In the wake of the FBI raid at Mar-a-Lago, online threats quickly turn into violence in the real world

By TechThop Team

Posted on: 13 Aug, 2022

It was reported that the FBI raided Trump's Florida beach club to retrieve classified documents the former president may have unlawfully taken there, reminiscent of the days leading up to the Capitol attack.

The raid at Mar-a-Lago was confirmed by Trump himself on Monday, and pro-Trump pundits and politicians rallied around declarations of 'war,' and Trump's ardent supporters demanded that the federal law enforcement agency be dismantled and that agents be killed. A rapid escalation of the situation followed, with online rhetoric quickly spilling over into violence in real life.

In Cincinnati, Ohio, on Thursday, Ricky Shiffer tried forcing his way into an FBI office, brandishing a rifle before fleeing. Shiffer was fatally shot during a standoff with police after being pursued by law enforcement.

The Institute for Strategic Dialogue, a nonprofit that studies extremism and disinformation, found evidence that Shiffer was motivated by conspiracy

His beliefs regarding the 2020 election, his desire to kill federal law enforcement, and the recent search warrant executed earlier this week at Mar-a-Lago.” He was also reportedly present during the January 6 attack — another echo between this week’s escalating online threats and the political violence that day at the Capitol.

The former president and his supporters appear to have been active on Twitter and Truth Social, Trump's company's social media platform. Shiffer appeared to post on Truth Social about how he had failed to break through a ballistic glass barrier with a nail gun to infiltrate the FBI office on Thursday.

'Well, I thought I had a way through bulletproof glass, but I didn't,' the account said Thursday morning. “I tried attacking the FBI, so if I don't hear from you, it means either I was taken off the Internet, the FBI got me, or the regular police sent me...”

In light of Monday's raid at Mar-a-Lago, the account urged others to 'kill the FBI on sight' and 'be ready to kill the enemy.' A 'call to arms' was also issued to arm followers for combat. The account declared this week that anyone who knows of protests or attacks should post them here.

By Friday, Shiffer's account had been removed, and a search of his name turned up mostly content decrying his actions. Is there a reason why you censored Noricky Shiffer's profile? A Truth Social user posted on Friday, 'So much for truth and transparency.'.

In spite of this, online conspiracy theories continue to circulate, blaming Antifa for the attack on the FBI office in Ohio, accusing the agency of planting documents at Mar-a-Lago and spreading unfounded fears that well-armed IRS agents will descend on Americans in light of Friday's House passage of the Inflation Reduction Act.

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