FBI warns of copycat attacks in wake of mass shootings

FBI warns of copycat attacks in wake of mass shootings
© Getty Images

The FBI is warning of the potential for copycat attacks by domestic extremists after two mass shootings rocked the country over the weekend, including one that appeared to be motivated by animus toward Hispanics and immigrants.

In a statement released Sunday, the FBI said it was possible extremists could be "inspired" by the attacks. 

"The FBI remains concerned that U.S.-based domestic violent extremists could become inspired by these and previous high-profile attacks to engage in similar acts of violence," the statement said. "The FBI asks the American public to report to law enforcement any suspicious activity that is observed either in person or online."

ADVERTISEMENT

The FBI’s Domestic Terrorism-Hate Crimes Fusion Cell is assisting investigations into the El Paso shooting that left 20 dead on Saturday.

Patrick Wood Crusius, the alleged gunman in the El Paso shooting, is believed to have written a racist, anti-immigrant manifesto before the attack, which described fears of a Latino “invasion."

The FBI is also assisting local law enforcement in the Dayton shooting that left nine people dead. A racial motivation is not clear in the Dayton shooting, which left victims who were African American and white, including the alleged shooter's sister.

Agency director Christopher Wray expressed "sincere condolences to the victims, families, and communities affected by this weekend’s violence" in Sunday's statement.

“I am proud of our state and local law enforcement partners and the immediate response of FBI agents, analysts, and professional staff, working in close coordination to assist them," he added. "I have been in contact with the president and the attorney general, and they both have expressed their support for the FBI’s work in the wake of these tragedies.”