‘Not surprised’: Former FBI official on Cincinnati attack

Midwest

(NewsNation) — A former official who once ran the FBI field office in Cincinnati that was attacked Thursday said he wasn’t exactly shocked by the news.

“The FBI is used to this type of thing and when something of national significance happens, it can trigger bad actions by disturbed individuals,” said Kevin Brock, a former Assistant Director of Intelligence for the agency.

Police said they are still investigating the motive of the man, who was identified as 42-year-old Ricky Shiffer. Police said they were determining whether or not Shiffer had ties to any right-wing extremist groups, according to The Associated Press.

Nevertheless, Brock said threats against the agency, and agents themselves, is nothing new for them.

“We have seen the FBI… I frankly, received threats all the time. I did personally as an agent; I had people threaten me when I executed searches,” said Brock.

There have been growing threats in recent days against FBI agents and offices across the country since federal agents executed a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago, the home of former President Donald Trump. On Gab, a social media site popular with white supremacists and anti-Semites, users have warned they are preparing for an armed revolution.

Bock said it’s easy for social media to exacerbate politically-volatile situations.

“Social media provides a platform for people to vent. (Shiffer) had some posts that looked like he was calling for violence against federal officials,” he said. “In an ideal world that would trigger a visit from some law enforcement entity to confront them and see whether they’re dealing with a serious situation or not.”

But the volume of social media threats, whether they’re serious or “venting”, remains a concern for Brock.

“It is so pervasive, so widespread. It’s hard, based on resources, to get your arms around all of that at that same time.”

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