NBC’s Figliuzzi: Trump Supporters Being Radicalized Online to ‘Act Out Violently’

NBC News national security contributor Frank Figliuzzi said Thursday on MSNBC’s “Deadline” that Floyd Ray Roseberry, the 49-year-old North Carolina man who allegedly threatened to explode a bomb in his truck in Washington D.C., was an example of former President Donald Trump’s supporters who grievances were being exploited.

Anchor Nicolle Wallace said, “Mr. Roseberry, the alleged wannabe bomber today addressed President Joe Biden, made several demands, including wanting American airstrikes in Afghanistan, and the resignation of Biden, saying he would end his standoff if the president left office. Frank, this seems to be the kind of individual that Homeland Security experts are concerned about.”

Figliuzzi said, “Indeed. First, let me say kudos to the authorities today for successfully resolving this peacefully in the form of a surrender. That’s the outcome you want every single time. But you don’t want these kinds of things happening all the time. So this investigation is going to be just as much about learning about the suspect as about learning about the next one. That’s because the context we’re living in right now is precisely what’s reflected in those DHS warnings. It will start playing out.’

He continued, “What we’re seeing in this individual’s social media already and the associates that I work with who are on this and digging and scraping his social media, his postings, they’re telling me there is a deep sense of cause, as incoherent as it may be with this individual, there is a cause he thinks he belongs too, there is a grievance, or there are several grievances he thinks he needs to air out. And why do we care about this? Why are we talking about it? As you said, it’s not to amplify him. It’s to amplify the DHS warning that tells us that there’s a perfect storm of grievance and cause developing on extremist sites of all kinds. And now let’s add, by the way, let’s add to what I’m about to list Afghanistan and a sense that something went wrong there and somehow that’s an injustice, perhaps, to those who served there or not.”

Figliuzzi added, “Let’s rattle it off. The anti-mask, the anti-vaccine, the January 6 political prisoner notion, the notion that Ashli Babbitt is some kind of martyr for the cause that needs to be avenged. Now that Trump will come back, and a rally is going to happen this weekend in Alabama. All this is going to happen. Then a major rally that’s been permitted already in the District of Columbia later in September, all of this is causing a kind of online radicalization that, quite frankly, I have not seen since my days working al-Qaeda-ISIS. It is the radicalization to violence. It’s online. It’s the desire to be a part of something greater than yourself and your willingness to act out violently because of your beliefs.”

Wallace said, “On the right—you know, I want to mention one other topic, and I’m not going to play it. I watched it. I’m not going to show it. But the other topic is a lot of complaints about undocumented immigrants. What is being broadcast night after night on other networks as we cover the withdrawal from Afghanistan is fearmongering about refugee resettlement. It is a pipeline to a whole lot of people —that are not inspired to violence. But for he and she who are inspired to violence, there is a direct line from the disinformation and the fear-mongering in right-wing media.”

Figliuzzi said, “Yeah, this notion, look, we’ve already seen it in postings, even from members of Congress showing the potential for refugees pouring out of Afghanistan, these people aren’t like us, do you want this plane landing in your backyard. All the fearmongering on top of the craziness that’s already here.”

He concluded, “The craziness, the unhinged people, the people willing to commit violence are becoming large enough and no longer a fringe and now mainstreamed that we do have to worry about them and we do have to worry about the next one.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN


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