San Diego – A California man visiting an online message board frequented by white supremacists has come forward, saying that he came across a post containing plans for the Pohway synagogue attack on Saturday morning, contacting the FBI just moments before the shooting began.
BuzzFeed News (http://bit.ly/2ZIyR8V ) reported that the man, who asked to be identified only by his last name, Colin, said that a disturbing discussion with a conspiracy theorist piqued his curiosity, prompting him to surf 8chan, a far-right message board featuring posts calling for violence and other radical action.
It was just after 11 AM when Colin saw a new post on the message board linking to a manifesto lauding the shooters in the Tree of Life Synagogue massacre in Pittsburgh last fall and the New Zealand mosque attack in March and announcing his plan to kill Jews.
Alarmed by the post he called the FBI at 11:15, who took his call seriously. The post was removed within five minutes, said Colin.
“The administrators of the site took it down while I was on the phone with the FBI and then I knew for sure it must be legit,” said Colin.
8chan disputed that account, tweeting that the post was removed nine minutes after it had gone up and noting, “The loudest groups publicizing this crime and giving attention to this CRIMINAL are the fake-news media.”
The FBI confirmed that it received several tips about the attack which included links to the 8chan post, but was not able to identify the poster before the attack began at 11:30 AM.
Screenshots of the post captured by conflict journalist Robert Evans on his Bellingcat blog which included a list of nine songs that shooter John Earnest reportedly wanted to play as he streamed his attack. The posted also contained a link to a manifesto bearing Earnest’s name which blames Jews for a litany of crimes including controlling the news media, controlling nations’ funding to promote evil, feminism, selling pornography and engaging in slave trading for more than 2,000 years.
“Every Jew young and old has contributed to these,” reads the manifesto. “For these crimes they deserve nothing but hell. I will send them there.”
The manifesto also takes responsibility for a mosque burning in Escondido in March and urges readers to stage shootings in mosques, synagogues and of “wealthy Jews in gated communities.”
“If you goal is strictly carnage and the highest score – I’d highly recommend you look into flamethrowers (remember kids, napalm is more effective than gasolive if you want Jews to really light up like a menorah.),” continues the writer.
Posing the question of whether he would feel remorse for his action Earnest wrote, “I only wish I killed more. I am honored to be the one to send these vile anti-humans into the pit of fire-where they shall remain for eternity.”
A self-professed music lover, Earnest also wrote about having played piano since the age of four.
“It was my favorite thing to do then,” wrote Earnest. “It is my favorite thing to do now. However, killing Jews might change that – I’ll get back to you on that one.”