FBI says it is not treating Nashville Christian school shooting by transgender killer as 'domestic terrorism'

March 30, 2023

According to the FBI, the mass shooting on Monday in Nashville, Tennessee, in which a transgender shooter murdered three children and three adults at a private Christian elementary school, was not an act of domestic terrorism, the Daily Wire reported.

That assessment comes despite the incident appearing to fit with the Bureau's definition of "domestic terrorism," to say nothing of the multiple examples over the past two years of numerous right-leaning individuals -- including concerned parents at school board meetings, devout Catholics, conservative activists, pro-life advocates, and supporters of former President Donald Trump, among others -- have routinely been labeled as "domestic terrorists" whether engaged in violence or not.

Nashville shooting incident fits FBI definition

Per the FBI's own website, the term "domestic terrorism" is defined as: "Violent, criminal acts committed by individuals and/or groups to further ideological goals stemming from domestic influences, such as those of a political, religious, social, racial, or environmental nature."

The Daily Wire, which as a policy doesn't name mass shooters, noted that the perpetrator of evil in Nashville on Monday was a 28-year-old female who identified as a transgender male. That individual has been separately identified by police and other media outlets as Audrey "Aiden" Hale, and is believed to have been a former student of the private Christian school.

The shooter, who was shot dead by responding police officers, reportedly specifically targeted the small Christian school and left a "manifesto" that hasn't been publicly released but is purported to outline Hale's ideological beliefs and motives for the attack.

Further, and though no definitive link has yet been established, the attack quite coincidentally occurred amid great anger among the transgender community over a recently signed law in Tennessee that barred hormone therapy and sex change operations for minors, as well as a supposedly imminent "trans day of vengeance" event that has been pushed online by a radical transgender activist group.

FBI confirms Nashville shooting not being treated as domestic terrorism

The Daily Wire made contact with the FBI's Memphis Field Office, which covers Nashville, to ask if Monday's mass shooting was considered to be an act of domestic terrorism, but was told by spokeswoman Elizabeth Clement-Webb, "If it was terrorism, we would have federal jurisdiction. Given that Nashville metro is leading the investigation, I think you can take a lot from that."

She further noted that the FBI was working "in an assistance role" with the local Nashville police and said, "I think we’ll learn more over time, but at this time it does not appear to be federal."

The spokeswoman also said "No" when asked if radical trans activists, such as the group threatening "vengeance" for alleged "transgender genocide," were being scrutinized as potential domestic terrorism threats, though she noted that Bureau is always keeping an eye out for any such threats of potential violence.

The Daily Wire also queried the FBI Washington Field Office, which covers the Supreme Court where the so-called "day of vengeance" is scheduled to commence this weekend, about whether that event and the group behind it were being monitored as possible domestic terrorism, but a spokesperson declined to answer and simply directed the outlet to the FBI's National Press Office.

The National Press Office, in turn, dodged the question and said in a written response that "membership in a group is not illegal in and of itself. In fact, it is protected by the First Amendment. The FBI will never open an investigation based solely on protected First Amendment activity. We focus on individuals who commit or intend to commit violence and criminal activity that constitutes a federal crime or poses a threat to national security."

Republican lawmakers demand answers on "domestic terrorism" and "hate crime" questions

The Daily Wire is not alone in asking questions about whether the Nashville shooting should be treated as domestic terrorism, as Newsweek reported that Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Mary Miller (R-IL) sent a letter to FBI Director Chris Wray on Tuesday that highlighted how Hale "self-identified as a member of the transgender political ideology" and specifically targeted the Christian school.

Miller said in a tweet, "The FBI must treat the horrific attack in Nashville as a domestic terrorist attack based on the attacker's transgender political 'manifesto' & intentional targeting of Christians. I joined @RepMTG in calling for a full investigation into the organizations encouraging violence."

Similarly, Newsweek also reported that Sens. Josh Hawley (R-MO) and John Kennedy (R-LA) likewise pressed top Biden administration officials -- Homeland Security Sec. Alejandro Mayorkas and Attorney General Merrick Garland, respectively -- on whether the Nashville attack should be treated as a "hate crime," rather than domestic terrorism, due to the fact that a Christian school was deliberately targeted.

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