Secret Service Reports on Case Study of Violent Extremism

Secret Service Reports on Case Study of Violent Extremism

( – Across the country, extremism often takes on different forms. In some instances, it’s political. One form of extremism doesn’t get enough attention. The Secret Service says domestic terror threats by misogynistic extremist men who identify as involuntary celibates (incels) are rising. Over the last several years, mass shooters have displayed numerous traits that align with their abnormal behaviors.

Incel is a term used to describe men who feel they cannot connect romantically with women yet feel entitled to them. A Secret Service report said some men are taking the movement beyond the inability to connect with women to expressing extreme ideologies, including woman-hating, sexual objectification of females, and calls for violence against them. The report highlighted a 2018 case involving a mass shooting in Tallahassee, Florida, as an example of the trend.

Secret Service Report Highlights Case Study

On November 2, 2018, 40-year-old Scott Beierle walked into a Tallahassee yoga studio, pulled out a semi-automatic handgun, and fired away. Beierle killed two women and injured four more before turning the gun on himself. A Secret Service study on misogynistic extremism revealed the mass shooter exhibited decades of warning signs.

The Secret Service’s National Threat Assessment Center looked closely into Beierle’s background. They found routine involvement in inappropriate and criminal behavior toward women and girls. While the shooter didn’t have a specific profile and flew under the radar, he identified with anti-feminists, male supremacists, and incels.

So, what were some of the traits or experiences that should have been red flags?

Beierle’s behavior toward women included:

  • Gyms, bars, and college campuses banning him for inappropriate conduct with women
  • The military finding him guilty of conduct unbecoming an officer for inappropriate interactions with four women
  • Writing an 81-page story as a teenager about a boy who turned into a serial killer of numerous women before killing himself
  • Writing violent songs about torturing women

In addition, Beierle’s family and friends feared him, classmates avoided him, and a sibling considered reporting him to police as a suspicious person. Researchers for the Secret Service said they learned he inappropriately touched girls without their permission as far back as high school, and he was open about his admiration for Hitler and Aryan nations.

What Are the Signs?

Over time Beierle became hostile toward women. Still, most people failed to consider the larger picture from what they could see on the surface. The young man appeared to be bettering himself through higher education, serving in the military, and earning positions of trust with employers. Even though the patterns of bad behavior were also there, law enforcement authorities never connected the dots.

Some people believe if law enforcement knew what had been going on, they could have stopped Beierle years before he killed the women and took his own life at the Hot Yoga store. The authorities say they prevent tragedies like the Hot Yoga murders every day, and the shooter’s behavior was anything but normal for a long time.

The report added misogynistic violence isn’t restricted to high-profile cases. It appears in other acts of violence, including stalking and domestic abuse. Researchers say these people with misogynistic tendencies often argue women use feminism to oppress men or belittle women. They may need help or professional intervention to avoid escalating toward deadly violence.

The Secret Service said people could reduce the number of horrifying mass shootings and other acts of violence simply by paying more attention to the warning signs and reporting them to the authorities. Still, the report reminded the public that violent attackers vary by age, gender, race, educational attainment, and more. The key to public safety is to be aware and talk with law enforcement when red flags arise.

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