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FBI warns Buffalo mass shooter disseminated 'how to' guide to inspire others

The attacker left behind materials that "discuss conducting attacks in areas with strict local gun laws to decrease resistance from armed civilians," bulletin to law enforcement says.

Published: August 24, 2022 9:39pm

Updated: August 24, 2022 11:31pm

The FBI and Homeland Security sent out a nationwide law enforcement bulletin this week warning that the alleged mass shooter in Buffalo, N.Y., earlier this year disseminated a stunningly detailed how-to guide to inspire copycats and "enhance the capabilities of potential mass casualty shooters" around the globe.

"The written guidance will contribute to the volume of violent extremist content readily available online, leading to potential opportunities for future attackers to learn from the TTPs (tactics, techniques, and procedures) and enhance their own capabilities," the warning obtained by Just the News states.

You can read the full bulletin here:

Payton Gendron, 19, is charged with 27 federal felonies alleging he plotted a mass terrorism attack and killed 10 black victims at a supermarket in what authorities say was a racially motivated attack by the white teenager. Prosecutors have not decided yet whether to seek the death penalty.

The bulletin did not mention Gendron by name, instead referring to him as the "alleged Buffalo attacker." But it provided the most detailed and chilling account yet of the planning surrounding his attack and the effort to document his strategies for future mass shooters.

That material he left behind and disseminated before his shooting included a 180-page manifesto and 672-page online diary designed "to serve as a manual for future attackers."

"The diary demonstrates his interest in extensive pre-operational planning and details his ideological motivations, target selection, gear and weapons choices, reconnaissance, and calls to action designed to inspire additional attacks," the bulletin said. "The accompanying manifesto includes a structured breakdown of all weapons, ammunitions, and gear considered in the planning of the attack and a cost-benefit analysis of using select materials.

"The alleged attacker also upgraded his cell phone data service prior to the attack, believing this would improve the quality and ease of livestreaming the attack. The alleged attacker invited several individuals to his private online diary minutes prior to the attack to assist in the dissemination of his materials."

The memo did not state how widely such materials were distributed but warned "we remain alert to the potential use of these TTPs in copycat attacks due to the history of some violent extremists finding ideological inspiration and leveraging tactical guidance from perpetrators of high-profile attacks."

Federal officials said the Buffalo shooter was inspired by the 2019 attack in Christchurch, New Zealand that killed 50.

The bulletin alleged the suspect had thought through nearly every aspect of his attack like a military planner, including reconnaissance, wearing lighter body armor to be fleet of foot and targeting softer targets with low security and more stringent gun control.

The materials he left behind "highlight the focus on targeting security personnel at the onset of an attack and discuss conducting attacks in areas with strict local gun laws to decrease resistance from armed civilians," the memo noted. "The documents also suggest conducting on-location scouting prior to an attack to identify security measures to select appropriate ammunition and weapons for defeating the observed obstacles."

The bulletin asked federal and local police to look for indicators of others inspired by the Buffalo shooter and his instruction materials including:

  • Increased circulation of the attacker's guidance materials online;
  • Explicit discussion and/or praise of the Buffalo attacker's specific tactics in online;
  • Unusual purchase of military-style tactical equipment (for example, body armor or personal protective equipment) in a manner that raises suspicion of planning violence.

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