Trump Administration Is 'Facilitating and Enabling' Youth to Commit 'Terrorism,' Ex-FBI Official Says After El Paso Shooting

Hours after the mass shooting in El Paso on Saturday, which left 20 dead and at least 26 others injured, former FBI assistant director Frank Figliuzzi accused President Donald Trump and his administration of "facilitating and enabling" American youth to commit acts of domestic "terrorism" by failing to explicitly condemn hate against immigrants.

A gunman reportedly opened fire at a Walmart this morning near the Cielo Vista Mall in El Paso, Texas, causing multiple fatalities. Later, 21-year-old Patrick Crusius was identified by several news outlets as the shooter after El Paso police spokesperson Sgt. Robert Gomez said the suspect in custody was a white male in his 20s.

Authorities told the Washington Post that they are currently investigating a manifesto, allegedly written by Crusius but not confirmed to be linked to him, that includes firm anti-immigration sentiments and sympathy for the Christchurch shooter, an Australian gunman involved in attacks on New Zealand mosques that left 49 dead earlier this year.

Responding to the incident on MSNBC on Saturday, Figliuzzi called the shooting "an act of terrorism."

"As details emerge, this manifesto, this screed, whatever you want to call it, you're going to be increasingly be convinced that today's shooting is actually an act of terrorism." the former FBI official said. "I say that because of the similarities between what we've seen with Islamic violent extremism and online radicalization and what we're seeing now in this hate-filled movement in the United States."

"We have a hate problem. Yes, we have a gun problem. Yes, we have a violence problem," Figliuzzi continued, "but we have a developing hate problem and it is race-based and if as soon as they confirm that this posting is indeed the shooter's posting, we should feel free to call what it it is and that is terrorism."

"You need legislation but you also need intervention," he added.

Figliuzzi then argued that Trump and his administration "needs to come out and intervene," otherwise he's "facilitating and enabling" the hate problem that gives rise to such attacks.

"Let's understand something, this administration that we're in needs to come out and intervene," Figliuzzi said. "What do I mean by that? If you're on the Islamic extremism side, you've got that cleric radicalizing that young person online."

"He's the father figure, he's giving the license, he's facilitating and enabling. What we need is the similar figure — the President — to come out immediately, once this is confirmed, and say, 'I stand for something other than hate, I rebuke all the hatred going on here,'" he continued. "Until we see the figure do that, that's giving the license, we'll continue to have this hate problem."

"His writing is filled with hatred," Figliuzzi noted, referring to the manifesto, "he calls Mexicans and others invaders, he thinks they are taking jobs from people. He thinks it's up to him to take action. We need to understand that."

"About half the FBI's terrorism cases right now, as we speak, are actually this stuff, the domestic stuff," he added. "That is extremely disturbing."

A Twitter account that is suspected to belong to Crusius liked an image of guns arranged to spell out "Trump." The account and various other fake accounts purporting to belong to the suspect were suspended by the social media platform on Saturday.

Although most major American news outlets have identified the suspect by his name, El Paso Police Chief Greg Allen refused to officially confirm his identity when asked by reporters at a press conference late Saturday afternoon. "This person is still entitled to fair process," he said, "we don't want to make any statements now" to impede the investigation.

Frank Figliuzzi
After the El Paso shooting on Saturday, former FBI assistant director Frank Figliuzzi accused President Donald Trump and his administration of "facilitating and enabling" American youth to commit domestic "terrorism" by not condemning hate during an appearance on MSNBC. MSNBC/Screenshot
Trump Administration Is 'Facilitating and Enabling' Youth to Commit 'Terrorism,' Ex-FBI Official Says After El Paso Shooting | Politics