Former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein backed up Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush‘s statement that white terrorism is a big problem in the United States.
“George is right,” wrote Rosenstein in an early Sunday morning tweet. “Killing random civilians to spread a political message is terrorism. FBI classifies it as domestic terrorism, but ‘white terrorism’ is more precise. Many of the killers are lone-wolf losers indoctrinated to hate through the internet, just like Islamic terrorists.”
This comes after a mass shooting in El Paso, Texas on Saturday, in which a man killed at least 20 people, and injured 26 others. The shooter was taken in custody and will reportedly face possible capital murder charges. He has been identified as Patrick Crusius, according to CNN. The FBI opened a domestic terrorism investigation. This is unconfirmed, but an online manifesto showed that the suspect was allegedly motivated by hatred of immigrants and Hispanics.
Bush highlighted the alleged racist nature behind the attack.
“I proudly served in Afghanistan as a Naval officer where our mission was to fight and kill terrorists,” he wrote Saturday. “I believe fighting terrorism remains a national priority. And that should include standing firm against white terrorism here in the US. There have now been multiple attacks from self-declared white terrorists here in the US in the last several months. This is a real and present threat that we must all denounce and defeat.”
Indeed, the El Paso incident was another mass shooting that had confirmed or alleged racist motives. In 2015, white supremacist Dylann Roof opened fire at a church in South Carolina and killed nine black churchgoers. There have been allegedly anti-Semitic attacks on synagogues in California, and Pennsylvania. Such attacks aren’t limited to the United States–a man allegedly opened fire at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, killing 51–but mass shootings in general are way more common in the U.S. than anywhere else.
El Paso, 20
Virginia Beach, 12
Aurora, Ill., 5
Thousand Oaks, 12
Santa Fe, Tx., 10
Sutherland Springs, Tx., 26
Las Vegas, 58
Ft. Lauderdale, 5
Burlington, Wash., 5
Only the sites and numbers change; nothing else does.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 4, 2019
Roof and the alleged shooters in the California, Pennsylvania, and New Zealand shootings were all reportedly indoctrinated in, or otherwise displayed white supremacist and nationalist hatred online. The suspects in the synagogue and mosque shootings each allegedly announced their attacks in social media posts or manifestos.
[Image via Mark Makela/Getty Images]