House subpoenas owner of message board tied to mass killings

Politics

Democratic U.S. Reps. Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas and Bennie Thompson of Mississippi listen as the U.S. acting secretary of homeland security, Kevin K. McAleenan, speaks Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019, at a federal building in Jackson, Miss. Homeland Security head McAleenan says white supremacist ideology is fueling some domestic terrorism. (AP Photo/Emily Wagster Pettus)

WASHINGTON (AP) — A key House committee has subpoenaed the owner of 8chan, an online message board favored by violent white nationalists including the man suspected of killing 22 people in a mass shooting in El Paso, Texas.

Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson and the panel’s top Republican announced the subpoena Wednesday, saying that “at least three acts of deadly white supremacist extremist violence have been linked to 8chan in the last six months.”

The El Paso shooter along with the gunman accused of killing 51 worshippers at a New Zealand mosque and the man accused of terrorizing a synagogue in Poway, California, all posted hateful screeds on 8chan before committing their crimes.

Thompson and GOP Rep. Mike Rogers say it’s crucial to examine what can be done to counter the trend. The subpoena asks owner Jim Watkins to appear Sept. 5 for a deposition.

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