An 18-year old from Alaska amassing weapons and silencers was arrested after declaring on social media “Let’s beat Hitler’s count” and referring to “shooting up” a synagogue, The Daily Beast reported.
In addition, the man, named as Michael Lee Graves, posted an image of a person with a massive head injury with the caption, “The perfect treatment for Muslims. Fixes them up good and new.”
Prosecutors in the case say the man showed all signs of a mass shooter preparing for a massacre.
The FBI had been following Graves since late April when they received a tip about his social media postings. The same day that tip came in, they were notified by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives about a package sent to Graves that contained an illegal device intended to convert a “semi-automatic Glock-type pistol into a machine gun.”
The package was intercepted by U.S. Customs and Border Protection addressed to Graves.
A further search of his apartment revealed he had collected 11 firearms as well as two homemade silencers. On one of the silencers was an image of a swastika along with the number 1488, a code known to be used by neo-Nazis as a sign of Hitler and Nazi ideology.
Crimes such as these, which are ever increasing in the U.S., fall under the FBI’s definition of domestic terrorism, which is categorized as:
[Crimes] perpetrated by individuals and/or groups inspired by or associated with primarily US-based movements that espouse extremist ideologies of a political, religious, social, racial, or environmental nature. [emphasis added]
Statistics about the quantity of those that ascribe to such extremist ideologies may be debatable, but the potential actions of these individuals are of the utmost concern because of their proven deadly outcomes.
President Trump said after the New Zealand mosque massacres, “I think it’s a small group of people that have very, very serious problems.”
Possibly true, possibly not. More resources need to be put into the Department of Homeland Security along with the FBI to find out.
In the meantime, it’s time to call out white supremacist violence for what it is: terrorism, and treat it as such.