We use cookies to provide some features and experiences in QOSHE

More information  .  Close
Aa Aa Aa
- A +

2 years after synagogue attack, Pittsburgh has become hub for white supremacists

21 54 27

JTA — In the days after the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in American history, Pittsburgh became a symbol of the enduring dangers of hatred, as well as the Jewish communal solidarity that followed the synagogue shooting.

Two years later, the city has become a symbol and pilgrimage site of a far more insidious sort: for white supremacists who see the Tree of Life gunman as an inspiration.

Those who monitor extremist activity say Pittsburgh has become a hub for white supremacist activity. In just the past several weeks, a white supremacist group held a march down a main boulevard there. About 100 people attended a white supremacist music festival in the area. A vocal white supremacist who had posted a call online to murder local Jews was released from prison. And flyers with white nationalist slogans have papered the city.

Get The Times of Israel's Daily Edition by email and never miss our top stories Free Sign Up

“We have, since 2018, seen a dramatic increase in white supremacist-related violent incidents and in the overall presence of white supremacists within our [area],” John Pulcastro, an FBI supervisory intelligence analyst, said at a symposium last week at Duquesne University’s Wecht Institute of Forensic Science and Law. His comments were first reported by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

“If anyone thinks that this is not a huge issue in this area, having worked this for over 20 years, I can tell you this area is as worse as any that I have seen throughout the entire country,” he said. “It’s very, very important to understand that it is here.”

Mass shooters have long aspired to imitate previous high-profile attackers. The “Columbine effect,” in which school shooters seek to follow the example of the two teens who opened fire on a Colorado high school in 1999, has been observed more than 100 times, according to Mother Jones, a progressive magazine that documented the phenomenon.

The extremist, white supremacist, neo-facist group, Patriot Front marched to the city county building in Downtown Pittsburgh this afternoon. A man who appears to be Thomas Rousseau, the group’s leader briefly shouted through a megaphone before the group packed up and left. pic.twitter.com/K14h0ipZ18

— The Duquesne Duke........

© The Times of Israel

Get it on Google Play