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An article about investigators probing deeper into the background and social media posts of two men charged in the fatal shooting of a federal officer in Oakland included comments from Brian Levin, the director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino.
The suspects connected on Facebook on pages related to the extremist “Boogaloo Boys” movement, the news report said.
"Social media sites, like Facebook, serve as virtual meeting halls for people who not only like to chat, but for extremists," said Levin. "You'll find that there's this whole ecosystem right out in the open."
Facebook said it's removed the groups Carrillo and Justus were members of and it will continue to review other boogaloo groups. It also said it will remove any content that praises what Carrillo and Justus allegedly did.
Levin said removing those few groups likely won't have much of an effect. The boogaloo movement will just continue to adapt, he said. Extremist groups used to be more largely organized, he added, but now they've become splintered and localized -- as was likely the case with Carrillo and Justus.
"The Boogaloo Boys show the potency of a well-timed message with the dry kindling that is the internet," Levin said. "You're going to see a lot of hornets making a lot of smaller nests."
Read the complete article at “How boogaloo members allegedly used Facebook to plot a murder.”
Extremist ‘Boogaloo Boys’ movement looks to start a civil war, CSUSB professor says
NBC Bay Area (San Francisco)
June 18, 2020
Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate a Extremism at California State San Bernardino, was interviewed for a segment on the “Boogaloo Boys,” an emerging extremist movement. One of its adherents is charged in the fatal shootings of a federal officer and Santa Cruz County sheriff’s sergeant.
“The Boogaloo Boys movement, whether they are racist or not, is looking to start a civil war,” said Levin. “And who are the folks that are likely targets? Government officials.”
Levin says he has watched with alarm over the past year as the group escalated attacks and became a broad umbrella for the various extremist factions scattered across the U.S.
“They all glorify heavy armaments and confrontation, they are looking for a catalyst for an impending civil war,” he said, adding that the movement is bent on exploiting the current national turmoil.
“Anything goes in these kinds of turbulent election seasons,” Levin said, “where we have a variety of catalysts as well as an expandable pool of potential recruits who are fearful or upset over recent developments.”
Watch the segment, and read the related text report, at “Local leaders warned of new extremist group threat.”
CSUSB professor comments on Facebook pulling Trump re-election ads over a symbol tied to Nazism
The Wall Street Journal/Dow Jones Newswires via Morningstar
June 19, 2020
Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate a Extremism at California State San Bernardino, was interviewed for a report about Facebook Inc. taking down posts and ads for President Trump's reelection campaign because they violated the social-media giant's policy against "organized hate," marking the latest confrontation in an escalating battle over how tech companies handle controversial political content.
The campaign ads claimed that "Dangerous MOBS of far-left groups" are causing mayhem and destroying cities, and called on supporters to back President Trump's battle against antifa, a loosely organized activist movement that the White House has blamed for unrest. The bottom of the ads featured a large, red downward-pointing triangle. … The inverted red triangle is a marking Nazis used to designate political prisoners in concentration camps, according to the Anti-Defamation League and other groups.
Levin said the inverted red triangle, given its history, can be used as a signal for hate groups. Whatever the motive behind its use, he said, "we're living in a world today where there are extremists who gain succor in what they think is support from this administration."
Read the complete article at “Facebook removes trump campaign ads for violating policy on use of hate symbol — 2nd update.”
These news clips and others may be viewed at “In the Headlines.”