Aug. 12 – The man who authorities say attempted to breach security at an FBI office in Ohio Thursday morning may have been posting messages on former President Donald Trump’s site Truth Social, even as he was involved in the attempt raid.
The man, who was shot and killed after a standoff that lasted much of the day, was identified by the Associated Press and others as Ricky Shiffer. Law enforcement officials said he is believed to have been present at the US Capitol riot on January 6 last year.
A USA TODAY review of online postings from an account under the name “Ricky Shiffer” shows the account had recently posted angry reactions to news of the FBI raid on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home. , Fla.
The same account posted during or just after the FBI raid, which appears to describe the man’s efforts.
“Well, I thought I had a way through bulletproof glass, and I didn’t. If you don’t hear from me, it’s true that I tried to attack the FBI, and that will mean that I was taken off the Internet, the FBI caught me, or they sent the regular police while “
The post apparently ended mid-sentence.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol said Thursday that the gunman attempted to breach the FBI visitor control facility around 9 am After an alarm and response from special agents, the suspect fled.
The Truth Social post had a timestamp of 9:29 a.m. ET.
Truth Social removed the profile of “@rickywshifferjr” on Thursday afternoon, shortly after media reports began to identify Shiffer.
The social networking service did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Publications in the last days
Two days earlier, the account in Shiffer’s name posted angry messages about the FBI’s Monday search of Trump’s home and Mar-a-Lago club.
On Tuesday afternoon, Shiffer’s account posted:
“I’m having trouble getting information, but Viva Frei said the patriots are heading to Palm Beach (where Mar A Lago is). I highly recommend going, and being Florida, I think the feds won’t interrupt you. IF they do, kill them.” (Viva Frei is a right-wing YouTube personality.)
On the same day, the account posted:
“People, this is it. I hope a call to arms comes from someone better qualified, but if not, this is your call to arms from me. Get off work tomorrow as soon as the armory/Army-Navy store/pawn shop opens, get what you need to be combat ready. We must not tolerate this.”
The post concluded:
“This time we must respond with force. If you know of any protest or attack, please post it here.”
The Truth Social account, before it was deactivated Thursday night, said Shiffer was a construction mechanic in Columbus, Ohio, which is about 100 miles from the FBI office in Cincinnati. A public records search identified Ricky Shiffer, 42, of Columbus.
Truth’s biography also suggested that Shiffer was at the US Capitol on January 6 and made a reference to Ray Epps, a man at the center of a January 6 conspiracy theory:
“I tried to explain to Epps that it would only make sense to enter the building if they approved of the fraudulent votes,” the bio says.
Shiffer was not charged in connection with the insurrection, according to a USA TODAY effort to track those prosecutions, and he does not appear in a Justice Department index of prosecutions.
A Twitter account in the name of Ricky Shiffer, with a photo of a man who closely resembles the photo on the Truth Social profile, was also suspended Thursday night.
Threats after FBI raid
FBI Director Christopher Wray defended the bureau Thursday against a new wave of threats following the search at Mar-a-Lago and an attempted break-in of the bureau’s offices in Cincinnati by a gunman.
“Unfounded attacks on the integrity of the FBI erode respect for the rule of law and are a serious disservice to the men and women who sacrifice so much to protect others,” Wray said in a statement.
“Violence and threats against law enforcement, including the FBI, are dangerous and should be of deep concern to all Americans,” said Wray, who was appointed by Trump.
Separately, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced Thursday that the Justice Department had filed a motion to disclose the warrant that led to the search of Trump’s property. The former president and his attorneys have until Friday to decide whether to object to releasing the search warrant and related materials.
The posts are just one example of thousands of angry messages being posted on social media sites about the FBI’s search of Trump’s property. Kesa White, a researcher tracking extremists at American University’s Polarization and Extremism Research and Innovation Laboratory (PERIL), said certain sites, including Truth Social, have been more virulent than others.
“The narrative fluctuates across the board, but I think (far-right social media site) Gab is the most enraged by what happened,” White said.
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