Arizona GOP lawmaker spreads conspiracy theory that the Buffalo mass shooter was a federal agent

  • An Arizona GOP lawmaker claimed a "fed" was behind the Buffalo mass shooting.

  • Extremists pushed baseless "false flag" claims after the attack, in which 10 were killed.

  • Authorities allege the Buffalo shooter spread racist conspiracy theories in an online manifesto.

Arizona GOP lawmaker Wendy Rogers cited a right-wing conspiracy theory claiming that a mass shooting in Buffalo, New York, was perpetrated by a federal agent.

Rogers posted the message in her Telegram account on Saturday, hours after the shooting in a supermarket that left 10 people dead and three injured.

"Fed boy summer has started in Buffalo," Rogers tweeted, seeming to imply that the shooter was a federal agent.

The claim echoes far-right conspiracy theories claiming that mass shootings are government "false flag" plots designed to justify taking away citizens' freedoms.

Authorities say the suspect in the Buffalo shooting livestreamed the attack and in a manifesto posted online cited racist and anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. 11 of the 13 victims were Black.

In the wake of the shooting, extremism experts pointed to the overlap between the rhetoric of mass shooters and that of elected Republican officials.

As well as the shooting in Buffalo, the manifesto of the shooter responsible for the a 2018 massacre in Christchurch, New Zealand, featured extensive references to white supremacist conspiracy theories.

Rogers, who represents Arizona's 6th legislative district in the state's senate, has openly praised white nationalism. She is a member of the far-right Oath Keepers so-called militia and has attracted criticism and censure for pushing baseless far-right conspiracy theories while in office.

The GOP-controlled Arizona Senate on Monday announced it was launching an investigation into Rogers' remarks.

Rogers in a statement Monday said her remarks had been misinterpreted, and expected to be vindicated by the inquiry.

"Sadly, my comment was taken completely out of context and became a false narrative that's now the focal point of a firestorm created by certain race-obsessed members of the media," she said.

"Let me be very clear: I do not condone violent crime or racism. My heart breaks for those who lost their lives as well as for their families in this weekend's shooting in Buffalo, New York. I pray justice is brought to the perpetrator. The person responsible for this heinous crime should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. I denounce this tragic act as well as any and all other violent crimes that are spreading into communities across our country."

Among the claims Rogers made is the so-called "great replacement" conspiracy theory, alleging that liberals are engaged in a plot to replace white people. The claim was pushed by Rogers in social media messages in July 2021, and also cited by the manifesto from the Buffalo shooting.

The groundless claim that the Buffalo shooting was perpetrated by a federal agent was also pushed by fringe white nationalist figures including Nick Fuentes. Fuentes is the organizer of the APAC white nationalist conference, which Rogers attended by video-link in February.

Read the original article on Business Insider