FBI headquarters building is seen in Washington, U.S., December 7, 2018.
(photo credit: YURI GRIPAS/REUTERS)
A potentially homicidal white supremacist who was posting murderous content on social media was arrested by the FBI in Pennsylvania in March following a tip-off by the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism.
Corbin Kauffman from Lehighton, Pennsylvania began posting on a fringe social media site called Minds.com in early March after being banned by some mainstream platforms.
According to the ADL, Kauffman, 30, used several aliases to post some 600 messages, images and videos from March 3 to March 29, the majority of which voiced white supremacist beliefs and promoted racial violence.
Under one of his aliases, under the account name KingShekels, Kauffman posted some 140 antisemitic or Holocaust denial diatribes, of which 60 focused on Adolf Hitler, Nazi Germany, the Wehrmacht or Nazi symbols. As well, 59 degraded African Americans, Muslims and the LGBT community.
Included among his posts were comments such as: “All Jews must die”; “Murder your local Juden,” which was scrawled around a an image of a red swastika; “Gas Jews an murda nigz [sic]”; and “A Jew will stab you in the back, Stab a Jew in the face.”
Kauffman also posted a video of a man shooting a belt-fed automatic machine gun captioned, “When you walk into a synagogue.”
On March 6, he wrote, “Shekels wants to genocide Jews and niggers,” and on the same date he posted an image of himself and wrote, “The last thing ya’ll [sic] kikes will see.” The two posts indicate Kauffman may have been considering carrying out mass-murder.
On March 13, he posted a digitally edited image of his own hand aiming an AR-15 rifle at a synagogue.
Kauffman also issued posts praising the white supremacist Christchurch, New Zealand shooter Brenton Tarrant. In another post, he stated: “I’m ready for the collapse. Let’s accelerate things a bit.”
According to the ADL, this language is indicative of “accelerationism,” the proposal that extreme racial violence can accelerate societal collapse after which white supremacists can build a white ethno-state.
Kauffman also posted images linked to an antisemitic vandalism at a park in Pennsylvania, and the defacement of a Chabad center in Maryland.
Following the ADL tip-off, the FBI arrested Kauffman and charged him with “interstate transmission of threats to injure the person of another.
The US Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, under the US Department of Justice, described as highly worrying Kauffman’s social media posts, as well pictures he posted of “acts of vandalism he committed, including antisemitic graffiti at a public park, and the defacement of a display case at the Chabad Jewish Center in Ocean City, Maryland with white supremacist and antisemitic stickers.”
United States Attorney David J. Freed said, “Pennsylvanians know all too well how dangerous these kinds of white supremacist threats can be,” in reference to the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting in October last year.
“The last thing we want is to see another tragedy like we saw at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, or at Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch, or at Emmanual African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston,” said Freed.
“We don’t know what might have happened, but we take these threats seriously, and I commend the FBI for their vigilance and quick action in this case.”
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