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FBI Received Tips On Poway Synagogue Shooter Minutes Before Attack

The F.B.I. received tips about the Poway synagogue shooting minutes before it occurred but was too late to react before the attack began, BuzzFeed News reported Monday.

A user named Colin said that he saw the shooter’s manifesto on 8chan, an online message board popular with white nationalists, at around 11:05 a.m. Pacific time. “I can’t remember why, but the picture and the first line of the preview caught my attention,” Colin told BuzzFeed. “And I thought, is this like New Zealand?”

He was especially struck by the fact that the manifesto also took credit for the unsolved arson of a mosque last month in nearby Escondido. So he called the F.B.I. at 11:15. He said they took him “really seriously.”

“The FBI was great. When I got her on the line, it’s not like talking to a 911 dispatcher,” he said. “She was familiar with 4chan and 8chan … and when I told her about the Escondido thing, she opened up the letter. It was all in like four and a half or five minutes.”

But by 11:30, the attacker had already begun his shooting spree at the Chabad of Poway. The F.B.I. largely confirmed Colin’s account.

“Approximately five minutes before the shooting at Chabad Synagogue in Poway, California, the FBI received submissions through its online tip website and tip phone number regarding an anonymous threatening post on a social media site,” an official told BuzzFeed. “The submissions included a link to the post, but did not offer specific information about the post’s author or threat location. Although FBI employees immediately took action to determine the post’s author, the shooting occurred before the suspect could be fully identified. The FBI thanks the alert citizens who saw and reported the post.”

The shooter, a 19-year-old white male, is being charged with murder. One person was killed and three others were injured in the shooting.

Aiden Pink is the deputy news editor for the Forward. You can reach him at [email protected] or on Twitter, @aidenpink





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