Exterior of the Cincinnati Field Office building. – FBI.gov
(CINCINNATI) — Ricky Shiffer, the man armed with an AR-15 style rifle and believed by authorities to have tried to break into the FBI’s Cincinnati field office Thursday is a “suspected domestic violent extremist,” according to law enforcement officials briefed on the probe.
Law enforcement is now investigating social media posts apparently linked to the suspect, which called for violence in the days after the FBI search of former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property, the officials told ABC News.
The unprecedented search of a former president’s residence ignited a firestorm among Republicans and Trump’s supporters and sparked a wave of messages online hinting at potential violence. Law enforcement officials have been monitoring for threats since the raid was conducted.
Shiffer was fatally shot by police after he allegedly raised a gun toward law enforcement officers, an Ohio State Highway Patrol spokesperson said during a press briefing.
Social media posts believed to belong to Shiffer on Twitter and TruthSocial, Trump’s own social network, suggest the suspected gunman was likely “motivated by a combination of conspiratorial beliefs related to former President Trump and the 2020 election (among others), interest in killing federal law enforcement, and the recent search warrant executed at Mar-a-Lago earlier this week,” according to a briefing compiled by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, a think tank that monitors extremism and hate speech online.
ABC News has reviewed a series of recent posts to accounts believed to be Shiffer’s on “TruthSocial” that call for “war” and for FBI agents to be killed “on sight.”
In one post on Thursday, Shiffer appeared to detail his failed attempt to enter the FBI building, writing, “it is true I tried attacking the F.B.I.”
The account allegedly tied to Shiffer has since been removed.
Trump Media & Technology Group, which founded “TruthSocial,” did not respond to a request for comment.
According to social media posts and photographs, Shiffer was present at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, according to ISD analysts that have combed the accounts. Investigators are actively working to determine whether Shiffer was, in fact, at the Capitol during the insurrection.
The ISD report also details that Shiffer appeared to encourage others to “Save ammunition” and “Get in touch with the Proud Boys” in posts on the video streaming website Rumble. Any connections he might have had to the Proud Boys are also a key focus of the probe, officials said.
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