(FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) — Less than a week before a Cleveland County man claimed to have a bomb in his pickup truck near the U.S. Capitol, federal investigators were warning of potential political violence.
Last Friday, the Department of Homeland Security sent out a warning to state and local authorities about increased threats of violence appearing online, according to reports.
The threats were mostly targeted towards Democratic lawmakers. Ray Roseberry of Grover, NC documented his trip from North Carolina to Washington, D.C. in a series of Facebook live videos.
Throughout the videos, Roseberry threatens violence towards President Joe Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi while also claiming to be a patriot.
“I’m a patriot. I love this land. I’ll die for this land,” Roseberry said in one of his videos.
Dr. Shannon Reid, a Professor of Criminal Studies at UNC Charlotte, says that’s a common way for people to justify their political violence.
“There’s always been in the far-right movement and the white power movement a revisionist history about who true patriots are,” said Reid.
While January 6th may be the date most Americans remember as the peak of political violence in this country, Reid warns more could come.
“Even Homeland Security is saying we need to be aware of this politically driven, ideologically driven, home grown violence.”
Investigators are trying to find out more about Roseberry and his past. He surrendered to authorities after an hours-long standoff. Reid says a lot of the radicalization of homegrown violence starts online.
Often times in social media echo chambers where most users agree with, and even encourage, one another.
“How do we monitor online activity in a way that is actually helping us flag people who are potentially dangerous?” said Reid.
Homeland Security did not point to a specific threat or timeline, but said that August of 2021 was ripe for potential.