‘You’ll all pay’: Texas man plotted attack on Florida political event, FBI says KAMR
TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A Texas man authorities say identifies himself as Incel and has ties to white nationalist movements has been arrested after federal agents received a tip about a social media post that suggested that he was planning to attack a rally for conservative students in Tampa last month.
Federal counterterrorism investigators allege Alejandro Velasquez, 19, threatened “retaliation” at the Turning Point USA Student Action Summit attendees and made plans to travel to Tampa to conduct it. Velasquez, known online as “LatinoZoomer,” was also arrested for child pornography after images of prepubescent children being exploited by adults were allegedly found on his cell phone.
According to the criminal complaint filed Aug. 11 by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Taskforce, Velasquez posted a screenshot of a Discord message to his Instagram account, which read, “July 22nd is Retribution Day, the day I will take my revenge on all of humanity, you will all pay for my suffering. [Student Action Summit] will be the turning point of the LatinoZoomer lore [gun emoji].”
The post also included a picture of Velasquez, which the FBI said matched his driver’s license photo. A screenshot of the Instagram post showed that the caption was later changed to say, “This is not a serious post, I love people!!!”
The complaint compared the language used in the post to video taken by mass shooter Elliot Rodger before he killed six people and injured several others in 2014. Rodger became a posthumous icon of the “Incel” ideology, which revolves around “extreme hatred.” of women and sexually active men, according to the FBI. The ideology has since been linked to numerous attacks by young men.
The Tampa Police Department learned of Velasquez’s social media post on July 18 and determined it was “a credible threat against attendees at the SAS conference.” They obtained an arrest warrant for Velasquez on July 21.
The complaint said Velasquez bought a ticket on an American Airlines flight from Austin to Tampa on July 22 but canceled it the night before. San Antonio law enforcement arrested Velasquez on July 22 on the Tampa warrant, which charged him with committing “written or electronic death threats, assault, mass shooting or an act of terrorism.” Velasquez’s phone was confiscated and sent to the FBI, where agents said they found a screenshot containing three images of child pornography.
According to a report by San Antonio Express-News, Velasquez may have been motivated to plan the attack by his support for the white nationalist group America First and its founder, Nick Fuentes. Turning Point USA ruled out Fuentes and tried to ban his supporters, known as “groypers,” from their event last year.
Since the arrest, Fuentes has denied any formal affiliation between Velasquez and America First, stating in a Telegram post, “Claims on social media that he was in any way part of our team are completely false.” Fuentes acknowledged that himself crossed paths at CPAC last year, but said Velasquez had “nothing to do with” him or his organization.
The Student Action Summit caught the attention of other white supremacists, who outside of the event saw the state of Florida and “DeSantis Country” flags flown alongside Nazi iconography and anti-Semitic symbols. Turning Point USA said they were not affiliated with their organization and calls for Gov. Ron DeSantis to later denounce the ad went unanswered.