updat­ed 0304 GMT (1104 HKT) Feb­ru­ary 17, 2018

    (CNN)In a pri­vate Insta­gram group chat, con­fessed school shoot­er Niko­las Cruz repeat­ed­ly espoused racist, homo­pho­bic and anti-Semit­ic views and dis­played an obses­sion with vio­lence and guns.

    Wednes­day, 19-year-old Cruz opened fire at the school that expelled him, Mar­jo­ry Stone­man Dou­glas High School in Park­land, Flori­da. Author­i­ties say he killed 17 with his legal­ly pur­chased AR-15.

    CNN, inves­ti­gat­ing com­ments the shoot­er may have left on a now-delet­ed YouTube chan­nel, was added to the pri­vate Insta­gram group by one of the active mem­bers in it. The respond­ing group mem­bers, who appear to be younger than 18, have refused to con­firm their iden­ti­ties to CNN on or off the record.

    When asked for com­ment or whether they knew about the pri­vate chat group, the FBI direct­ed CNN to the Broward Coun­ty Sher­if­f’s Office.

    Most of the con­ver­sa­tion in the group since Cruz joined around August 2017 is between six peo­ple — includ­ing Cruz.

    “I hate jews, ni**ers, immi­grants”

    Racism was a con­stant theme in the chat group, which was called “Muri­ca (Amer­i­can flag emo­ji) (eagle emo­ji) great” — a name it was giv­en by Cruz.

    The hatred he and oth­ers in the group espoused met lit­tle resis­tance from its active mem­bers. In one part of the group chat, Cruz wrote that he hat­ed, “jews, ni**ers, immi­grants.”

    He talked about killing Mex­i­cans, keep­ing black peo­ple in chains and cut­ting their necks. The state­ments were not made in jest.

    There are hun­dreds of racist mes­sages, racist memes and racist Insta­gram videos post­ed in the group.

    One mem­ber even joked about Cruz’s par­tic­u­lar ven­omous­ness, say­ing that although he hat­ed black peo­ple, too, he did­n’t “to a point I wan­na kill the (sic) like nick.”

    Cruz said he hat­ed black peo­ple sim­ply because they were black; Cruz hat­ed Jews because he believed they want­ed to destroy the world.

    After one mem­ber expressed hatred for gay peo­ple, Cruz agreed, say­ing, “Shoot them in the back of head.”

    White women drew Cruz’s hatred as well, specif­i­cal­ly those in inter­ra­cial rela­tion­ships, whom he referred to repeat­ed­ly as trai­tors.

    There are no indi­ca­tions in the group chat that any mem­ber, includ­ing Cruz, is or was part of a white nation­al­ist or white suprema­cist group.

    Cruz used pay­check for body armor

    Cruz pur­chased an AR-15 rifle in Flori­da approx­i­mate­ly a year ago, legal­ly. A law enforce­ment source told CNN’s Evan Perez that Cruz pur­chased at least five guns in the past year.

    In a pub­lic post on his Insta­gram page, Cruz showed what he called an “arse­nal” on a bed — sev­en guns and body armor. Anoth­er post on the page is a view down the bar­rel of a gun with a holo­graph­ic sight out a win­dow onto the street.

    His AR-15 and oth­er guns were a fre­quent top­ic of con­ver­sa­tion in the group chat.

    They even cri­tiqued Cruz’s rifle grip. He post­ed a short video of him­self shoot­ing a rifle out­side a win­dow at night. The video cuts out short­ly after the round is fired.

    They dis­cussed which guns they liked bet­ter: M16s or AKs.

    At one point, one mem­ber told Cruz, “Nick get this for your AR.” He direct­ed Nick to a web­site offer­ing an after-mar­ket acces­so­ry that would turn his AR-15 into a ful­ly auto­mat­ic weapon.

    A law enforce­ment source speak­ing to CNN’s Evan Perez said that the gun used in the school shoot­ing was not auto­mat­ic, and there’s no indi­ca­tion he bought the acces­so­ry, or a sim­i­lar type of acces­so­ry.

    When it was pay­day, Cruz let the group know where the mon­ey was going to be spent.

    “Guys I got paid 330. I am buy­ing body armor,” he wrote.

    Cruz did pur­chase the body armor, accord­ing to receipts he post­ed in the chat — with a $30 dis­count and free ship­ping.

    Then he asked the group whether it was legal to wear body armor to school.

    “School shoot­ers,” he replied, when some­one asked why he want­ed to know.

    “I think I am going to kill peo­ple”

    The bio on one of his Insta­gram accounts read, “anni­hi­la­tor.”

    At one point in the chat, he wrote, “I think I am going to kill peo­ple.” After a mem­ber told him not to say things like that, he said he was just play­ing.

    Dur­ing one of the anti-Semit­ic rants in the chat, Cruz spoke of his birth moth­er, say­ing, “My real mom was a Jew. I am glad I nev­er met her.”

    Roger and Lyn­da Cruz adopt­ed Cruz when he was a child. Roger died in 2004, and Lyn­da died last fall after an ill­ness.

    In his first mes­sage to the chat group, Cruz bragged about writ­ing a let­ter to Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump — and receiv­ing a response. CNN reached out to the White House for com­ment about any cor­re­spon­dence to and from Cruz but has not heard back.

    ...

    In two instances, Cruz also dis­cussed killing small ani­mals.

    He post­ed a pho­to on his Insta­gram account of a dis­em­bow­eled frog, say­ing he had killed it because one had killed his dog. In the Insta­gram chat, he describes killing a num­ber of birds with his gun.

    Some mem­bers of the chat were wor­ried he might have killed endan­gered ani­mals.

    “He seemed nice but also had some men­tal issues,” one mem­ber told CNN. “All (I know) is that he likes guns and real­ly hates lib­er­als.”

    ———-

    “Exclu­sive: Group chat mes­sages show school shoot­er obsessed with race, vio­lence and guns” by Paul P. Mur­phy, CNN; 02/17/2018

    “CNN, inves­ti­gat­ing com­ments the shoot­er may have left on a now-delet­ed YouTube chan­nel, was added to the pri­vate Insta­gram group by one of the active mem­bers in it. The respond­ing group mem­bers, who appear to be younger than 18, have refused to con­firm their iden­ti­ties to CNN on or off the record.”

    So it’s an ongo­ing CNN inves­ti­ga­tion and, at this point, the FBI is nei­ther con­firm­ing nor deny­ing that it knows about this pri­vate chat group:

    ...
    When asked for com­ment or whether they knew about the pri­vate chat group, the FBI direct­ed CNN to the Broward Coun­ty Sher­if­f’s Office.
    ...

    And what­ev­er CNN is look­ing at is appar­ent­ly a con­ver­sa­tion, going back to August 2017, of six peo­ple includ­ing Cruz. And it sounds like Cruz was very open about his neo-Nazi views:

    ...
    Most of the con­ver­sa­tion in the group since Cruz joined around August 2017 is between six peo­ple — includ­ing Cruz.

    “I hate jews, ni**ers, immi­grants”

    Racism was a con­stant theme in the chat group, which was called “Muri­ca (Amer­i­can flag emo­ji) (eagle emo­ji) great” — a name it was giv­en by Cruz.

    The hatred he and oth­ers in the group espoused met lit­tle resis­tance from its active mem­bers. In one part of the group chat, Cruz wrote that he hat­ed, “jews, ni**ers, immi­grants.”

    He talked about killing Mex­i­cans, keep­ing black peo­ple in chains and cut­ting their necks. The state­ments were not made in jest.

    There are hun­dreds of racist mes­sages, racist memes and racist Insta­gram videos post­ed in the group.

    One mem­ber even joked about Cruz’s par­tic­u­lar ven­omous­ness, say­ing that although he hat­ed black peo­ple, too, he did­n’t “to a point I wan­na kill the (sic) like nick.”

    Cruz said he hat­ed black peo­ple sim­ply because they were black; Cruz hat­ed Jews because he believed they want­ed to destroy the world.

    After one mem­ber expressed hatred for gay peo­ple, Cruz agreed, say­ing, “Shoot them in the back of head.”

    White women drew Cruz’s hatred as well, specif­i­cal­ly those in inter­ra­cial rela­tion­ships, whom he referred to repeat­ed­ly as trai­tors.
    ...

    “There are no indi­ca­tions in the group chat that any mem­ber, includ­ing Cruz, is or was part of a white nation­al­ist or white suprema­cist group.”

    LOL, there are no indi­ca­tions that Cruz, or any oth­er mem­ber of the chat, was part of a white nation­al­ist or white suprema­cist group. Except, of course, if that chat room real­ly exist­ed, it does more or less com­prise a “white nation­al­ist or white suprema­cist group.” Just not one that was for­mal­ly labeled as such.

    And note how Cruz’s acqui­si­tion of guns and body armor was appar­ent­ly a fre­quent top­ic of the Youtube group. So this seems like pret­ty crit­i­cal infor­ma­tion that can ver­i­fy whether or not it’s a real once the time frame for Cruz obtain­ing these items is estab­lished. And he even post­ed receipts of the body armor pur­chase to the group:

    ...
    Cruz used pay­check for body armor

    Cruz pur­chased an AR-15 rifle in Flori­da approx­i­mate­ly a year ago, legal­ly. A law enforce­ment source told CNN’s Evan Perez that Cruz pur­chased at least five guns in the past year.

    In a pub­lic post on his Insta­gram page, Cruz showed what he called an “arse­nal” on a bed — sev­en guns and body armor. Anoth­er post on the page is a view down the bar­rel of a gun with a holo­graph­ic sight out a win­dow onto the street.

    His AR-15 and oth­er guns were a fre­quent top­ic of con­ver­sa­tion in the group chat.

    They even cri­tiqued Cruz’s rifle grip. He post­ed a short video of him­self shoot­ing a rifle out­side a win­dow at night. The video cuts out short­ly after the round is fired.

    They dis­cussed which guns they liked bet­ter: M16s or AKs.

    At one point, one mem­ber told Cruz, “Nick get this for your AR.” He direct­ed Nick to a web­site offer­ing an after-mar­ket acces­so­ry that would turn his AR-15 into a ful­ly auto­mat­ic weapon.

    A law enforce­ment source speak­ing to CNN’s Evan Perez said that the gun used in the school shoot­ing was not auto­mat­ic, and there’s no indi­ca­tion he bought the acces­so­ry, or a sim­i­lar type of acces­so­ry.

    When it was pay­day, Cruz let the group know where the mon­ey was going to be spent.

    “Guys I got paid 330. I am buy­ing body armor,” he wrote.

    Cruz did pur­chase the body armor, accord­ing to receipts he post­ed in the chat — with a $30 dis­count and free ship­ping.

    Then he asked the group whether it was legal to wear body armor to school.

    “School shoot­ers,” he replied, when some­one asked why he want­ed to know.
    ...

    “Cruz did pur­chase the body armor, accord­ing to receipts he post­ed in the chat — with a $30 dis­count and free ship­ping.”

    And then there’s Cruz’s alleged posts about how he was glad he nev­er met his bio­log­i­cal moth­er because she was Jew­ish:

    ...
    Dur­ing one of the anti-Semit­ic rants in the chat, Cruz spoke of his birth moth­er, say­ing, “My real mom was a Jew. I am glad I nev­er met her.”
    ...

    So is it true that Cruz knew his bio­log­i­cal moth­er was Jew­ish? That seems like the kind of thing that can help estab­lish the verac­i­ty of this.

    But note the most bizarre part of all this: the first mes­sage Cruz alleged­ly post­ed to the group was that he wrote to Pres­i­dent Trump and Trump respond­ed:

    ...
    In his first mes­sage to the chat group, Cruz bragged about writ­ing a let­ter to Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump — and receiv­ing a response. CNN reached out to the White House for com­ment about any cor­re­spon­dence to and from Cruz but has not heard back.
    ...

    So that adds a whole new poten­tial polit­i­cal dimen­sion to this. If that’s true, there’s going to be mas­sive resis­tance from the right-wing about acknowl­edg­ing any of this true. But it also would be exact­ly the kind of fun-fact that trolling hoax­ers would to ped­dle to the media, only to be lat­er iden­ti­fied as a hoax.

    So let’s hope CNN man­ages to estab­lished whether or not this alleged Youtube chat log is true soon­er or lat­er. Between the receipt for the body armor and oth­er pieces of infor­ma­tion that would hard to strangers to hoax it seems like there should be plen­ty of evi­dence one way or anoth­er. Although it’s also pos­si­ble that the chat logs are real, but with false infor­ma­tion added to dis­cred­it it.

    It’s all a big reminder of the real­i­ty that while the far-right’s embrace of trolling may be designed to con­fuse audi­ences about what it real and what is not, one of the com­mon themes of that fog of con­fu­sion is obscur­ing from the pub­lic the fact that when neo-Nazis wage hoax cam­paigns that is actu­al­ly exam­ple of how Nazis ‘drop the mask’. Because, for Nazis, the Big Lie is both the means and the ends.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | February 17, 2018, 3:06 pm
  4. @Pterrafractyl & “JOHN COKOS”–

    Digest­ing this sug­gests that what is being done is to claim Cruz’s links were a hoax, in order to obscure his real Nazi views.

    “Lone-wolf” means just that. “Lead­er­less resis­tance” means just that.

    ANY group affil­i­a­tion must be down­played, if not out­right denied.

    Attempts at walk­ing back Jare­b’s com­ments should­n’t be giv­en too much cred­i­bil­i­ty, in my opin­ion.

    Also: note that law enforce­ment has “found” no traces of Nazi/White Suprema­cist man­i­fes­ta­tion in Cruz.

    What is not men­tioned is whether they even looked for any, or are actu­al­ly cov­er­ing this up.

    Both FBI and Flori­da author­i­ties let Cruz slide after ear­li­er alarms were sound­ed.

    As far as “Nazi” and fed­er­al agen­cies being mutu­al­ly exclu­sive as you, “JOHN COKOS” have claimed, that dog won’t hunt, as they say.

    Var­i­ous Nazi, Klan, White Suprema­cist groups are used as foot sol­diers in var­i­ous oper­a­tions, as dis­cussed in, among oth­er pro­grams, FTR #971. http://spitfirelist.com/for-the-record/ftr-971-nazis-in-new-orleans/

    This is not an either/or dynam­ic. Far right groups are quick to try to blame every­thing on “da gum­mint,” INSTEAD of Nazis, etc.

    They shy away from the well doc­u­ment­ed fact that the two are con­nect­ed, though by no means coter­mi­nous.

    Best,

    Dave Emory

    Posted by Dave Emory | February 17, 2018, 4:39 pm
  5. @Dave: I should add a cor­rec­tion about the CNN report on the pri­vate Insta­gram chat group. I had mis­read the report as indi­cat­ing that it was a pri­vate Youtube account where the chats took place and those chats got added to a sep­a­rate pri­vate Insta­gram chat group. Upon reread that arti­cle it looks like all of these con­ver­sa­tions actu­al­ly took place on that pri­vate Insta­gram account, which CNN came across when inves­ti­gat­ing a now-delet­ed Youtube account that Cruz post­ed on. And that makes it far less like­ly that these pri­vate con­ver­sa­tions where Cruz was express­ing all these neo-Nazi views were some­how doc­tored and part of hoax. There’s no way these indi­vid­u­als could insert fake mes­sages into a Insta­gram’s sys­tems.

    Also, if you read the report it includes pho­tos of Cruz pos­ing in body armor that CNN appears to have obtained from that chat group. So that CNN report looks very like­ly to be real.

    And that all makes the fact that Cruz claimed to write to Pres­i­dent Trump and get a response all the more plau­si­ble. Here’s the part of that CNN arti­cle I mis­in­ter­pret­ed, along with part about Cruz’s first post on the group being about hear­ing back from Trump:

    CNN

    Exclu­sive: Group chat mes­sages show school shoot­er obsessed with race, vio­lence and guns

    By Paul P. Mur­phy, CNN
    Updat­ed 5:51 PM ET, Sat Feb­ru­ary 17, 2018

    (CNN)In a pri­vate Insta­gram group chat, con­fessed school shoot­er Niko­las Cruz repeat­ed­ly espoused racist, homo­pho­bic and anti-Semit­ic views and dis­played an obses­sion with vio­lence and guns.

    Wednes­day, 19-year-old Cruz opened fire at the school that expelled him, Mar­jo­ry Stone­man Dou­glas High School in Park­land, Flori­da. Author­i­ties say he killed 17 with his legal­ly pur­chased AR-15.

    CNN, inves­ti­gat­ing com­ments the shoot­er may have left on a now-delet­ed YouTube chan­nel, was added to the pri­vate Insta­gram group by one of the active mem­bers in it. The respond­ing group mem­bers, who appear to be younger than 18, have refused to con­firm their iden­ti­ties to CNN on or off the record.

    ...

    In his first mes­sage to the chat group, Cruz bragged about writ­ing a let­ter to Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump — and receiv­ing a response. CNN reached out to the White House for com­ment about any cor­re­spon­dence to and from Cruz but has not heard back.
    ...
    ———-

    “Exclu­sive: Group chat mes­sages show school shoot­er obsessed with race, vio­lence and guns” by Paul P. Mur­phy; CNN; 02/17/2018

    “CNN, inves­ti­gat­ing com­ments the shoot­er may have left on a now-delet­ed YouTube chan­nel, was added to the pri­vate Insta­gram group by one of the active mem­bers in it. The respond­ing group mem­bers, who appear to be younger than 18, have refused to con­firm their iden­ti­ties to CNN on or off the record.”

    Again, the pri­vate chats the CNN is report­ing on are the actu­al chats entered into Insta­gram’s sys­tem, which is not some­thing that could be spoofed after the fact.

    It’s also worth recall­ing that Jor­dan Jereb report­ed­ly post­ed on Gap, the Alt-Right’s social mes­sag­ing app of choice, about using the Repub­lic of Flori­da to cre­ate “lone wolf activists”. And “cre­at­ing lone wolf activists” clear­ly implies dis­as­so­ci­at­ing his group from those “lone wolves”. And Jereb appears have been involved with the “Dis­cord” chat group where the ‘hoax’ cam­paign was con­coct­ed. So that behav­ior would also be con­sis­tent with “cre­at­ing lone wolves”.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | February 17, 2018, 6:43 pm
  6. Mr. Emory,

    Even if Jare­b’s com­ments were indeed false (and I agree that attempts at walk­ing back should not nec­es­sar­i­ly be giv­en cred­i­bil­i­ty), sep­a­rate evi­dence from social media post­ings has revealed obvi­ous white suprema­cist ide­ol­o­gy.

    From the New York Post by Sara Dorn From Feb­ru­ary 17, 2018 | 2:13pm:

    ‘In the months before con­fessed mass mur­der­er Niko­las Cruz killed 17 peo­ple in a Flori­da high school, he rant­ed about minori­ties, allud­ed to his mur­der­ous inten­tions, and boast­ed about writ­ing to Pres­i­dent Trump in pri­vate social media mes­sages, accord­ing to a report.

    The deranged 19-year-old told mem­bers of a a [B]six-member Insta­gram group called “Muri­ca great” that he want­ed to kill Mex­i­cans, keep black peo­ple in chains and cut their necks,[/b] accord­ing to the vile mes­sages obtained by CNN.

    Cruz said he [b]hated black peo­ple sim­ply because they were black, and Jews because he said they want­ed to destroy the world.[/b]

    And he [b]hated homo­sex­u­als and white women who dat­ed minorities.[/b]

    [b]“Shoot them in the back of head,” he said about gay people.[/b]

    [b]He brand­ed white women in inter­ra­cial rela­tion­ships “trai­tors,” [/b]according to the out­let.

    Some racist mem­bers said Cruz’s hatred was even too much for them.

    One mem­ber said he also hat­ed black peo­ple, but not [b]“to a point I wan­na kill the [sic] like nick.”[/b]

    Cruz even bragged to the group, which he report­ed­ly joined in August 2017, that he wrote to Pres­i­dent Trump — and claimed he received a response.

    And he also showed off the guns he bought in Flori­da over the past year with the group.

    “I think I am going to kill peo­ple,” Cruz, told mem­bers, but claimed he was kid­ding when anoth­er group mem­ber called him out.

    A mem­ber of the group chat told the out­let that Cruz, “seemed nice but also had some men­tal issues.”

    “All [I know] is that he likes guns and real­ly hates lib­er­als,” the per­son said.’

    Respect to your life­time of impor­tant work.

    - Richard

    Posted by Richard Schroeder | February 18, 2018, 2:01 pm
  7. The orig­i­nal CNN exclu­sive goes into more detail here:

    https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/16/us/exclusive-school-shooter-instagram-group/index.html

    CNN appar­ent­ly recov­ered “hun­dreds” of mes­sages reflect­ing obvi­ous­ly white suprema­cist ide­ol­o­gy.

    Again, much respect to your life­time of impor­tant work.

    – Richard

    Posted by Richard Schroeder | February 18, 2018, 2:07 pm
  8. Here’s a look at how the ‘Alt-Right’ dis­in­for­ma­tion cam­paign start­ed on 4Chan — where 4Chan users claimed to be a class­mates of Niko­las Cruz and claimed that he was seen march­ing with the Repub­lic of Flori­da neo-Nazi mili­tia, pre­emp­tive­ly dis­cred­it­ing the sub­se­quent rev­e­la­tions that Cruz did in fact appear to have a neo-Nazi world­view — isn’t lim­it­ed to 4Chan. The much larg­er far-right media land­scape appears to be col­lec­tive­ly push­ing a whole new dis­in­for­ma­tion cam­paign designed to smear the sur­viv­ing high school stu­dents who have emerged as nation­al fig­ures in the gun law reform debate:

    A num­ber of right-wing pun­dits, and even some Repub­li­can par­ty fig­ures (includ­ing Don­ald Trump Jr.), have latched onto the ‘cri­sis actor’ meme. That’s the idea that was heav­i­ly pro­mot­ed by fig­ures like Alex Jones fol­low­ing the Sandy Hook attack that assert­ed that there was no mass killing and it was all an elab­o­rate hoax per­pe­trat­ed by the gov­ern­ment to whip up pub­lic sup­port for gun con­trol leg­is­la­tion. In oth­er words, it’s the idea that the vic­tims of these mass shoot­ings aren’t actu­al­ly vic­tims but instead mali­cious pro­fes­sion­al deceivers work­ing for the gov­ern­ment.

    It the same meme that was pushed after the mass shoot­ing in Vegas and now it’s being pushed after the attack in Flori­da. Although there isn’t one vari­ant of the meme. Some are sug­gest­ing there was no attack at all and it was all a hoax. Oth­ers are sug­gest­ing that the stu­dents who respond­ed to the shoot­ing by pub­licly and force­ful­ly sham­ing the Nation­al Rifle Asso­ciate, Pres­i­dent Trump, and oth­er politi­cians who won’t sup­port strong gun con­trol laws are either pro­fes­sion­al actors and/or being coached by Democ­rats or George Soros.

    And these memes are already gone wild­ly viral. So viral that one of them, a video sug­gest­ing stu­dent David Hogg is an actor, was #1 on YouTube’s trend­ing videos:

    Buz­zFeed

    Nope, The Flori­da School Shoot­ing Sur­vivors Demand­ing Gun Con­trol Are Not Cri­sis Actors

    Right-wing web­sites are fuel­ing a now-viral con­spir­a­cy the­o­ry that Flori­da high school stu­dents demand­ing gun con­trol are actors push­ing a lib­er­al agen­da. The the­o­ry was even pro­mot­ed by the aide of a Flori­da law­mak­er.

    Bri­an­na Sacks
    Buz­zFeed News Reporter

    Orig­i­nal­ly post­ed on Feb­ru­ary 21, 2018, at 1:15 a.m.
    Updat­ed on Feb­ru­ary 21, 2018, at 11:39 a.m.

    In the days since a gun­man opened fire on their class­mates on Valen­tine’s Day, killing 17 peo­ple just as school was about to end for the day, a group of out­raged teenage sur­vivors have been vocal­ly demand­ing stricter gun laws. In response to their activism, right-wing out­lets have con­trived and pushed false reports that the stu­dents are actors cap­i­tal­iz­ing on the tragedy to push a lib­er­al agen­da on gun con­trol.

    These fake claims have now gone viral. Hun­dreds of videos, arti­cles, and posts claim­ing to unmask these fake stu­dents have swept across social media, gain­ing thou­sands of views, shares, and retweets. The con­tent picks apart the stu­dents’ per­for­mances in media inter­views as they talked about the friends they lost in the shoot­ing at Mar­jo­ry Stone­man Dou­glas High School and their anger that the tragedy hap­pened at anoth­er US school.

    As of Tues­day night, 108,135 peo­ple were talk­ing about “cri­sis actors” on Face­book. One video had been watched more than 41,000 times and shared by about 2,300 users. Before it was removed, anoth­er Face­book post call­ing Stone­man Dou­glas senior David Hogg an actor was shared more than 110,000 times. Yet anoth­er clip post­ed on Twit­ter got more than 6,000 retweets.

    TheGatewayPundit.com, a right-wing news web­site, also post­ed a sto­ry that not­ed Hog­g’s father is a retired FBI agent — a fact the site dubbed a “red flag” — and con­clud­ed, with­out evi­dence, that the teen had been coached to push anti-Trump talk­ing points.

    [see youtube video assert­ing that David Hogg is a cri­sis actor]

    On YouTube, there have been 399 videos men­tion­ing “cri­sis actors Flori­da” uploaded in the past week, with thou­sands of peo­ple watch­ing clips with titles like “Flori­da School Shoot­ing Fake Shoot­ing And Hoax, Cri­sis Actress smil­ing,” which had 3,800 views by the end of the day Tues­day. One video, sug­gest­ing that Hogg was an actor, was the No. 1 trend­ing video on YouTube as of Wednes­day, but lat­er appeared to have been removed from YouTube’s trend­ing sec­tion. In a state­ment to Buz­zFeed News, YouTube said that it’s sys­tem “mis­clas­si­fied” the video because it “con­tained footage from an author­i­ta­tive news source.

    “The video should nev­er have appeared in Trend­ing,” YouTube said, adding that they had removed the video from Trend­ing and YouTube for “vio­lat­ing our poli­cies.”

    “We are work­ing to improve our sys­tems mov­ing for­ward,” the state­ment said.

    How­ev­er, YouTube did not address ques­tions on why its search results for “David Hogg” list sev­er­al videos call­ing Hogg an actor and accus­ing him of “bab­bling” rehearsed lines on tele­vi­sion inter­views.

    Promi­nent Trump sup­port­ers on Twit­ter, includ­ing for­mer Mil­wau­kee sher­iff David Clarke and con­ser­v­a­tive author Dinesh D’Souza, have also been ped­dling the con­spir­a­cy the­o­ry that the stu­dents’ push for gun reform is an orches­trat­ed polit­i­cal effort by the left-wing.

    Clarke tweet­ed, with­out evi­dence, that lib­er­al bil­lion­aire phil­an­thropist George Soros was back­ing the teens’ activism and demand for gun reform.

    The well ORGANIZED effort by Flori­da school stu­dents demand­ing gun con­trol has GEORGE SOROS’ FINGERPRINTS all over it. It is sim­i­lar to how he hijacked and exploit­ed black people’s emo­tion regard­ing police use of force inci­dents into the COP HATING Black Lives Mat­ter move­ment. pic.twitter.com/XDZ3bcwF6F— David A. Clarke, Jr. (@SheriffClarke) Feb­ru­ary 20, 2018

    D’Souza called one of the sur­vivors of the shoot­ing “deranged” and sug­gest­ed that she had been “coached” to prop­a­gate anti-Trump views on tele­vi­sion. He also said that the stu­dents’ grief over los­ing their peers was “polit­i­cal­ly orches­trat­ed,” “pho­ny,” and “inau­then­tic.” D’Souza apol­o­gized for the “insen­si­tive” tweet Wednes­day that was still up on his page.

    Buz­zFeed News reached out to Twit­ter to ask if D’Souza will con­tin­ue to remain a ver­i­fied user.

    This woman seems coached and also a bit deranged. Trump’s should ignore these media-man­u­fac­tured the­atrics https://t.co/ewRNRqnlEi— Dinesh D’Souza (@DineshDSouza) Feb­ru­ary 20, 2018

    Gen­uine grief I can empathize with. But grief orga­nized for the cameras—politically orches­trat­ed grief—strikes me as pho­ny & inau­then­tic— Dinesh D’Souza (@DineshDSouza) Feb­ru­ary 21, 2018

    Right-wing talk show host Alex Jones pub­lished sev­er­al videos on his InfoWars YouTube chan­nel also accus­ing Hogg of for­get­ting his lines dur­ing a TV inter­view. One video has now been watched more than 9,200 times and has sparked dozens of copy­cat takes. Anoth­er video claim­ing that the Flori­da school shoot­ing was a “giant false flag” has 170,000 views. The chan­nel has more than 2 mil­lion sub­scribers.

    In response to an inquiry about videos, a spokesper­son for YouTube referred Buz­zFeed News to the com­pa­ny’s harass­ment pol­i­cy.

    “We rec­og­nize the chal­leng­ing issues pre­sent­ed by hoax videos and the pain they can cause the fam­i­lies who have suf­fered these incred­i­bly trag­ic loss­es,” the spokesper­son said. “That is why last sum­mer we updat­ed the appli­ca­tion of our harass­ment pol­i­cy to include hoax videos that tar­get the vic­tims of these tragedies. Any video flagged to us that vio­lates this pol­i­cy is reviewed and then removed.”
    [see viral pics claim Hogg is a cri­sis actor]
    A spokesper­son for Face­book said that the com­pa­ny was “aware” of the posts relat­ed to the Flori­da shoot­ing con­spir­a­cies, but said that the com­pa­ny does­n’t “have poli­cies in place that require peo­ple to tell the truth.”

    “Peo­ple often make unver­i­fied claims about peo­ple and events (‘the min­is­ter is cor­rupt!’ ‘I found a roach in my soup at that restau­rant!’), and deter­min­ing what’s true and false (ver­sus what’s opin­ion, hoax, hyper­bole, etc.) isn’t some­thing we can do reli­ably in spe­cif­ic cas­es or at scale,” the spokesper­son said, not­ing that there are “valid con­cerns about a pri­vate com­pa­ny being an arbiter of truth.”

    Face­book has tak­en steps to com­bat fake news on its plat­form, the spokesper­son added, and has tak­en steps to address the issue.

    “When poten­tial­ly false con­tent has been flagged to us, we send it to our third par­ty fact check­ers,” he said. “If the fact check­ing orga­ni­za­tions iden­ti­fy a sto­ry as fake, we will sug­gest relat­ed arti­cles in News Feed to show peo­ple dif­fer­ent points of view, includ­ing infor­ma­tion from fact check­ers. Sto­ries that have been dis­put­ed may also appear low­er in News Feed.”

    Mean­while, the fringe con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries have seeped into offi­cial chan­nels. An aide to a Flori­da state law­mak­er was fired Tues­day after push­ing the cri­sis actor the­o­ry. Flori­da state Rep. Shawn Har­ri­son said on Twit­ter that he decid­ed to fire his dis­trict sec­re­tary, Ben­jamin Kel­ly, for mak­ing “an insen­si­tive and inap­pro­pri­ate alle­ga­tion about Park­land stu­dents.” The Repub­li­can also stressed that he did not share Kel­ly’s views.

    Tonight Mr. Kel­ly was ter­mi­nat­ed from his posi­tion as my Dis­trict Sec­re­tary. I am appalled at and strong­ly denounce his com­ments about the Park­land stu­dents. I am again sor­ry for any pain this has caused the griev­ing fam­i­lies of this tragedy.— Shawn Har­ri­son (@Shawnfor63) Feb­ru­ary 21, 2018

    Ear­li­er Tues­day, Kel­ly sent an email to a Tam­pa Bay Times reporter in response to a sto­ry detail­ing how online con­spir­a­cy the­o­rists have attacked stu­dent sur­vivors of the Flori­da school shoot­ing.

    “Both kids in the pic­ture are not stu­dents here but actors that trav­el to var­i­ous cri­sis when they hap­pen,” Kel­ly wrote, accord­ing to the paper’s Wash­ing­ton bureau chief, Alex Leary.

    Here’s the email. I asked for more infor­ma­tion to back up the claim and was sent anoth­er email that linked to a YouTube con­spir­a­cy video. pic.twitter.com/VRSVOcjj3E— Alex Leary (@learyreports) Feb­ru­ary 20, 2018

    When asked to back up his claim, Leary said, Kel­ly sent a link to a YouTube video ped­dling a grow­ing con­spir­a­cy the­o­ry that Hogg was actu­al­ly an actor because he appeared in a news report last sum­mer in Cal­i­for­nia.

    Kel­ly, who delet­ed his Twit­ter account Tues­day evening, also liked tweets claim­ing that the Stone­man Dou­glas stu­dents are fak­ing their out­rage, and had shared oth­er con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries and dis­crim­i­na­to­ry lan­guage.

    In a state­ment post­ed on Twit­ter before he took down the account, Kel­ly apol­o­gized for email­ing the reporter but defend­ed the the­o­ry about the shoot­ing sur­vivors, say­ing that he was fired when he “tried to inform a reporter of infor­ma­tion relat­ing to his sto­ry regard­ing a school shoot­ing.”
    [see screen­shots of Ben­jamin Kel­ly’s Twit­ter thread apol­o­giz­ing for push­ing the Youtube video claim­ing Hogg is a cri­sis actor]

    Mean­while, a for­mer Geor­gia Repub­li­can law­mak­er keeps insist­ing that Democ­rats are using the Stone­man Dou­glas stu­dents as pup­pets to force US politi­cians to put new lim­its on gun own­er­ship. And Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s eldest son, Don­ald Trump Jr., liked two tweets prop­a­gat­ing the false the­o­ries about the teen school shoot­ing sur­vivors.

    Far-right inter­net per­son­al­i­ties and social media accounts have also pounced on an August 2017 CBS video that Hogg appeared in as evi­dence to bol­ster their claim that the teenag­er is actu­al­ly an actor who trav­els to tragedies to pro­mote a lib­er­al agen­da. In the video, Hogg is inter­viewed about viral footage he had cap­tured of a con­fronta­tion between his friend and a Redon­do Beach life­guard in Redon­do Beach and post­ed to YouTube.

    On Face­book, a video titled, “Cri­sis Actors from LA to Park­land” gar­nered 38,000 views in about 10 hours. On Twit­ter, a pro-Trump user named @ChristiChat, who has more than 260,000 fol­low­ers, repeat­ed­ly pushed the false claim that Hogg is an actor. One of her videos was retweet­ed at least 6,200 times.

    Hogg had tweet­ed last sum­mer about vis­it­ing Cal­i­for­nia, and also shared the CBS video he appeared in. “Only after a week in LA I’ve made a youtube video with over half a mil­lion views and got on the news,” he said on Aug. 8.

    Oth­er far-right fig­ures have seized on Emma González — anoth­er Stone­man Dou­glas stu­dent, whose speech at a ral­ly for gun con­trol went viral Sat­ur­day — and have pushed false the­o­ries that she “was coached” and that Democ­rats are using her as a pawn to pro­mote their agen­da.

    Stu­dents, school offi­cials, and Flori­da law­mak­ers have pushed back against the con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries. Broward Coun­ty Schools Super­in­ten­dent Robert Run­cie slammed the rumors that the teens were “cri­sis actors,” telling the Tam­pa Bay Times that they “are absolute­ly stu­dents at Stone­man Dou­glas.”

    “They’ve been there,” Run­cie said. “I can ver­i­fy that.”

    In a tweet, US Sen. Mar­co Rubio called those who fab­ri­cat­ed the the­o­ry “a dis­gust­ing group of idiots with no sense of decen­cy.”

    Claim­ing some of the stu­dents on tv after #Park­land are actors is the work of a dis­gust­ing group of idiots with no sense of decen­cy— Mar­co Rubio (@marcorubio) Feb­ru­ary 20, 2018

    In response to Kel­ly’s com­ments to the Tam­pa Bay Times, Flori­da House Speak­er Richard Cor­co­ran said he was “shocked and angry to read the appalling email about the brave stu­dents” and explained that he was the one who ter­mi­nat­ed the aide.

    The con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries real­ly gained steam Tues­day, as a group of the teen sur­vivors turned activists trav­eled to Tal­la­has­see to meet with law­mak­ers in Flori­da’s state capi­tol about gun con­trol. The teens’ nascent move­ment, dubbed Nev­er Again MSD, has already amassed more than $1 mil­lion in dona­tions from celebri­ties like George Clooney and Oprah.

    Incensed by the rumors about them, the stu­dents fired back on social media, empha­siz­ing that they are in fact kids “who feared for our lives while some­one shot up our school.”

    We are KIDS — not actors. We are KIDS that have grown up in Park­land all of our lives. We are KIDS who feared for our lives while some­one shot up our school. We are KIDS work­ing to pre­vent this from hap­pen­ing again. WE ARE KIDS.— Jaclyn Corin (@JaclynCorin) Feb­ru­ary 20, 2018

    “I want to go to school for musi­cal the­atre,” Stone­man Dou­glas senior Diego Pfeif­fer told CNN Tues­day. “I would love to be an actor. No joke. But the peo­ple who are no longer here, they are not act­ing. They are dead.”

    “To have oth­er peo­ple tell me that my grief is not real, that I am just act­ing it out — I would love to be that good of an actor but I’m not,” Pfeif­fer con­tin­ued. “This is real.”

    ...

    ———-

    “Nope, The Flori­da School Shoot­ing Sur­vivors Demand­ing Gun Con­trol Are Not Cri­sis Actors” by Bri­an­na Sacks; Buz­zFeed; 02/21/2018

    These fake claims have now gone viral. Hun­dreds of videos, arti­cles, and posts claim­ing to unmask these fake stu­dents have swept across social media, gain­ing thou­sands of views, shares, and retweets. The con­tent picks apart the stu­dents’ per­for­mances in media inter­views as they talked about the friends they lost in the shoot­ing at Mar­jo­ry Stone­man Dou­glas High School and their anger that the tragedy hap­pened at anoth­er US school.”

    This is how wild­ly suc­cess­ful the ‘cri­sis actors’ meme has been on the right-wing. When there’s a mass shoot­ing nowa­days all it takes is a few Alex Jones videos and it’s almost guar­an­teed to go viral:

    ...
    Right-wing talk show host Alex Jones pub­lished sev­er­al videos on his InfoWars YouTube chan­nel also accus­ing Hogg of for­get­ting his lines dur­ing a TV inter­view. One video has now been watched more than 9,200 times and has sparked dozens of copy­cat takes. Anoth­er video claim­ing that the Flori­da school shoot­ing was a “giant false flag” has 170,000 views. The chan­nel has more than 2 mil­lion sub­scribers.
    ...

    But and did­n’t take long at all for the meme to start get­ting pushed from sites that strad­dle the line between far-right con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries and main­stream GOP ‘news’. Sites like the noto­ri­ous­ly shady TheGatewayPundit.com:

    ...
    As of Tues­day night, 108,135 peo­ple were talk­ing about “cri­sis actors” on Face­book. One video had been watched more than 41,000 times and shared by about 2,300 users. Before it was removed, anoth­er Face­book post call­ing Stone­man Dou­glas senior David Hogg an actor was shared more than 110,000 times. Yet anoth­er clip post­ed on Twit­ter got more than 6,000 retweets.

    TheGatewayPundit.com, a right-wing news web­site, also post­ed a sto­ry that not­ed Hog­g’s father is a retired FBI agent — a fact the site dubbed a “red flag” — and con­clud­ed, with­out evi­dence, that the teen had been coached to push anti-Trump talk­ing points.

    [see youtube video assert­ing that David Hogg is a cri­sis actor]
    ...

    And of the 399 videos men­tion­ing “cri­sis actors Flori­da” uploaded in the past week, one of them man­aged to become the top trend­ing video on YouTube:

    ...
    On YouTube, there have been 399 videos men­tion­ing “cri­sis actors Flori­da” uploaded in the past week, with thou­sands of peo­ple watch­ing clips with titles like “Flori­da School Shoot­ing Fake Shoot­ing And Hoax, Cri­sis Actress smil­ing,” which had 3,800 views by the end of the day Tues­day. One video, sug­gest­ing that Hogg was an actor, was the No. 1 trend­ing video on YouTube as of Wednes­day, but lat­er appeared to have been removed from YouTube’s trend­ing sec­tion. In a state­ment to Buz­zFeed News, YouTube said that it’s sys­tem “mis­clas­si­fied” the video because it “con­tained footage from an author­i­ta­tive news source.”
    ...

    And that top trend­ing sta­tus was undoubt­ed­ly fueled, in part, by the array of right-wing fig­ures who joined in on the meme. Fig­ures like the far-right sher­iff David Clarke and Dinesh D’Souza:

    ...
    Promi­nent Trump sup­port­ers on Twit­ter, includ­ing for­mer Mil­wau­kee sher­iff David Clarke and con­ser­v­a­tive author Dinesh D’Souza, have also been ped­dling the con­spir­a­cy the­o­ry that the stu­dents’ push for gun reform is an orches­trat­ed polit­i­cal effort by the left-wing.

    Clarke tweet­ed, with­out evi­dence, that lib­er­al bil­lion­aire phil­an­thropist George Soros was back­ing the teens’ activism and demand for gun reform.

    The well ORGANIZED effort by Flori­da school stu­dents demand­ing gun con­trol has GEORGE SOROS’ FINGERPRINTS all over it. It is sim­i­lar to how he hijacked and exploit­ed black people’s emo­tion regard­ing police use of force inci­dents into the COP HATING Black Lives Mat­ter move­ment. pic.twitter.com/XDZ3bcwF6F— David A. Clarke, Jr. (@SheriffClarke) Feb­ru­ary 20, 2018

    D’Souza called one of the sur­vivors of the shoot­ing “deranged” and sug­gest­ed that she had been “coached” to prop­a­gate anti-Trump views on tele­vi­sion. He also said that the stu­dents’ grief over los­ing their peers was “polit­i­cal­ly orches­trat­ed,” “pho­ny,” and “inau­then­tic.” D’Souza apol­o­gized for the “insen­si­tive” tweet Wednes­day that was still up on his page.

    Buz­zFeed News reached out to Twit­ter to ask if D’Souza will con­tin­ue to remain a ver­i­fied user.

    This woman seems coached and also a bit deranged. Trump’s should ignore these media-man­u­fac­tured the­atrics https://t.co/ewRNRqnlEi— Dinesh D’Souza (@DineshDSouza) Feb­ru­ary 20, 2018

    Gen­uine grief I can empathize with. But grief orga­nized for the cameras—politically orches­trat­ed grief—strikes me as pho­ny & inau­then­tic— Dinesh D’Souza (@DineshDSouza) Feb­ru­ary 21, 2018

    ...

    Then an aide o a Flori­da state law­mak­er start­ed push­ing these memes are Twit­ter. And when he was fired, he apol­o­gized while still back­ing up the ‘cri­sis actor’ the­o­ry:

    ...
    Mean­while, the fringe con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries have seeped into offi­cial chan­nels. An aide to a Flori­da state law­mak­er was fired Tues­day after push­ing the cri­sis actor the­o­ry. Flori­da state Rep. Shawn Har­ri­son said on Twit­ter that he decid­ed to fire his dis­trict sec­re­tary, Ben­jamin Kel­ly, for mak­ing “an insen­si­tive and inap­pro­pri­ate alle­ga­tion about Park­land stu­dents.” The Repub­li­can also stressed that he did not share Kel­ly’s views.

    Tonight Mr. Kel­ly was ter­mi­nat­ed from his posi­tion as my Dis­trict Sec­re­tary. I am appalled at and strong­ly denounce his com­ments about the Park­land stu­dents. I am again sor­ry for any pain this has caused the griev­ing fam­i­lies of this tragedy.— Shawn Har­ri­son (@Shawnfor63) Feb­ru­ary 21, 2018

    Ear­li­er Tues­day, Kel­ly sent an email to a Tam­pa Bay Times reporter in response to a sto­ry detail­ing how online con­spir­a­cy the­o­rists have attacked stu­dent sur­vivors of the Flori­da school shoot­ing.

    “Both kids in the pic­ture are not stu­dents here but actors that trav­el to var­i­ous cri­sis when they hap­pen,” Kel­ly wrote, accord­ing to the paper’s Wash­ing­ton bureau chief, Alex Leary.

    Here’s the email. I asked for more infor­ma­tion to back up the claim and was sent anoth­er email that linked to a YouTube con­spir­a­cy video. pic.twitter.com/VRSVOcjj3E— Alex Leary (@learyreports) Feb­ru­ary 20, 2018

    When asked to back up his claim, Leary said, Kel­ly sent a link to a YouTube video ped­dling a grow­ing con­spir­a­cy the­o­ry that Hogg was actu­al­ly an actor because he appeared in a news report last sum­mer in Cal­i­for­nia.

    Kel­ly, who delet­ed his Twit­ter account Tues­day evening, also liked tweets claim­ing that the Stone­man Dou­glas stu­dents are fak­ing their out­rage, and had shared oth­er con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries and dis­crim­i­na­to­ry lan­guage.

    In a state­ment post­ed on Twit­ter before he took down the account, Kel­ly apol­o­gized for email­ing the reporter but defend­ed the the­o­ry about the shoot­ing sur­vivors, say­ing that he was fired when he “tried to inform a reporter of infor­ma­tion relat­ing to his sto­ry regard­ing a school shoot­ing.”
    [see screen­shots of Ben­jamin Kel­ly’s Twit­ter thread apol­o­giz­ing for push­ing the Youtube video claim­ing Hogg is a cri­sis actor]
    ...

    And even Don­ald Trump Jr. got in on the ‘cri­sis actors’ action:

    ...
    Mean­while, a for­mer Geor­gia Repub­li­can law­mak­er keeps insist­ing that Democ­rats are using the Stone­man Dou­glas stu­dents as pup­pets to force US politi­cians to put new lim­its on gun own­er­ship. And Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s eldest son, Don­ald Trump Jr., liked two tweets prop­a­gat­ing the false the­o­ries about the teen school shoot­ing sur­vivors.
    ...

    Because of course he did. Also note that the Geor­gia Repub­li­can law­mak­er who keeps insist­ing that Democ­rats are using the stu­dents as polit­i­cal pup­pets is Jack Kingston, a CNN com­men­ta­tor. So he’s insist­ing this stuff to the CNN audi­ences.

    So it looks like the ‘cri­sis actor’ meme is already pret­ty much a per­ma­nent fea­ture of the con­tem­po­rary Amer­i­can right-wing land­scape. When there’s a mas­sive shoot­ing it’s actu­al­ly all an elab­o­rate hoax designed to give gun own­ers are bad name. And just the lat­est elab­o­rate hoax in a long string of elab­o­rate hoax­es.

    And don’t for­get that the ‘cri­sis actors’ meme is mere­ly one ele­ment of a much, much larg­er right-wing meme. The meme that every­thing is a hoax and a lie except for what you hear on places like InfoWars and Fox News and right-wing talk-radio. ONLY trust Alex Jones and Fox News. Every­one else is lying to in order to even­tu­al­ly sub­ju­gate you. That’s the meta-meme at work here. The Big Lie wants to assure you that every­one else is lying to you.

    And in oth­er news...

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | February 21, 2018, 4:26 pm
  9. Here’s some addi­tion­al evi­dence that, whether or not Niko­las Cruz was for­mal­ly net­work­ing with the Repub­lic of Flori­da or oth­er neo-Nazi groups, he indeed a neo-Nazi in spir­it: First, it turns out that Cruz had swastikas etched onto his ammu­ni­tion mag­a­zines used dur­ing the attack:

    CBS News

    Shoot­ing sus­pect Niko­las Cruz had swastikas on ammu­ni­tion mag­a­zines

    Feb­ru­ary 27, 2018, 6:49 PM
    Last Updat­ed Feb 27, 2018 7:09 PM EST

    Flori­da school shoot­ing sus­pect Niko­las Cruz had swastikas ammu­ni­tion mag­a­zines he brought into Mar­jo­ry Stone­man Dou­glas High School on Feb. 14, a fed­er­al law enforce­ment source with direct knowl­edge of the inves­ti­ga­tion told CBS News on Tues­day. Cruz has been charged with 17 counts of pre­med­i­tat­ed mur­der.

    Cruz had 180 rounds of ammu­ni­tion left, a source con­firmed to CBS News.

    Sources told CBS News that Cruz broke a third-floor win­dow, pos­si­bly to fire upon peo­ple from above. Sources say he tried to cre­ate a “sniper’s nest” by shoot­ing out the win­dow, fir­ing 16 rounds into the glass, CBS News cor­re­spon­dent Manuel Bojorquez reports. But the hur­ri­cane-proof glass appeared to have stopped it from shat­ter­ing, Bojorquez reports.

    Inves­ti­ga­tors believe the sus­pect tried to reload, but after chang­ing mag­a­zine clips, his gun may have jammed, Bojorquez adds. Cruz then alleged­ly put down his weapon and left the build­ing, blend­ing in with oth­er stu­dents.

    Police said Cruz told them he had “brought addi­tion­al loaded mag­a­zines to the school cam­pus and kept them hid­den in a back­pack until he got on cam­pus to begin his assault.”

    Cruz is accused of open­ing fire at the high school in Park­land, Flori­da, on Valen­tine’s Day, killing 17 peo­ple and wound­ing 15 oth­ers. On Feb. 15, inves­ti­ga­tors said Cruz told them that as stu­dents began to flee, he decid­ed to dis­card his AR-15 rifle and a vest he was wear­ing so he could blend in with the crowd. Police recov­ered the rifle and the vest.

    It’s still unclear why the sus­pect stopped shoot­ing.

    Since the mas­sacre, dis­turb­ing details of Cruz’s past have come to light. While the motive remains unclear, a YouTube com­men­ta­tor with his name post­ed on a video: “I’m going to be a pro­fes­sion­al school shoot­er.”

    Cruz was trans­ferred to a school with pro­grams for emo­tion­al­ly and dis­abled stu­dents when he was in eighth grade but want­ed to be main­streamed back into his home school, Broward Coun­ty School Super­in­ten­dent Robert Run­cie said Tues­day.

    The Flori­da Depart­ment of Chil­dren and Fam­i­lies inves­ti­gat­ed Cruz in 2016, and police records show deputies went to his home more than three dozen times. Start­ing in Jan­u­ary 2016, Cruz was allowed to spend half his day at the alter­na­tive school and half at Stone­man Dou­glas to ease him into the less-struc­tured envi­ron­ment.

    In August 2016, he start­ed back at Stone­man Dou­glas, but “the sit­u­a­tion had dete­ri­o­rat­ed” by Novem­ber, Run­cie said. That’s when Cruz, who had turned 18 in Sep­tem­ber 2016, refused the men­tal health ser­vices offered by the school. Run­cie said Cruz had the sup­port of his moth­er.

    He remained at the school until Feb­ru­ary 2017, when school offi­cials final­ly decid­ed to remove him after unspec­i­fied behav­ior issues. He was told his only option was an alter­na­tive school.

    ...

    Jor­dan Jereb, the leader of white nation­al­ist group Repub­lic of Flori­da, had ini­tial­ly claimed Cruz was a mem­ber of his group but lat­er walked back the claim and local law enforce­ment said there was no proof that Cruz and Jereb ever met.

    ———-

    “Shoot­ing sus­pect Niko­las Cruz had swastikas on ammu­ni­tion mag­a­zines”; CBS News; 02/27/2018

    “Flori­da school shoot­ing sus­pect Niko­las Cruz had swastikas ammu­ni­tion mag­a­zines he brought into Mar­jo­ry Stone­man Dou­glas High School on Feb. 14, a fed­er­al law enforce­ment source with direct knowl­edge of the inves­ti­ga­tion told CBS News on Tues­day. Cruz has been charged with 17 counts of pre­med­i­tat­ed mur­der.”

    So it appears that Cruz clear­ly want­ed to send a “I’m a Nazi!” mes­sage as part of this attack.

    We also learn that a gun jam may have been the thing that stopped the attack from being far more lethal:

    ...
    Sources told CBS News that Cruz broke a third-floor win­dow, pos­si­bly to fire upon peo­ple from above. Sources say he tried to cre­ate a “sniper’s nest” by shoot­ing out the win­dow, fir­ing 16 rounds into the glass, CBS News cor­re­spon­dent Manuel Bojorquez reports. But the hur­ri­cane-proof glass appeared to have stopped it from shat­ter­ing, Bojorquez reports.

    Inves­ti­ga­tors believe the sus­pect tried to reload, but after chang­ing mag­a­zine clips, his gun may have jammed, Bojorquez adds. Cruz then alleged­ly put down his weapon and left the build­ing, blend­ing in with oth­er stu­dents.
    ...

    That might answer the ques­tion as to why this guy did­n’t kill him­self like so many of these kinds of spree shoot­ers: he could­n’t after his only gun jammed.

    And regard­ing the alleged hoax­ing about Cruz’s ties to the Repub­lic of Flori­da, it’s worth recall­ing that this hoax­ing start­ed with posts on 4Chan short­ly after the attack when next to noth­ing was known about Cruz. So is it just a coin­ci­dence that a ‘hoax’ about Cruz being tied to local neo-Nazis hap­pened before we learn that this guy was indeed a Nazi who left Nazi call signs on his attack? Because if Cruz was net­work­ing with Nazis and made his inten­tions clear to those neo-Nazis that he was going to stage a school attack, that rapid ‘hoax­ing’ over a 4Chan would make tac­ti­cal sense from a dis­in­for­ma­tion stand­point: the neo-Nazis have it both ways. They get their Nazi attack, while seem­ing­ly dis­cred­it­ing groups like the ADL.

    And here’s an arti­cle that makes it clear that Cruz had, at a min­i­mum, an affin­i­ty for Nazis going back to at least 2016: It turns out Cruz and his sit­u­a­tion with his adop­tive mom was inves­ti­gat­ed by the Flori­da Depart­ment of Chil­dren & Fam­i­lies in Sep­tem­ber of 2016 after the depart­ment got a tip that Cruz was cut­ting his arms and post­ing pic­tures on Snapchat and that he expressed inten­tions to buy a gun. And dur­ing that inves­ti­ga­tion it was learned by Cruz drew a Nazi sym­bol on his back­pack:

    Mia­mi Her­ald

    Shoot­er cut him­self and drew a Nazi sym­bol on his book bag, but DCF found him to be sta­ble

    By Car­ol Marbin Miller

    Feb­ru­ary 17, 2018 08:39 AM
    Updat­ed Feb­ru­ary 18, 2018 08:32 AM

    Niko­las Cruz had just bro­ken up with his girl­friend, who had been cheat­ing on him, and he’d got­ten into a fight with anoth­er boy. He’d drawn a “Nazi sym­bol” on his book bag. And Broward men­tal health author­i­ties were wor­ried that his chron­ic depres­sion was wors­en­ing.

    It was Sept. 28, 2016, and Cruz — who since has admit­ted to per­pe­trat­ing one of the worst school shoot­ings in U.S. his­to­ry, Wednesday’s mas­sacre at Mar­jo­ry Stone­man Dou­glas High — took to his arms with a knife.

    “Mr. Cruz was on Snapchat cut­ting both of his arms,” the Flori­da Depart­ment of Chil­dren & Fam­i­lies’ abuse hot­line was told at 1:48 p.m. “Mr. Cruz has fresh cuts on both his arms. Mr. Cruz stat­ed he plans to go out and buy a gun.”

    In the report, Cruz, then 18, was list­ed as an “alleged vic­tim” of med­ical neglect and inad­e­quate super­vi­sion; his moth­er, 68-year-old Lyn­da Cruz, the “alleged per­pe­tra­tor.”

    DCF’s inves­ti­ga­tion was com­plet­ed that Nov. 12. The agency con­clud­ed that Cruz had not been mis­treat­ed by his moth­er, that he was receiv­ing ade­quate care from a coun­selor at Hen­der­son Men­tal Health, and was attend­ing school.

    “Hen­der­son came out and assessed the [vic­tim and] found him to be sta­ble enough not to be hos­pi­tal­ized,” the report said. More detailed chrono­log­i­cal notes of the inves­ti­ga­tion show the case end­ed with a nota­tion that “no ser­vices are rec­om­mend­ed.”

    The inves­ti­ga­tion appears to have lacked rig­or: An excep­tion­al stu­dent edu­ca­tion spe­cial­ist who worked with Cruz repeat­ed­ly declined to return phone calls from DCF’s adult pro­tec­tive ser­vices inves­ti­ga­tor. The school’s resource offi­cer, a deputy, “refused to share any infor­ma­tion” at all, except to con­firm that a mobile cri­sis unit had been out to the school to assess Cruz. Cruz him­self also wouldn’t coop­er­ate, say­ing that “he talked about the sit­u­a­tion enough.”

    If Cruz had, in fact, been cut­ting him­self that day, the inves­ti­ga­tor appears to have made lit­tle effort to con­firm the alle­ga­tion: The inves­ti­ga­tor, the report said, “was not able to see any scars or cuts on the [victim’s] arms because he was wear­ing long sleeves.”

    Hen­der­son report­ed to DCF that Cruz “was not at risk to harm him­self or oth­ers.”

    Cruz’s coun­selor told DCF that the teen was report­ed to have “an emo­tion­al behav­ioral dis­abil­i­ty.” Dis­ci­pli­nary reports obtained by the Mia­mi Her­ald con­firm his edu­ca­tion­al dif­fi­cul­ties. At West­glades Mid­dle School in 2013, he’d been cit­ed numer­ous times for dis­rupt­ing class, unruly behav­ior, insult­ing or pro­fane lan­guage, pro­fan­i­ty toward staff, dis­obe­di­ence and oth­er rules vio­la­tions, the records show. The behav­iors con­tin­ued at Mar­jo­ry Stone­man Dou­glas, which he attend­ed in 2016 and 2017 before being trans­ferred.

    Cruz also had been diag­nosed with autism, a neu­ro­log­i­cal dis­or­der that often leads to social awk­ward­ness and iso­la­tion, and atten­tion deficit-hyper­ac­tiv­i­ty dis­or­der, or ADHD.

    The three-page report detail­ing Cruz’s encounter with DCF in Sep­tem­ber 2016 was the sub­ject of a peti­tion filed by the agency Fri­day ask­ing a Broward Cir­cuit judge to make its his­to­ry with the fam­i­ly pub­lic. That peti­tion has not yet been ruled on.

    Fol­low­ing the mas­sacre, DCF wrote in the peti­tion, much of Cruz’s con­fi­den­tial his­to­ry has been emerg­ing, includ­ing: that he had been adopt­ed, that he had a lengthy his­to­ry of men­tal ill­ness, and that DCF had inves­ti­gat­ed his safe­ty. Some of the infor­ma­tion in the “pub­lic domain,” DCF wrote, was inac­cu­rate.

    “Upon learn­ing that we were in pos­ses­sion of records involv­ing [Cruz] as an adult, DCF imme­di­ate­ly start­ed the process to ask a court to allow the release of all records in the spir­it of full trans­paren­cy,” a DCF spokes­woman, Jes­si­ca Sims, said in a short state­ment. “A hear­ing is set for Mon­day in Broward Cir­cuit Court for a judge to review our peti­tion for release.”

    Michael Alessan­dri, a clin­i­cal pro­fes­sor of psy­chol­o­gy at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Mia­mi, cau­tioned that Cruz’s diag­no­sis of autism should not be viewed as a cause of the attack at Stone­man Dou­glas High.

    “It is a ter­ri­ble, ter­ri­ble tragedy,” said Alessan­dri, who is the exec­u­tive direc­tor of UM’s Cen­ter for Autism and Relat­ed Dis­abil­i­ties. “I can assure you that autism is not what pulled the trig­ger for this young man,” he added. “This is unques­tion­ably an issue of men­tal ill­ness. Autism is not that. It is a social com­mu­ni­ca­tion dis­or­der, not a vio­lent dis­or­der.”

    Cruz, now 19, has been charged with 17 counts of first-degree mur­der in con­nec­tion with Wednesday’s mas­sacre at Stone­man Dou­glas.

    He arrived at the school in an Uber, wear­ing a dark hat and car­ry­ing a black bag that con­tained an AR-15 semi­au­to­mat­ic rifle that he had brought one year ear­li­er from a Sun­rise “tac­ti­cal sup­ply” store. He walked the inte­ri­or, fir­ing at stu­dents and teach­ers. Then he left on foot, blend­ing in with pan­icked stu­dents, stopped at a Wal­mart, where he bought a drink and vis­it­ed a McDonald’s. Spot­ted by a deputy after leav­ing the Wal­mart, he was detained and cuffed.

    His lawyers say Cruz plans to plead guilty if pros­e­cu­tors will avoid seek­ing the death penal­ty.

    “We are try­ing to save this child’s life,” said Gor­don Weekes, the Broward Pub­lic Defender’s Office’s chief assis­tant. “We have put on the table that we are inclined to resolve this case and spare the com­mu­ni­ty hav­ing to relive this issue over again in court.” Weekes said he is hop­ing pros­e­cu­tors will for­go a request that Cruz be exe­cut­ed.

    The Broward State Attorney’s Office issued a state­ment Sat­ur­day say­ing “the death penal­ty was designed for” cas­es such as Cruz’s, but that the office had not made a deci­sion on whether to seek it.

    Defend­ers also have asked Hen­der­son Men­tal Health, which appears to have had a long his­to­ry with Cruz, for its records of his treat­ment. What lit­tle the lawyers know, Weekes said, comes from DCF’s 2016 report, which sug­gests author­i­ties had sig­nif­i­cant con­tact with Cruz in the months or years pre­ced­ing the ram­page.

    “There are checks and bal­ances in place to iden­ti­fy indi­vid­u­als in cri­sis, to get them help, and to pro­tect them and pro­tect oth­ers,” Weekes said. “They did not do that.”

    “Every sin­gle bell had been rung with this child,” Weekes said, “and noth­ing had been done.”

    DCF’s only con­tact with Cruz specif­i­cal­ly involv­ing neglect alle­ga­tions appears to have been trig­gered by a fight between Cruz and his moth­er, who now is deceased. DCF had been told ini­tial­ly that Cruz and his mom fought over an ID card the teen need­ed to buy some kind of game. The details are unclear, but DCF was told that Cruz then took to Snapchat and began “cut­ting both of his arms.”

    The inves­ti­ga­tion that fol­lowed revealed trou­bling signs: Cruz “stat­ed he plans to go out and buy a gun.” Ear­li­er, he had placed “hate signs” on his book bag, and wrote “I hate n—–s,” using the racial slur. He had a his­to­ry of depres­sion.

    Some time in the past, the report said, Hen­der­son had been sum­moned for Cruz to be invol­un­tar­i­ly com­mit­ted, “but he denies every­thing,” the report added.

    An assess­ment of Cruz’s men­tal health deter­mined that his depres­sion and oth­er issues “impair his abil­i­ty to cope with the demands of every­day life with­out the use of med­ica­tion.” Though Cruz was phys­i­cal­ly capa­ble of see­ing to his own wel­fare, the report said, he “at times lacks the moti­va­tion” to do so.

    Cruz declined to dis­cuss the alle­ga­tions with DCF, and his coun­selor from Hen­der­son “stat­ed that there are no issues with the [victim’s] med­ica­tion and he has been com­pli­ant with tak­ing his med­ica­tions and keeps all of his appoint­ments.”

    Lyn­da Cruz told inves­ti­ga­tors that the fight with her son was over the boy’s recent breakup, not an ID card, and that the romance had end­ed when she and the girl’s moth­er declared “it was unhealthy for every­one.” Lyn­da Cruz told inves­ti­ga­tors her son start­ed cut­ting him­self only after he’d bro­ken up.

    Lyn­da Cruz denied her son was a racist, and said he wouldn’t know­ing­ly draw racist or Nazi sym­bols on his belong­ings. Cruz, she said, claimed he didn’t know what the sym­bols were.

    Henderson’s mobile cri­sis unit already had inter­viewed Cruz at his school, the report said. Cruz had dis­closed to a coun­selor “that he was feel­ing depressed and start­ed cut­ting him­self.” The coun­selor “stat­ed that she was con­cerned about the [vic­tim talk­ing] about want­i­ng to pur­chase a gun and feel­ing depressed.”

    Nev­er­the­less, the assess­ment team “deter­mined that he was not at risk to harm him­self or oth­ers.” The team “found him to be sta­ble enough not to be hos­pi­tal­ized,” the report said.

    Cruz’s “cri­sis clin­i­cian” had the teen sign a “safe­ty con­tract,” though the report does not spec­i­fy what the con­tract required, oth­er than to say that Cruz would con­tin­ue with coun­sel­ing and remain in school.

    The Mia­mi Her­ald con­firmed that, over the fol­low­ing year and a half, Cruz man­aged to acquire not only the AR-15, but five oth­er firearms.

    Weekes said the report is a recita­tion of missed oppor­tu­ni­ties.

    ...

    ———–

    “Shoot­er cut him­self and drew a Nazi sym­bol on his book bag, but DCF found him to be sta­ble” by Car­ol Marbin Miller; Mia­mi Her­ald; 02/17/2018

    ““Mr. Cruz was on Snapchat cut­ting both of his arms,” the Flori­da Depart­ment of Chil­dren & Fam­i­lies’ abuse hot­line was told at 1:48 p.m. “Mr. Cruz has fresh cuts on both his arms. Mr. Cruz stat­ed he plans to go out and buy a gun.””

    So an alert of a Snapchat post of Cruz cut­ting his arms and noti­fi­ca­tion of his intent to buy a gun is sent to the Flori­da Depart­ment of Chil­dren & Fam­i­lies, and inves­ti­ga­tors learn that Cruz also has a Nazi sym­bol on his back­pack:

    ...
    DCF’s only con­tact with Cruz specif­i­cal­ly involv­ing neglect alle­ga­tions appears to have been trig­gered by a fight between Cruz and his moth­er, who now is deceased. DCF had been told ini­tial­ly that Cruz and his mom fought over an ID card the teen need­ed to buy some kind of game. The details are unclear, but DCF was told that Cruz then took to Snapchat and began “cut­ting both of his arms.”

    The inves­ti­ga­tion that fol­lowed revealed trou­bling signs: Cruz “stat­ed he plans to go out and buy a gun.” Ear­li­er, he had placed “hate signs” on his book bag, and wrote “I hate n—–s,” using the racial slur. He had a his­to­ry of depres­sion.
    ...

    His adop­tive moth­er, how­ev­er, refut­ed the idea that he was a racist or that he was even know what the sym­bols were:

    ...
    Lyn­da Cruz told inves­ti­ga­tors that the fight with her son was over the boy’s recent breakup, not an ID card, and that the romance had end­ed when she and the girl’s moth­er declared “it was unhealthy for every­one.” Lyn­da Cruz told inves­ti­ga­tors her son start­ed cut­ting him­self only after he’d bro­ken up.

    Lyn­da Cruz denied her son was a racist, and said he wouldn’t know­ing­ly draw racist or Nazi sym­bols on his belong­ings. Cruz, she said, claimed he didn’t know what the sym­bols were.
    ...

    So it sounds like his now-deceased mom was large­ly in denial or just unaware of her son’s dark side.

    And now here’s an arti­cle that describes how Cruz was exhibit­ing signs of far-right ideas for years, at least since mid­dle-school. Signs like putting swastikas on a test and calls for Pres­i­dent Oba­ma to be burned alive and eat­en:

    The Wash­ing­ton Post

    Teach­ers say Flori­da suspect’s prob­lems start­ed in mid­dle school, and the sys­tem tried to help him

    By Tim Craig, Emma Brown, Sarah Larimer and Mori­ah Balin­git
    Feb­ru­ary 18, 2018

    PARKLAND, Fla. — The real prob­lems start­ed at least as ear­ly as mid­dle school and quick­ly inten­si­fied. There were the vocal out­bursts, dis­turb­ing draw­ings of stick fig­ures with guns, con­stant dis­ci­pli­nary issues. There were threat­en­ing state­ments writ­ten on his home­work and scrap paper, includ­ing a ref­er­ence to killing Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma, say­ing he should be “burned alive and eat­en.”

    Some teach­ers banned Niko­las Cruz from their class­rooms at West­glades Mid­dle School because of his errat­ic behav­ior. One teacher said he was barred from bring­ing a back­pack to the school and that secu­ri­ty per­son­nel had to search him to ensure he didn’t have weapons. Teach­ers were very con­cerned about him and were work­ing to get him help.

    “Look­ing in his eyes, he just looked like there was a prob­lem,” said a teacher who worked with Cruz in sixth grade and spoke on the con­di­tion of anonymi­ty because of the sen­si­tiv­i­ty of the top­ic. “His behav­ior in class wasn’t con­stant­ly wrong, but every once in a while, it was. He would just spew some­thing out of his mouth that was inap­pro­pri­ate.”

    Sev­er­al teach­ers who knew Cruz in mid­dle school said in inter­views that he was an increas­ing behav­ioral chal­lenge for the school sys­tem and appeared to be on a trou­ble­some path. In the years before he would alleged­ly car­ry out one of the worst mass shoot­ings at a school in U.S. his­to­ry, Cruz faced a long string of esca­lat­ing dis­ci­pli­nary mea­sures through­out his aca­d­e­m­ic career for insub­or­di­na­tion, pro­fan­i­ty, dis­rup­tion, fight­ing and assault.

    “I can say I was so uncom­fort­able around him, I did not want to be alone with him in my class­room,” said one for­mer teacher, who also spoke on the con­di­tion of anonymi­ty because of the sen­si­tiv­i­ty of the top­ic. “That is how dis­rup­tive his behav­ior was.”

    In one school year, when Cruz was in mid­dle school, he racked up numer­ous infrac­tions — includ­ing for a fight dur­ing the sec­ond week of school and con­tin­u­ing with a pat­tern of unruly behav­ior, insults and pro­fan­i­ty, accord­ing to dis­ci­pli­nary records obtained by WPLG-Local 10, an ABC tele­vi­sion affil­i­ate in Mia­mi that shared the records with The Wash­ing­ton Post.

    Teach­ers said that by eighth grade he was lash­ing out phys­i­cal­ly — ran­dom­ly bump­ing oth­er stu­dents in the hall­ways, appear­ing to want to pick con­fronta­tions and fights, and at times break­ing into pro­fan­i­ty-laced tirades with­out any appar­ent trig­ger.

    “Some­thing would just upset him and he would just do it and come to class and act out,” one teacher said. His home­work scrawls got more trou­ble­some, includ­ing repeat­ed tirades against Amer­i­can soci­ety, the com­ment about Oba­ma and oth­er writ­ings teach­ers found alarm­ing. He put a swasti­ka on a test. He wrote about his intense inter­est in, and sup­port for, guns.

    ...

    ———–

    “Teach­ers say Flori­da suspect’s prob­lems start­ed in mid­dle school, and the sys­tem tried to help him” by Tim Craig, Emma Brown, Sarah Larimer and Mori­ah Balin­git; The Wash­ing­ton Post; 02/18/2018

    ““Some­thing would just upset him and he would just do it and come to class and act out,” one teacher said. His home­work scrawls got more trou­ble­some, includ­ing repeat­ed tirades against Amer­i­can soci­ety, the com­ment about Oba­ma and oth­er writ­ings teach­ers found alarm­ing. He put a swasti­ka on a test. He wrote about his intense inter­est in, and sup­port for, guns.”

    Repeat­ed tirades against Amer­i­can soci­ety and swastikas on a test. Sure sounds like a Nazi! Along with the ref­er­ences to burn­ing alive and eat­ing Pres­i­dent Oba­ma:

    ...
    The real prob­lems start­ed at least as ear­ly as mid­dle school and quick­ly inten­si­fied. There were the vocal out­bursts, dis­turb­ing draw­ings of stick fig­ures with guns, con­stant dis­ci­pli­nary issues. There were threat­en­ing state­ments writ­ten on his home­work and scrap paper, includ­ing a ref­er­ence to killing Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma, say­ing he should be “burned alive and eat­en.”
    ...

    So we have a grow­ing pile of evi­dence that Cruz did­n’t just sud­den­ly adopt a neo-Nazi world­view. He’s been stew­ing in these juices for years. And yes, he clear­ly had some addi­tion­al men­tal health issues, but so do a lot a peo­ple who don’t go on a shoot­ing spree. And that’s why it’s grow­ing increas­ing­ly dif­fi­cult to to the avoid the ques­tion of whether or not this was, in real­i­ty, anoth­er neo-Nazi domes­tic ter­ror attack:

    The Dai­ly Beast

    Niko­las Cruz Was a Racist. Does That Make His Attack Ter­ror­ism?

    Dean Obei­dal­lah
    03.01.18 5:14 AM ET

    On Tues­day, we learned a new, bone-chill­ing fact about the Park­land, Flori­da high school gun­man Niko­las Cruz that should’ve made nation­al head­lines but didn’t. That new devel­op­ment was that Cruz had etched swastikas on the ammu­ni­tion mag­a­zines he car­ried on the day he com­mit­ted his bru­tal mas­sacre that took 17 lives.

    When I first heard of this devel­op­ment, my jaw dropped for two rea­sons. First, does any­one actu­al­ly believe if Cruz had etched the words “Allah Akbar” on his gun mag­a­zines we wouldn’t have heard about that for near­ly two weeks after the attack? No way. I can assure you that infor­ma­tion would’ve been made pub­lic, inten­tion­al­ly or by way of a leak. And then Don­ald Trump would almost cer­tain­ly have pounced–without wait­ing for addi­tion­al evidence–to label this an Islam­ic ter­ror attack and try to use it to fur­ther his own polit­i­cal agen­da.

    But what also was shock­ing is that despite this new piece of evi­dence, togeth­er with Cruz’s known his­to­ry of hate direct­ed at peo­ple of col­or and Jews, we aren’t see­ing a fuller dis­cus­sion in the media about whether this shoot­ing was inspired by Cruz’s appar­ent white suprema­cist ide­ol­o­gy.

    As CNN had report­ed with­in days of the Feb­ru­ary 14 attack, Cruz had in the past spewed vile com­ments in a pri­vate Insta­gram cha­t­room where he shared his hatred of “jews, ni**ers, immi­grants.” Cruz also wrote about killing Mex­i­cans and hat­ing black peo­ple sim­ply because of their skin col­or and he slammed Jews because in his twist­ed view they want­ed to destroy the world.

    And Cruz’s white suprema­cist views also made their way from the online world to the real world. One of Cruz’s class­mates report­ed­ly told a social work­er that Cruz had drawn a swasti­ka on his book back next to the words “I hate ni***rs.” He also shared with oth­er stu­dents his “hat­ing on” Islam and slam­ming all Mus­lims as “ter­ror­ists and bombers.” And Cruz was also seen wear­ing a Trump MAGA hat when he was enrolled in school well before the attack.

    While ini­tial reports that Cruz was actu­al­ly a mem­ber of a white suprema­cist group proved to be unfound­ed, there’s no dis­put­ing Cruz’s doc­u­ment­ed his­to­ry of spew­ing despi­ca­ble views that line up with the white nation­al­ist ide­ol­o­gy. But still, giv­en all that we’ve now learned, the ques­tion I have is: How much more evi­dence do we need before we dis­cuss in earnest whether Cruz’s white suprema­cist views played a role in this attack?!

    True, there’s no evi­dence that Cruz tar­get­ed any spe­cif­ic group of peo­ple dur­ing his ram­page. But then again, ISIS-inspired ter­ror­ists who have com­mit­ted acts of ter­ror on U.S. soil, such as the man who inten­tion­al­ly drove a truck on a New York City pedes­tri­an walk­way in 2017 that killed eight, didn’t tar­get any spe­cif­ic race or reli­gion. He and oth­ers like him com­mit­ted acts of ter­ror in fur­ther­ance of their sick, per­vert­ed ideology—to spread ter­ror.

    And the swastikas on Cruz’s gun mag­a­zines take on a greater sig­nif­i­cance when you exam­ine the shoot­ing itself. Of the 17 peo­ple Cruz killed, at least five were Jew­ish. (Some reports note it could be six.) Even more dis­turb­ing is that Cruz had report­ed­ly shot bul­lets into a Holo­caust his­to­ry class that killed two of those stu­dents. Did Cruz inten­tion­al­ly tar­get that class since he had for­mer­ly been a stu­dent at the school? We don’t know but giv­en Cruz’s his­to­ry this is cer­tain­ly a fair ques­tion. And since he’s that rare mass-shoot­er who’s still alive, I pre­sume he’ll be asked.

    In fact, the ques­tion of whether Cruz’s gun mas­sacre was an anti-Semit­ic attack inspired by a white suprema­cist ide­ol­o­gy was raised in an op-ed in the lib­er­al Israeli news­pa­per Ha’aretz even before we learned about the swastikas on Cruz’s gun mag­a­zines. There, the writer not­ed that Cruz had expressed views “that Jews were part of a con­spir­a­cy to unseat white peo­ple from pow­er and destroy the world.” In response to that arti­cle, the writer was sub­ject­ed to an avalanche of vile anti-Semit­ic barbs.

    Giv­en these new­ly revealed swastikas, it’s long over­due that we have that con­ver­sa­tion about whether Cruz was more than a trou­bled youth. And to be clear, Cruz was trou­bled. He had been repeat­ed­ly dis­ci­plined at school for dis­turb­ing behav­ior and for a peri­od of time was placed in a spe­cial school for kids with emo­tion­al and behav­ior issues. On social media, he even wrote about his dream of becom­ing a “pro­fes­sion­al school shoot­er.” But when he was eval­u­at­ed in 2016 by a men­tal health pro­fes­sion­al, he was deter­mined to be sta­ble and not in need of being invol­un­tar­i­ly com­mit­ted to a men­tal health insti­tu­tion.

    So why does it mat­ter if we raise the ques­tion of whether Cruz’s attack was inspired by his appar­ent white suprema­cist ide­ol­o­gy? For two rea­sons.

    First and fore­most, it may save lives. We have seen a spike in the time of Trump of white suprema­cist vio­lence and activ­i­ties. As the Anti-Defama­tion League recent­ly doc­u­ment­ed, there were 34 extrem­ist-relat­ed deaths on U.S. soil in 2017. A major­i­ty of those, 18, were caused by white suprema­cists, while nine were caused by Islam­ic extrem­ists.

    ...

    Sec­ond­ly, we need to end the media’s hypocrisy on this issue. If Cruz had been Mus­lim, we know from recent his­to­ry that the media would’ve labeled this a ter­ror­ist attack with­out the in-depth analy­sis into the terrorist’s men­tal health. But if the killer is white, the media and many in our nation pre­fer to believe the per­son is men­tal­ly ill and try to avoid label­ing him a ter­ror­ist. Just look at the case of Dylann Roof, who lit­er­al­ly stat­ed he had exe­cut­ed nine African Amer­i­cans because he want­ed to start a “race war,” yet few in the media referred to him as a ter­ror­ist..

    In time we may learn the exact rea­son why Cruz com­mit­ted his ram­page. Per­haps it was tru­ly the act of a clin­i­cal­ly insane indi­vid­ual? Or maybe it was inspired by his white suprema­cist ide­ol­o­gy? But giv­en the evi­dence we have about Cruz togeth­er with the recent spike in white suprema­cist attacks on U.S. soil, it’s time we dis­cuss whether Cruz’s ram­page was a white suprema­cist ter­ror­ist attack. That’s the only way we can counter this grow­ing threat.

    ———–

    “Niko­las Cruz Was a Racist. Does That Make His Attack Ter­ror­ism?” by Dean Obei­dal­lah; The Dai­ly Beast; 03/01/2018

    “But what also was shock­ing is that despite this new piece of evi­dence, togeth­er with Cruz’s known his­to­ry of hate direct­ed at peo­ple of col­or and Jews, we aren’t see­ing a fuller dis­cus­sion in the media about whether this shoot­ing was inspired by Cruz’s appar­ent white suprema­cist ide­ol­o­gy.”

    Yep, it’s pret­ty remark­able how wild­ly effec­tive the neo-Nazi ‘hoax’ real­ly was. The “Repub­lic of Flori­da” con­nec­tion gets exposed as an inten­tion­al hoax, a hoax that appeared to involved the leader of the Repub­lic of Flori­da, and then the media almost entire­ly ignores all the sub­se­quent sto­ries that have come out demon­strat­ing that Cruz was, at a min­i­mum, a neo-Nazi true believ­er.

    And the sud­den drop­ping of the neo-Nazi con­nec­tion to this shoot­ing has man­aged to obscure one of the most impor­tant ques­tions sur­round­ing this attack: was this a Dylann Roof-style neo-Nazi attack?

    ...
    While ini­tial reports that Cruz was actu­al­ly a mem­ber of a white suprema­cist group proved to be unfound­ed, there’s no dis­put­ing Cruz’s doc­u­ment­ed his­to­ry of spew­ing despi­ca­ble views that line up with the white nation­al­ist ide­ol­o­gy. But still, giv­en all that we’ve now learned, the ques­tion I have is: How much more evi­dence do we need before we dis­cuss in earnest whether Cruz’s white suprema­cist views played a role in this attack?!

    ...

    So why does it mat­ter if we raise the ques­tion of whether Cruz’s attack was inspired by his appar­ent white suprema­cist ide­ol­o­gy? For two rea­sons.

    First and fore­most, it may save lives. We have seen a spike in the time of Trump of white suprema­cist vio­lence and activ­i­ties. As the Anti-Defama­tion League recent­ly doc­u­ment­ed, there were 34 extrem­ist-relat­ed deaths on U.S. soil in 2017. A major­i­ty of those, 18, were caused by white suprema­cists, while nine were caused by Islam­ic extrem­ists.

    ...

    Sec­ond­ly, we need to end the media’s hypocrisy on this issue. If Cruz had been Mus­lim, we know from recent his­to­ry that the media would’ve labeled this a ter­ror­ist attack with­out the in-depth analy­sis into the terrorist’s men­tal health. But if the killer is white, the media and many in our nation pre­fer to believe the per­son is men­tal­ly ill and try to avoid label­ing him a ter­ror­ist. Just look at the case of Dylann Roof, who lit­er­al­ly stat­ed he had exe­cut­ed nine African Amer­i­cans because he want­ed to start a “race war,” yet few in the media referred to him as a ter­ror­ist.

    In time we may learn the exact rea­son why Cruz com­mit­ted his ram­page. Per­haps it was tru­ly the act of a clin­i­cal­ly insane indi­vid­ual? Or maybe it was inspired by his white suprema­cist ide­ol­o­gy? But giv­en the evi­dence we have about Cruz togeth­er with the recent spike in white suprema­cist attacks on U.S. soil, it’s time we dis­cuss whether Cruz’s ram­page was a white suprema­cist ter­ror­ist attack. That’s the only way we can counter this grow­ing threat.

    So was this a neo-Nazi ter­ror attack sim­i­lar to what Dyl­lan Roof was try­ing to accom­plish? Well, as the fol­low­ing arti­cle notes, the school he attacked is almost 40 per­cent Jew­ish. It’s hard to imag­ine Cruz was­n’t well aware of this. And yet this angle of the attack is almost nev­er men­tioned:

    Haaretz

    Opin­ion I Called the Dou­glas High Shoot­ing a Cred­i­bly anti-Semit­ic Attack. The Response? An anti-Semit­ic Del­uge
    Niko­las Cruz had a well-doc­u­ment­ed hatred of Jews; the school he shot up had a 40% Jew­ish pop­u­la­tion. But to some on the left, who right­ly point out the big­otry behind oth­er mass shoot­ings, the idea he tar­get­ed Jews fuels a vicious push­back

    Natal­ie Lif­son Feb 21, 2018 4:42 PM

    On Feb­ru­ary 14th 2018, 19-year-old Niko­las Cruz took an Uber to Mar­jo­ry Stone­man Dou­glas High School, the insti­tu­tion from which he had been expelled a year ear­li­er, and began shoot­ing. 17 stu­dents and teach­ers were killed and anoth­er 14 injured.

    The atroc­i­ty has spurred intense debate over per­ti­nent issues such as gun reform, men­tal health care, and the effec­tive­ness of social ser­vices.

    But what still isn’t being dis­cussed is that Dou­glas High School is more than 40% Jew­ish, that Cruz believed that Jews were part of a con­spir­a­cy to unseat white peo­ple from pow­er and destroy the world, and that the shoot­ing could cred­i­bly be termed an anti-Semit­ic hate crime.

    But there seems to be some­thing threat­en­ing, or at least deeply uncom­fort­able, for many peo­ple about this con­tention. From per­son­al expe­ri­ence, the response, at least on social media, is a del­uge of vicious anti-Semi­tism.

    Per­son­al accounts of stu­dents who attend­ed high school with Cruz have pegged him as an anti-Semi­te who believed that white peo­ple were the mas­ter race.

    Accord­ing to one indi­vid­ual who knew him and con­tact­ed me but was con­cerned about going pub­lic, he was active­ly hos­tile towards Jews, black peo­ple, and Mus­lims in par­tic­u­lar through­out high school and had threat­ened them in the past. In fact, that source claims that sev­er­al of the vio­lent inci­dents he was expelled for were attacks against Jews. Six vic­tims of his mas­sacre were Jew­ish.

    One exam­ple of his bla­tant anti-Semi­tism was record­ed in Insta­gram chats with like-mind­ed white suprema­cist friends. Dur­ing one of the rants in the chat, Cruz spoke of his birth moth­er, say­ing, “My real mom was a Jew. I am glad I nev­er met her.”

    Accord­ing to the Flori­da Depart­ment of Chil­dren and Fam­i­lies, who inves­ti­gat­ed Cruz in 2016 after he post­ed graph­ic, vio­lent, and dis­turb­ing images on Snapchat, Cruz had, at one point, dec­o­rat­ed his back­pack with swastikas.

    While town records state that only 1.6% of Park­land is Jew­ish, mem­bers of the Park­land Jew­ish com­mu­ni­ty were quick to point out that the list­ed demo­graph­ics only take into account reli­gious Jews. Accord­ing to Jews who live in Park­land, the major­i­ty of the Jew­ish pop­u­la­tion is sec­u­lar, or eth­ni­cal­ly and cul­tur­al­ly Jew­ish but not reli­gious­ly, and would not have self-iden­ti­fied as such in the cen­sus.

    The shoot­ing has shak­en the local Jew­ish com­mu­ni­ty. Accord­ing to a local rab­bi, Park­land “is a small com­mu­ni­ty where near­ly half the pop­u­la­tion is Jew­ish, so every­one has been touched by what hap­pened.”

    At one point in the cov­er­age, it was sug­gest­ed that Cruz was part of a white suprema­cist orga­ni­za­tion, the Repub­lic of Flori­da Mili­tia whose head claimed to have trained Cruz in the art of gun vio­lence with the explic­it pur­pose of tar­get­ing peo­ple of col­or and Jews in the event that they rise up against white peo­ple, but also denied any knowl­edge of or involve­ment in the shoot­ing. “We’re not a big fan of Jews,” Jerub spec­u­lat­ed on Cruz’s motives. “I think there were a lot of Jews at the school that might have been mess­ing with him.”

    How­ev­er, soon after claim­ing Cruz as a mem­ber of ROF, Jerub back­tracked, stat­ing his claims that he trained Cruz with ROF were a “mis­un­der­stand­ing” pro­pelled by the “lying Jew media.” That last com­ment was far less wide­ly quot­ed in the media.

    While there is room to ques­tion Cruz’s exact moti­va­tions — from men­tal ill­ness to anger over his expul­sion — I find it trou­bling that such a vis­i­ble con­nec­tion to anti-Semi­tism is being over­looked as irrel­e­vant enough to entire­ly exclude it from many major news arti­cles.

    If a known hater of minori­ties bla­tant­ly and fre­quent­ly spoke about abhor­rence for any oth­er minor­i­ty and then shot up a school — even one he used to attend — that con­sist­ed most­ly of mem­bers of that eth­nic group, peo­ple (who care about social jus­tice) would at least be dis­cussing the pos­si­bil­i­ty that it was a hate crime.

    We’re not hav­ing that dis­cus­sion and not tak­ing Cruz’s anti-Semi­tism seri­ous­ly because com­mon anti-Semit­ic tropes paint Jews as pow­er­ful and priv­i­leged, which leaves room for peo­ple to ignore the fact that the long his­to­ry of prej­u­dice against us con­tin­ues to this day.

    ...

    ———–

    “Opin­ion I Called the Dou­glas High Shoot­ing a Cred­i­bly anti-Semit­ic Attack. The Response? An anti-Semit­ic Del­uge” by Natal­ie Lif­son; Haaretz; 02/21/2018

    But what still isn’t being dis­cussed is that Dou­glas High School is more than 40% Jew­ish, that Cruz believed that Jews were part of a con­spir­a­cy to unseat white peo­ple from pow­er and destroy the world, and that the shoot­ing could cred­i­bly be termed an anti-Semit­ic hate crime.”

    Cruz clear­ly hates a wide vari­ety of minori­ties. But it’s hard to ignore that he shot up a school that was over 40 per­cent Jew­ish. And yet that fact is actu­al­ly be large­ly ignored. Was the ‘hoax’ that effec­tive?

    And note that the indi­vid­ual who anony­mous­ly con­tact­ed the above author and described how Cruz was expelled for vio­lent attacks against Jews could very well be one of those 4Chan trolls. That was their m.o.: con­tact the press, but ask to not reveal their iden­ti­ties, and then make claims about how he real­ly was a neo-Nazi:

    ...
    Accord­ing to one indi­vid­ual who knew him and con­tact­ed me but was con­cerned about going pub­lic, he was active­ly hos­tile towards Jews, black peo­ple, and Mus­lims in par­tic­u­lar through­out high school and had threat­ened them in the past. In fact, that source claims that sev­er­al of the vio­lent inci­dents he was expelled for were attacks against Jews. Six vic­tims of his mas­sacre were Jew­ish.
    ...

    So unless we get fur­ther con­fir­ma­tion that Cruz real­ly was expelled for attacks against Jews we should prob­a­bly assume that this was dis­in­for­ma­tion from anoth­er hoax­er. Which would once again be ‘dis­in­for­ma­tion’ that just hap­pens to align with the real­i­ty of Cruz that we’ve learned through lat­er reports.

    Sim­i­lar­ly note who else saw a poten­tial anti-Semit­ic angle very ear­ly on: Jor­dan Jereb of the Repub­lic of Flori­da. And when Jereb back­tracked from his claims he blamed it all on the “Jew­ish media”:

    ...
    At one point in the cov­er­age, it was sug­gest­ed that Cruz was part of a white suprema­cist orga­ni­za­tion, the Repub­lic of Flori­da Mili­tia whose head claimed to have trained Cruz in the art of gun vio­lence with the explic­it pur­pose of tar­get­ing peo­ple of col­or and Jews in the event that they rise up against white peo­ple, but also denied any knowl­edge of or involve­ment in the shoot­ing. “We’re not a big fan of Jews,” Jerub spec­u­lat­ed on Cruz’s motives. “I think there were a lot of Jews at the school that might have been mess­ing with him.”

    How­ev­er, soon after claim­ing Cruz as a mem­ber of ROF, Jerub back­tracked, stat­ing his claims that he trained Cruz with ROF were a “mis­un­der­stand­ing” pro­pelled by the “lying Jew media.” That last com­ment was far less wide­ly quot­ed in the media.
    ...

    Jor­dan Jereb and a bunch of trolls of 4Chan alleged­ly per­pe­trate a hoax on the world very soon after this attack, first claim­ing that Cruz was active with the Repub­lic of Flori­da only to have that retract­ed and exposed as a hoax a day lat­er. Thus estab­lish­ing very ear­ly on that this attack was­n’t a neo-Nazi attack. And yet, as we’re dis­cov­er­ing, just about every­thing those ‘hoax­ers’ were ‘hoax­ing’ about turned out to be true.

    So it looks like ‘hoax hoax­es’ should be expect­ed in the future. After all, giv­en the wild suc­cess of what appears to be a hoaxed hoax in this case it’s hard to imag­ine neo-Nazis aren’t going to try to repeat it. And that’s one more big rea­son we have to hope inves­ti­ga­tors take seri­ous­ly the pos­si­bil­i­ty that this attack involved a pre­med­i­tat­ed ‘hoax hoax’: You gen­er­al­ly want to avoid ‘feed­ing the trolls.’ But in this case ‘feed­ing the trolls’ might actu­al­ly get some­one killed. Maybe even a lot of peo­ple killed. And help the killer’s neo-Nazi troll accom­plices get away with it.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | March 1, 2018, 10:06 pm

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