Terrorism and extremism specialists stated Nancy Pelosi’s husband Paul was violently attacked as a result of her being targeted by internet extremists and political rivals on a regular basis, Reuters reports.
A source claims that the burglar at the Pelosis’ residence screamed “Where’s Nancy?” before hitting Paul Pelosi with a hammer.
According to Reuters, David Depape, the man arrested at the residence is suspected to be the owner of an internet profile with the same name, who embraces “cult-like conspiracy theory QAnon” and references “satanic pedophilia” online.
The reason and motive behind the assault have not yet been disclosed by the police.
However, analysts of terrorism and extremism think it may be an instance of the so-called “stochastic terrorism,” which is a growing concern in which occasionally unstable people are propelled to violence by hate speech and violent scenarios they read online and hear echoed by prominent personalities.
Far-right and far-left-leaning political websites and personalities have both publicly and online attacked Pelosi. According to Site Intelligence Group, an organization that studies internet extremists, last summer, images of her being decapitated and a request to bring immigrants to her house with her address were shared online.
The Speaker is the “face of the Democratic establishment and, as such, at the core of numerous QAnon-adjacent conspiracy theories,” according to Rita Katz, executive director of Site, who said that the Speaker is a hate figure for most of the political right.
In certain cases, more popular public personalities encourage these theories and the proponents of them, compounding the dangers, according to experts.
Attackers who act alone, sometimes known as “lone wolves,” usually mix “personal and political grievances” and are radicalized by what they read online, according to a study conducted by the DOJ’s National Institute of Justice.
Since the country’s founding, there have been numerous attacks on public figures, houses of religion, and people of other races or nationalities. However, according to law enforcement officials, the current situation is extremely risky.
Political leaders are increasingly facing threats in the US. The U.S. Capitol Police reported a significant increase in cases “concerning remarks and threats” made against members of Congress, going from 3,939 in 2017 to 9,625 in 2021.
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