The federal government on Tuesday released a study on the growing terrorism threat – men who call themselves “anti-feminists” or “involuntary celibates” and draw motivation for violence from their inability to develop relationships with women. Since 2014, attacks inspired by the “incel movement” and spanning the U.S. and Canada have left dozens dead.
Early intervention and behavioral threat assessments could be the difference between life and death for women targeted by the growing ideology, according to the 26-page report. The report concluded that while “there is no one profile of an individual who plans or executes an act of targeted violence,” investigators must consider potential targets when seeking to thwart attacks, as suspects routinely “explore multiple targets during the planning process, before making their final selection.”
The U.S. Secret Service’s National Threat Assessment Center took a deep dive into a series of red flags predating a shooting at a yoga studio in Tallahassee, Florida, to determine how early intervention could save lives in the future. The NTAC routinely publishes research based on assessment of the current threat environment.
In the case of 40-year-old gunman Scott Paul Bierele there were countless warning signs. The man who opened fire inside Hot Yoga Tallahassee – killing two women and injuring four more before committing suicide – had previously been fired from multiple teaching jobs, barred from bars and apartment buildings, and once authored an 70,000 word revenge fantasy about a boy turned serial killer, according to the report.
“During his teen years, the attacker was accused of stalking his classmates, and he wrote stories that centered around violent themes,” said Steve Driscoll, lead research specialist at NTAC, in a briefing with reporters on Thursday. “One of those stories was 81 pages long and involved the protagonist murdering several girls before committing suicide. The female characters in the story that were killed, represented the attacker’s actual classmates from his high school, but he slightly changed the names in his writing.”