San Antonio Express-News
Aug. 18—A graduate of Wagner High School has been charged in a federal anti-terrorism investigation after allegedly making online posts that the FBI claims show he was planning to attack a conservative student group in Florida.
Federal anti-terrorism agents claim Alejandro Richard Velasquez Gomez, who turns 20 on Friday, made a credible threat against participants of the Turning Point USA Student Action Summit in Tampa and that he aimed to go to Florida to carry it out in late July.
The FBI office in Phoenix alerted the FBI in San Antonio to Velasquez’s social media posts. Agents here found that his Instagram page featured the warning, ” July 22 is the day of retribution the day I will have revenge against all of humanity which all of you will pay for my suffering.”
He is charged with making threatening interstate communications and possession of child pornography — the latter count related to images found on his phone.
In a criminal complaint affidavit, the FBI linked Velasquez to the extremist “incel” movement, short for “involuntarily celibate,” online groups of mostly men who believe they can’t enter into sexual relationships.
According to the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force in San Antonio, he used the online names “LatinoZoomer” and “MestizoZoomer” and his social media posts sounded similar to those of Elliot Rodger, an incel follower who killed six people and injured more than a dozen in California in 2014.
Then there's LatinoZoomer, i.e. Alejandro Richard Velasquez Gomez, who just graduated from Karen Wagner High School in San Antonio Texas. Under monikers like Sp*cWaffen, he regularly posts neo-Nazi content on Instagram & TikTok & clearly has some identity issues to work out. pic.twitter.com/vSejwi9V2n— Ben Lorber (@BenLorber8) July 13, 2021
Velasquez’s alleged threat against the Student Action Summit concluded with, “SAS will be the turning point of the LatinoZoomer lore,” and he also posted a video of himself in his car.
Rodger used knives, handguns and his car to cause mayhem near the University of California-Santa Barbara campus before taking his own life on May 23, 2014. Before the attack, he posted a video on YouTube called ” Elliot Rodger’s Retribution” that showed him sitting in the driver’s seat of his black BMW spewing a hate-filled, sexist tirade.
An FBI agent remarked on the similarities of Velasquez’s post to that of Rodger, who had said, “Tomorrow is my day of retribution. The day in which I will have my revenge against all of humanity. Against all of you.”
The agent wrote in the affidavit that Rodger is a symbol and avatar for the “incel” movement, an ideology that endorses violence against women and sexually active people.
Velasquez “explained to me that he intended the post to evoke Elliot Rodger and was familiar with Elliot Rodger due to extensive online research,” the agent wrote.
Agents also learned that Tampa police considered Velasquez’s post regarding the upcoming student conference a credible threat. Police there obtained a warrant for his arrest, charging him with making written or electronic threats to kill, do bodily injury, or conduct a mass shooting or an act of terrorism.
Agents found Velasquez had booked a flight from Austin to Tampa on July 22, but he canceled it the night before.
Police in San Antonio arrested him on July 22, and the FBI taskforce got a search warrant for his phone that day and found images of children being sexually exploited by adults.
It was not immediately clear why Velasquez would target the conservative student group. Most of his social media accounts have been canceled or removed for violating the sites’ rules.
However, a YouTube video exists in which Velasquez is portrayed as among those following Nick Fuentes, the far right youth activist, as Fuentes tried to access Turning Point’s student summit in the summer of 2021. Turning Point organizers said they attempted to ban Fuentes and his followers, the so-called “groyper army,” according to a story in Salon.
Fuentes is a white nationalist livestreamer who advocates pulling the Republican Party to the farthest reaches of right-wing politics, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks extremist groups. He is an outspoken admirer of fascists such as Mussolini, and emerged onto the national stage during the “Stop the Steal” movement, which pushed former President Donald Trump’s claim to have won the 2020 election.
Velasquez was denied bail following a hearing this week and remains behind bars. His public defender, Molly Roth, could not be immediately reached for comment.
Messages seeking comment were left for Turning Point USA, and the Judson Independent School District, where Wagner is located.
At least eight mass killing cases have been linked to incel extremists, according to the New York Times.
firstname.lastname@example.org — Twitter: @gmaninfedland
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