Robert Bowers Gab Before Synagogue Shooting: 'Screw Your Optics, I'm Going In'

Robert Bowers, who authorities arrested as the suspect in a Saturday morning shooting at the Tree of Life Congregation Synagogue in Pittsburgh that left at least 11 people dead, wrote multiple anti-Semitic and threatening posts on a Twitter-like social media platform beforehand, an archive shows.

A post by Bowers about an hour before the shooting on the alt-right platform Gab seems to spell out his violent intentions.

“HIAS likes to bring invaders in that kill our people,” Bowers wrote, referring to the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society. “I can’t sit by and watch my people get slaughtered.”

Bowers’s last line in the post: “Screw your optics, I’m going in.”

His since-deleted Gab account had in the bio: “jews are the children of satan. (john 8:44),” and, “the lord jesus Christ is come in the flesh.”

In a repost from 17 days ago, Bowers addressed HIAS and wrote, “You like to bring in hostile invaders to dwell among us?” He also said he appreciated the list of locations the organization provided for its national refugee Shabbat project. The post suggests Bowers was watching and plotting action against the Jewish organization that helps refugees.

The Gab archive also shows Bowers was not a fan of President Donald Trump, whose daughter Ivanka converted to Judaism after marrying Jared Kushner, who is Jewish.

“Trump is a globalist, not a nationalist. There is no #MAGA as long as there is a kike infestation,” Bowers wrote two days ago, referring to Trump’s campaign slogan “Make America Great Again” and an ethnic slur for a Jewish person.

“#Qanon is here to get patriots that were against martial law in the 90s to be the ones begging for it now to drain muh swamp,” Bowers continued in the post. “But go ahead and keep saying you are #Winning.”

Earlier that same day, Bowers expressed it was OK to fight with people with opposing views.

“Amazing amount of division on gab today,” Bowers wrote. “Glad the overwhelming jew problem has been solved so we can now fight with each other.”

Most of the other posts in Bowers’s Gab archive were reposts of other users’ content critical of Jewish people. In several others, he demanded to know if someone was a Jew.

A gunman entered the synagogue in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood around 10 a.m. Saturday during a baby naming ceremony and fired away, killing multiple people and injuring others including officers. A law enforcement official identified the shooter to the Associated Press as Bowers and said he was in his 40s.

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