No sooner had Anthony Quinn Warner been singled out as a person of interest in an apparently Christmas Day suicide bombing in Nashville, Tennessee, than conspiratorial circles began to cast doubt on his identity or applaud him. his actions.
Warner, 63, is accused of setting off a bomb in downtown Nashville on early Christmas morning, damaging more than 40 businesses, killing himself and injuring several others. Investigators have yet to identify the motive for the attack. Nonetheless, a certain pro-Trump segment appears to have sided with the bomber, with another man from Tennessee allegedly attempting a similar threat – albeit without any real explosives – on Sunday.
Officials have not announced Warner’s possible motives, or whether the incident is being treated as an act of terror. Initial reports suggest that the FBI is investigating whether Warner (who law enforcement said set off the bomb from an RV outside an AT&T building) was influenced by conspiracy theories on 5G technology. A real estate agent who worked with Warner who was interviewed by the FBI told the Nashville WSMV that agents had asked about Warner’s interest in the technology, but were unsure if he had any such beliefs.
However, even before these potential motives were revealed, some conspiracy movements were already seeking to exonerate Warner. Moments after his name emerged in connection with the case, followers of the far-right conspiracy movement QAnon began flooding Twitter with absurd ideas, falsely claiming Warner was an actor, in part because Another Anthony Quinn was a Hollywood star before he died in 2001. Other QAnon followers have broken down his name to associate his initials with made-up clues, or to dissect parts of his name to display “Q WARN” .
The theory didn’t stop at anonymous Twitter accounts. Lin Wood, a lawyer trying to overturn the election in favor of President Donald Trump, appeared to question the bombing in several tweets. In one, he included Warner’s name in a tweet about false accusations. In another, he tweeted photos of a crumbling stretch of downtown Nashville, noting that “this RV really does have a mighty punch. Or did you do it?
Wood did not return a request for clarification on the tweets.
For his part, Trump, who has previously raged against acts of property damage, accusing leftists of terrorism, has been markedly silent on the bombing.
“President Trump has been made aware of the explosion in Nashville, Tennessee, and will continue to receive regular updates,” White House spokesman Judd Deere told the Washington post in a statement Friday. “The President is grateful for the amazing first responders and prays for those who were injured.”
Trump has yet to tweet about the attack. When asked if Trump made or was planning a comment, Deere told the Daily Beast, “I’m his spokesperson and I, so yes he did.
As supporters of QAnon debated Warner’s innocence, pro-terror channels on the Telegram messaging platform openly adopted his tactics. Some of those channels, which called for civil war and violent attacks, applauded the possibility that Warner may have been a terrorist influenced by QAnon – or, because of where these groups praying for the violence of the part of old conspiracy theorists a “boomer bomber.” “
On Sunday, another Tenneseean would have mimicked Warner’s bomb threat, but without the bomb. James Turgeon, 33, is accused of driving a truck in Rutherford County adjacent to Nashville, while issuing a warning similar to the one Warner issued from his RV before the bomb went off. Although Turgeon plays a similar sound, officials said Turgeon and Warner do not appear to be connected.
Turgeon’s motivations are also unknown, although his digital footprint is larger than that of Warner, who did not appear to have had public social media under his own name. On Facebook, Turgeon shared several memes about the position with Trump on November 7, after President-elect Joe Biden’s victory became evident.
Turgeon, who is being held on $ 500,000 bail, was charged with two counts of filing a false report and one count of tampering with evidence. It was not immediately clear if he had a lawyer.
David Rausch, director of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, told media on Monday that Turgeon appeared to have grafted the bombing into Warner.
“There is no connection other than the individual who takes advantage of the situation,” Rausch said on Monday.
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