The man suspected of killing a TSA agent and wounding two others at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on Friday was carrying what reports call “anti-government literature” during the shooting, according to anonymous police sources.
In the past, belief in a “new world order” has been linked to the “violent far-right” by a report published by the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point.
Anonymous sources told NBC News that Paul Anthony Ciancia, 23, had material that “appeared to have been prepared by a group called ‘New World Order,’” and one source said the material “expressed animus toward racial minorities.”
It is highly unusual that the material seems to have been produced by a group going by such a title given that NBC News notes that there “is no record of a radical group by that name.”
Instead, the news outlet notes that the name is associated with a conspiracy theory that alleges a plot to undermine sovereign governments orchestrated by a secret group or groups.
However, one report cites law enforcement sources who never said that the words “new world order” even appeared in the note.
Sources told local Los Angeles ABC affiliate KABC that “The note ended with the letters ‘NWO,’ which law authorities believe refers to ‘New World Order.’”
The sources say that the note “suggested the suspect was anti-government,” though further details are not provided in the report. The note also reportedly suggested that he expected to die in the attack.
Another report cites an anonymous law enforcement official who said that the note said he “wanted to kill TSA and pigs.”
One unnamed official cited in the report said that the note expressed Ciancia’s “disappointment with government,” though it also reportedly said that he did not intend to harm innocent bystanders.
One witness called in to NBC and said that Ciancia would walk up to people in the terminal and ask people if they were TSA. When the witness said no, Ciancia moved on, according to MarketWatch.
“I was in the hallway cowering when the guy came through. And he had a rifle in his hand and he looked at me and he said ‘T.S.A.?’ And I shook my head and he just kept going,” Leon Saryan, a traveler from Milwaukee told radio station WTMJ out of Milwaukee, according to The New York Times.
Ciancia was shot multiple times in the chest and remains in critical condition at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Westwood.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said that Ciancia was carrying dozens of rounds of ammunition when he carried out the attack.
“There were more than 100 rounds that literally could have killed everybody in that terminal,” Garcetti said.
Ciancia’s father told Allan Cummings, the Pennsville, New Jersey, police chief, that one of his children had received a text message “in reference to him taking his own life.”
Cummings said the suspect’s father asked to help find Ciancia. Cummings said he contacted the Los Angeles Police Department and a patrol car was dispatched to Ciancia’s apartment. His two roommates said they saw him Thursday and that he was fine, according to San Jose Mercury News.
All of those wounded were believed to be TSA agents, though early reports double counted one wounded individual and one person broke their ankle, according to CBS.
Five were wounded in total including the gunman, the killed TSA agent and the person who injured their ankle, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.
The shooting began at 9:20 a.m. and involved an assault rifle, according to Airport Police Chief Patrick Gannon. It is unclear what kind of rifle was used as of the time of this writing.
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