firstname.lastname@example.org (Isabella Zavarise)
- Ricky Shiffer was killed after attempting to break into an FBI field office in Cincinnati.
- George Washington University researcher Jon Lewis told Insider the shooter died due to conspiracy theories.
- Lewis cited Shiffer as an example of how far-right groups can get people killed.
Extremism researcher says shooter who tried to break into Ohio FBI field office was inspired by far-right groups and rhetoric pushing conspiracy theories that can get those who are killed subscribe to their beliefs.
Jon Lewis, a research fellow at George Washington University’s Extremism Program, told Insider that the shooter’s actions were unfortunately unsurprising.
“They’re picking up guns and they’re going to FBI field offices and I think that should be a major concern,” he said.
Ricky Shiffer, who tried to break into the FBI office in Cincinnati on Thursday with an AR-15 type assault rifle, had followed and engaging with right-wing platforms that encouraged him to act violently.
Lewis cited Shiffer’s actions as an example of what scholars in this field call stochastic terrorism; a terrorism that is statistically predictable but individually unpredictable. An example is the GOP calls to destroy and defund the FBI.
During the attack, To change job on former President Donald Trump’s Truth Social network saying “Well, I thought I had a way through bulletproof glass, and I didn’t. If you don’t have a my news, it’s true that I tried to attack the FBI, and it’s ‘It either means that I was removed from the Internet, or that the FBI got me, or that they have sent the usual cops,” the @RickyWShifferJr account wrote at 9:29 a.m. ET, according to NBC News. The account no longer exists on the platform.
In response to the raid on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home to seize classified documents, one of the posts encouraged people to “kill the FBI on sight and be prepared to take down other active enemies of the people and those who try to stop you”.
“You really can’t disconnect the rhetoric online, in the halls of Congress, on cable news, from the people who hear this and are willing to engage in violence in the name of that rhetoric,” Lewis told Insider. . “This is a very good example of someone who has now died as a direct result of these conspiracies. I cannot explain this point clearly enough.”
Lewis said those attacks would likely continue to come from individuals like Shiffer.
It’s unclear if Shiffer was directly linked to extremist groups, but authorities are looking into his ties to the Proud Boys after he tweeted“Save ammunition, contact the Proud Boys and learn how they did it in the Revolutionary War, because submitting to tyranny while legally protesting was never the American way.”
The 42 year old man former navy vet was known to the FBI after learning that he participated in the Capitol Riot on January 6, 2021, according at the New York Times. Officers attempted to locate him but concluded that the information they had gathered did not contain a specific and credible threat.
Calls from the far right for a civil war have increased since the FBI raided Mar-a-Lago for classified documents that former President Donald Trump removed from the White House.
Lewis said that while this message is not new, there is a small but growing subset of individuals in the United States who want to see violence happen, whether the result is a civil war or not.