KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -- On Thursday, KCTV5 News looked into the man who was killed on Tuesday while FBI agents tried to arrest him for domestic terrorism and found he had deep ties to the National Socialist Movement.
The FBI investigation into Timothy Wilson showed he was a potentially violent extremist. It listed racial, religious, and government hatred as some of his motivators.
We looked into his posts on a National Socialist Movement chat room. Some of his posts are disturbing.
One of Wilson’s last posts in a chat room on the site telegram shows a hatred for government. We were able to obtain multiple posts made by Wilson from a computer science researcher who studies those chat rooms.
“Just like the rest of the country is, the rest of the world really is focused on coronavirus,” said Megan Squire, a computer science professor at Elon University. “So are these extremist chat rooms. It’s pretty much the only thing they’re talking about right now.”
Wilson, who went by the username “Werwolfe 84,” believed the coronavirus was created by people of the Jewish faith.
The FBI said Wilson’s actions were tied to the hatred of the government, religion, and other races. The bureau says Wilson had plans to bomb a local hospital.
The FBI was investigating Wilson for a while and said he was injured while agents tried to arrest him.
He later died at the hospital.
The researcher who gave us a look into his chats said others like Wilson talked about spreading coronavirus.
“But then, when the virus started to come into Europe and then into the United States, they switched their approach and stopped thinking that it might be contained and started thinking about how they might weaponize it,” Squire said.
“Some of that thinking was fantastical,” she said. ‘‘I’m going to catch this and I’m going to go to a community center or a synagogue and I’m going to lick the doorknobs,’ and this kind of thing,” she said, explaining what they were wanting to do.
Former FBI agent Michal Tabman said the idea isn’t new.
“I don’t think Coronavirus has created a new security risk for us,” he said. “And, I don’t think we should worry there’s something new out there we don’t know about in terms of terrorism. We’re aware of bio terrorism. This again just brings it to light and makes us rethink it.”
Tabman said the movements Wilson was a part of were always on the FBI’s radar, too.
“While white supremacists [and the] white supremacist movement have been a threat and continues to be a threat, their bark is often bigger than their bite,” he said.
Despite that, Squire remains cautious.
“It’s only a fantasy until it isn’t,” she said. “It only takes one of them to try to perpetuate some kind of violence using the virus.”
We reached out to the FBI for any more information it had in Wilson’s case. It declined our request for an interview.