Violent Threats Rise Following Mar-A-Lago Search

More than three weeks have passed since the FBI executed a search warrant at the Mar-a-Lago residence of former President Donald Trump. Since then, various factions of the conservative right – private citizens, social media users, even some politicians – have wasted no time issuing violent threats.

Unfortunately, threats against federal agents are routine and common.

On social media platforms such as Gab, Telegram and Facebook, researchers cited a notable increase in calls for violence. Elizabeth Neumann of Moonshot, a London-based agency that analyzes and counters online extremism, told Insider that references to terms such as “armed rebellion”, “revolution”, “lock and load” and “civil war ” increased by 106% after the Mar-a-Lago search.

“In these right-wing and extremist spaces, they interpret the search for Mar-a-Lago not as a legitimate legal process, but as the first shots of a war by the federal government,” said researcher Alex Friedfeld. at the Anti-Lago. Defamation League Center on Extremism, “Therefore, you see calls for people to arm up, lock down and load up, and be ready to use real bullets to defend themselves.”

Indeed, in the first few days after Mar-a-Lago, the situation became so unstable that the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security issued information bulletins regarding the dramatic increase in the number of threats against agents. federal. According to NBC News, the FBI has also warned that some far-right social media users are targeting certain people for violence by releasing information such as home addresses and identification of family members, warning that such actions were very real and credible threats.

Such announcements were certainly justified. Ricky W. Shiffer, a 42-year-old gunman from Columbus, Ohio, attempted to break into an FBI field office in Cincinnati with an AR-15 rifle and nail gun on August 11. Shiffer was killed in a standoff. with the police.

Meanwhile, in the Northeast, Pennsylvania resident Adam Bies has been arrested and charged with repeatedly threatening to kill FBI agents following the Mar-a-Lago raid.

“Every piece of shit that works for the FBI in any capacity, from the director to the janitor cleaning their fucking toilets, deserves to die,” one of Bies’ posts on Gab said, according to the FBI affidavit at the support for his arrest. “You declared war on us and now it’s open season on YOU.”

Such alarming threats and behavior have not been relegated solely to the far right. In keeping with their bombastic and acerbic reputation, some Republican MAGA politicians also joined in, participating in the “we’ll kill them” brigade.

Florida Republican congressional candidate Martin Hyde recently said in a campaign video that FBI agents would leave his home ‘in a body bag’ if they tried to search him like they did in Mar-a -The girlfriend. Also in the Sunshine State, Florida House of Representatives candidate Luis Miguel was banned on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook after saying he would ratify shooting federal agents “on sight.”

Former President Donald Trump has warned threateningly that “terrible things are going to happen” in response to the increased threats, and that the country is in a “very dangerous position” following the search of his home.

These politicians, including Trump, know exactly what they are doing. Such rhetoric, designed to anger and agitate the most unbalanced segments of their political base, is simply abominable.

In response to such irresponsible rhetoric, Democratic lawmakers are pushing social media companies to take more aggressive action to reduce and eradicate such volatile behavior on their platforms by reducing volume.

The hard core, undeniable truth is that the MAGA right is a group of people who do not despise the constitution or the rights of others. They have made it clear that they will stop at nothing to secure their own right-wing dystopian society no matter what kind of havoc and wreckage they must create to do so.

Because of such a troubling situation, many Americans from all political backgrounds are experiencing periods of self-reflection about their current status in our country. Some even leave the country.

After all, we currently reside in a society where the far right has been so mean with its language that it has emboldened racists, anti-Semites, homophobes, xenophobes, misogynists and others filled with violence and hatred. .

From a political, social and cultural point of view, the state of the union seems worrying at the moment.

Elwood Watson is Professor of History, Black Studies, and Gender and Sexuality Studies at East Tennessee State University.

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