An advert put up on Craigslist is being investigated by the FBI
In the days following the attack on an LGBTQ+ bar in Orlando, a number of potential copycat attacks have been discovered.
An advert was posted on Craigslist, which has since been deleted, which was titled We Need More Orlando's [sic], and featured threatening language towards the San Diego gay community:
“Orlando was long overdue. Cleanse your community of the filth that gives decent gay men and women a bad name. Those people were walking diseases, bug chasers, and thank god for AIDS and 9-11 and now Orlando. San Diego you are next …”
The FBI are currently investigating the advert and are taking the threat very seriously, with increased police patrols in gay bars and crowded areas of the city.
FBI Special Agent Darrell Foxworth told ABC 10 News: "We are going to use all lawful means available to us, so if we have to go out and get a search warrant, we will do that. If it doesn’t require a search warrant, we’re going to do whatever it takes to do it in a lawful and legal matter. [...] We don’t have the luxury of just looking at this and letting it go.”
This follows the arrest of James Howell, who on the same morning of the attack in Orlando, was found near the L.A. Pride Parade with his car filled with three assault rifles equipped with high-capacity magazines and ammunition as well as chemicals that could be used for bomb-making, including an ingredient commonly found in explosives called Tannerite.
Howell was initially suspected to be attack the Pride Parade, but according to the L.A. Times, a friend confirmed that Howell was bisexual and didn't harbor any ill will towards the LGBTQ+ community, and was merely a gun lover who was looking for a friend at the Pride Parade, although authorities have yet to locate this friend he was reportedly looking for.
Early Friday morning, the following image appeared on a closed Facebook group for male Marines with more than 25,000 members.
The Marine Corps Times reports that the marines involved in the photo have been tracked down and will face serious ramifications for the posting: "The Marine Corps does not tolerate discrimination based on sexual orientation, race, gender or religion," a statement says. "...This type of behavior and mindset will not be allowed, and it is not consistent with the core values of honor, courage and commitment that are demonstrated by the vast majority of Marines on a daily basis."
In the past few days, gay venues in the US and the UK have heightened security in fear of copycat attacks, with Jeremy Joseph, owner of the G-A-Y venues in England, telling the BBC: "I've spoken to police and they've been very reassuring but the problem is that it's lone people doing this. There's a concern now that there's going to be a copycat person who's going to attempt this here. What they're trying to do is create as much devastation as possible and take as many lives as possible."