Louisville FBI: Potential mass shootings ‘disrupted’ in Kentucky
LOUISVILLE, Ky. —
The head of the FBI’s Louisville headquarters says multiple mass shootings have been prevented in Kentucky, and he is calling on the public to send in tips that could prevent more.
“We have had some successful disruptions preventing mass shootings in Kentucky, working closely with our state and local partners,” said James Robert Brown, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Louisville Field Office.
Brown spoke to WLKY News on Wednesday as part of a roundtable discussion on new trends in domestic terrorism, which is increasingly being linked to hate crimes and mass shootings.
Extremism-related murders rose by 35 percent from 2017 to 2018, according to a report from the Anti-Defamation League.
While he is prohibited from discussing many specifics, Brown said the number of domestic terrorism arrests has risen in Kentucky, as it has across the nation.
Some of that rise could be credited to the FBI’s creation of a Domestic Terrorism-Hate Crimes Fusion Cell, which brings together investigators and teams working in the two areas.
With the rise of social media, many domestic terrorists are being radicalized and committing acts of violence more quickly than ever before, Brown said.
And that has made it more important than ever before to report suspicious behavior, he said.
“In the overwhelming majority of cases that we studied, there was always someone in their sphere of influence that knew something,” he said. “We call them bystanders. We call that the 2019 version of ‘See something, say something.'”
The majority of extremist related violence in Kentucky is racially motivated, although anti-government and anti-abortion extremism is also present, Brown said.
Compared to similar states, the incidence of such extremism in Kentucky is “average,” he said.
Author: Mark Vanderhoff