A federal law enforcement official tells CNN that Robert Bowers’ social media postings are a focus of their investigation into the mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh.
Shortly before the shooting, shooting suspect Robert Bowers posted on his Gab account that he "can't sit by and watch my people get slaughtered. Screw your optics, I'm going in."
In that same posting, Bowers wrote "HIAS likes to bring in invaders that kill our people." HIAS is a Jewish refugee advocacy group that held a "National Refugee Shabbat" last weekend.
Bowers' Gab account has frequent anti-Semitic postings. He has reposted a number of posts on his social media accounts that tell Jews to get out, or leave.
17 days before the attack, Bowers posted a web page from HIAS that listed a number of Shabbats that were being held on behalf of refugees. On that list was a Shabbat address that is less than a mile away from the Tree of Life Synagogue.
The CEO of HIAS told CNN that Bowers is not known to the group.
Gab is a social media platform that advocates for free speech and puts nearly no restrictions on content.
In a statement posted online, Gab said they "unequivocally disavows and condemns all acts of terrorism and violence...Gab’s mission is very simple: to defend free expression and individual liberty online for all people."
After they were alerted to the suspect's profile on their platform, they say they backed up the data, suspended the account, and contacted the FBI.
A law enforcement source confirmed to CNN that investigators believe the social media postings belong to Bowers and that the language on his account matches the suspected motivation behind the shootings.