Suspected LAX shooter Paul Ciancia expressed beliefs consistent with right-wing, anti-government conspiracy theorists, the Southern Poverty Law Center said over the weekend.
The 23-year-old from New Jersey had a note in his bag that mentioned the “New World Order” and “fiat currency,” the center said. NBC News reported that the note said the “TSA and pigs” should be killed and that it “expressed animus toward racial minorities.”
While the SPLC said it couldn't confirm hints of racial hatred on the part of the document, the Center says it did confirm that the note called former Department of Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano a “bull dyke” and that it also stated “FU Janet Napolitano.”
Napolitano is now president of the University of California. But her sin according to some right wing conspiracy theorists was running Homeland Security.
DHS produced reports on extremist groups and oversees the Transportation Security Administration, which some believe is a haven for homosexuals who use screening jobs to sexually grope men. Really.
The SPLC explains:
So-called Patriots also increasingly see the DHS, which produces intelligence assessments of extremists that are distributed to other law enforcement agencies, as an enemy and even a collaborator in the New World Order conspiracy. Many believe DHS has targeted their movement and is somehow connected to the alleged construction of concentration camps by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The purported camps are thought to be meant for those Americans who resist a coming national seizure of all weapons from U.S. citizens.
The TSA, short for the Transportation Security Administration, is an agency of the DHS charged with ensuring the security of transportation, most notably air transportation. Although it has not been widely singled out by Patriots, it has been subjected to criticism by far-right homophobes, among others, who have alleged that TSA agents engaging in hand searches are really sexually groping travelers.
The group says Ciancia, at least if sources' descriptions of his alleged note are true, appears to have views consistent with right-wing extremists:
Ciancia's language and references seemed to put him squarely in the conspiracy-minded world of the antigovernment “Patriot” movement. The New World Order refers to a longstanding conspiracy theory that today, in its most popular iteration, claims that global elites are plotting to form a socialistic “one-world government” that would crush American freedoms. Often, the root of the alleged conspiracy is traced to the 1913 creation of the Federal Reserve and the adoption of fiat currency — paper money that is not backed by gold, as it was once was in the U.S.
The organization says Ciancia was not on its radar before Friday's attack at LAX that took the life of 39-year-old TSA agent Gerardo I. Hernandez, injured two other agents, and wounded at least two others.
University of Michigan professor Juan Cole had some thoughts about Ciancia's possible extremism and how it has been covered by the media so far:
Ultimately, Ciancia is depicted as a quiet and troubled loner, probably mentally unbalanced, and his right wing political commitments and conspiracy theories are not even mentioned. That put-upon “whites” in an America becoming majority multi-ethnic and multi-cultural have developed an extremist ideology centering on their betrayal at the hands of a government subordinating itself to a world dominated by non-whites is not deemed worthy of being part of the analysis.