The Anti-Defamation League has damning new information about Nikolas Cruz, the suspect in custody for killing 17 students and teachers and wounding 14 others at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Turns out Cruz has recently trained with a white supremacy group called the “Republic of Florida”:
After self-described ROF members claimed on the discussion forum 4chan that Cruz had also been a member, the Anti-Defamation League called the ROF hotline and spoke with an ROF member who identified himself as Jordan Jereb.
Jereb, based in Tallahassee, is believed to be the leader of ROF. In 2016, he was arrested on charges of threatening a staffer in the office of Florida Governor Rick Scott because he was allegedly angry at the staffer’s son.
Jereb said that Cruz was associated with ROF, having been “brought up” by another member. Jereb added that Cruz had participated in one or more ROF training exercises in the Tallahassee area, carpooling with other ROF members from south Florida.
ROF has members in north and south Florida. The alt right white supremacist group borrows paramilitary concepts from the anti-government extremist militia movement (not itself a white supremacist movement). ROF describes itself as a “white civil rights organization fighting for white identitarian politics” and seeks to create a “white ethnostate” in Florida. Most ROF members are young and the group itself is only a few years old.
Where was this violent white supremacist radicalized? Florida.
Violent white supremacists have been on the rise since Trump began his campaign of division and racism, reversing a long-term trend. From The Atlantic:
According to the latest data from Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism, white supremacists were responsible for more than half of the 34 fatalities linked to domestic extremists of all stripes last year, claiming 18 lives in 2017.
That represented a reversion to the long-term trend; right-wing violence had accounted for the largest share of domestic-extremist related killings every year from 1995 until the Pulse nightclub shootings in 2016. Global totals may tell a very different story, but in the United States far-right extremist murders far exceed those carried out by Islamic extremists over the last decade: 71 percent of all murders were carried out by right-wing extremists, and 26 percent can be linked to Islamic extremists.
Below are a few videos from Republic of Florida leader Jordan Jereb inviting lost, angry souls to join him for paramilitary training. Videos that might have attracted someone like Nikolas Cruz.