Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, HIAS, formed in 1881 to "assist Jews fleeing pogroms in Russia and Eastern Europe." Today the Tree of Life Synagogue in Squirrel Hill, a predominantly Jewish neighbourhood of Pittsburgh, had recently hosted a HIAS national refugee Shabbat.
That apparently was enough for Robert Bowers.
The person identified as Robert Bowers on Gab.com posted this morning that "HIAS likes to bring invaders in that kill our people. I can't sit by and watch my people get slaughtered. Screw your optics, I'm going in."
On or around Oct. 10, the same person wrote, "Why hello there HIAS! You like to bring in hostile invaders to dwell among us?
...In recent days, Robert Bowers vigorously posted anti-Jewish posts and wrote several of his own. He did not favor Donald Trump, endorsing posts suggesting that the president was controlled by Jews and writing that he "is a globalist, not a nationalist. There is no #MAGA as long as there is a kike infestation." He also wrote that he was "glad the overwhelming jew [sic] problem has been solved so we can now fight with each other."
He wrote a week ago that he "noticed a change in people saying 'illegals that now say 'invaders' I like this." He also called one poster a "deceptive little oven dodger" in response to a post debunking a rumor that trucks marked with the Star of David were bringing Central American migrants to the U.S.Equally disturbing were the follow-up posts on Bower's favourite social media site, Gab.com:
People on Gab vigorously responded Saturday to news that the suspect may be one of their own.
"So Robert Bower hated Trump and Jews. Such a low life," wrote one.
"Robert Bowers went in because he has the time preference and impulse control of a Subsaharan African, and because anonymous faggots on social media who would never stand with him in battle got him all gassed up," wrote one poster.
"Robert Bowers went in because Whites are being displaced by Jewish immigration groups," another responded.
Jewish Family and Community Services is listed on the HIAS website as a partner of the organization. The website indicates that JFCS and three Pittsburgh congregations were participating in the group's awareness campaign last week: Beth Shalom, Dor Hadash and Makom HaLev.Dog-Whistle Trump naturally weighed in, volunteering that this massacre had nothing to do with gun control and apparently blaming the synagogue for not having a squad of armed guards on duty.