Monday, October 3, 2022
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Texas man accused of threatening conservative Turning Point USA youth summit in Tampa



A Texas man has been accused of making threats to attack a youth conservative convention in Florida headlined by former President Donald Trump last month.

Prosecutors say Alejandro Richard Velasquez Gomez, 19, of San Antonio, posted threats on social media to carry out “a day of retribution” and “revenge against all of humanity” targeting attendees of Turning Point USA’s Student Action Summit. The three-day gathering was starting July 22 in Tampa, Florida.

Upon his arrest, authorities discovered that Mr. Velasquez knowingly possessed child pornography on his phone, according to the complaint filed in the Western District of Texas.

Authorities say the threat posted by Mr. Velasquez, who went by the name “LatinoZoomer” on Instagram, was similar to the video posted by Elliot Rodger claiming “a day of retribution” and “revenge against humanity” before carrying out a 2014 killing spree that killed six people in Isla Vista, California.

The FBI considers Rodger to be “an avatar” of the “Incel” or Involuntary Celibate ideology, men who harbor “an extreme hatred towards, and endorse violence against, women and sexually active people,” according to the FBI’s affidavit against Mr. Velasquez

It is not clear from the court filings what motivated Mr. Velasquez’s threats against the Turning Point USA conference.

Several Republican politicians, including Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Josh Hawley of Missouri and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis spoke at the convention in addition to Mr. Trump.

According to the federal complaint, some users who saw Mr. Velasquez’s July 18 post took the threats seriously, and one commented that the FBI had been contacted.

Turning Point USA was aware of Mr. Velazquez’s intent to attend the conference, according to the affidavit. The group did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Tampa Police arrested Mr. Velasquez on July 22 and charged him with making “written or electronic threats to kill, do bodily injury, or conduct a mass shooting or an act of terrorism.” That charge is pending.

The FBI executed a search of Mr. Velasquez’s cell phone after he was arrested and found a screenshot of a post on an unnamed social media platform containing child pornography stored on his cell phone.

He faces federal charges in Texas for making threats on social media against the summit attendees and for knowingly possessing child pornography.





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