LAX shooting: FBI focuses on Ciancia's references to 'New World Order' conspiracy

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The FBI on Monday asked for and was granted a warrant to search what is believed to be the cell phone of alleged LAX shooter Paul Ciancia. The agency confirmed that it has found evidence suggesting that Ciancia believed in a conspiracy theory about a global government takeover.

Federal authorities say the handwritten note found in Paul Ciancia’s bag addressed TSA employees directly, saying that he wanted to “instill fear in your traitorous minds.” But authorities are still working on a motive as to why they believe Ciancia would want to shoot up an airport.  

The FBI agent who swore out Monday’s search warrant said the note also referred to "[Ciancia's] concerns about a New World Order.”

Mark Potok, an expert on extremist groups at the Southern Poverty Law Center, is very familiar with NWO.

"The New World Order is the name that conspiracy theorists have given to a global government that is supposedly planned for the near future by evil global elites," said Potok." including people in our own federal government." 

This particular conspiracy theory is not new — some experts say it’s been around 100 years, since the founding of the Federal Reserve in 1913. Potok writes on the Southern Poverty Law Center website

Ciancia’s language and references seemed to put him squarely in the conspiracy-minded world of the antigovernment “Patriot” movement. The New World Order refers to a longstanding conspiracy theory that today, in its most popular iteration, claims that global elites are plotting to form a socialistic “one-world government” that would crush American freedoms. Often, the root of the alleged conspiracy is traced to the 1913 creation of the Federal Reserve and the adoption of fiat currency — paper money that is not backed by gold, as it was once was in the U.S.

Potok says he found no evidence of Paul Ciancia being involved in NWO meetings or groups. And he found no trace of him on the Internet.

Ciancia left little trace of himself at the last place he is believed to have lived – a condo complex in Sun Valley. Neighbor Aaron Basco says he saw Ciancia but never talked to him.

"I see him, I see him a couple of times," Basco told KPCC. "Very quiet guy. It's just kind of shocking that someone who did that lived right next door to me." 

Most neighbors said the same thing. They saw him come and go out of an apartment where three or four college-aged people lived at the corner of the complex. But no one really talked to him.

Monday morning, FBI agents returned to the apartment they searched Friday after the shooting. Two men left the apartment with the two FBI agents.

The FBI said someone drove Ciancia to the airport but they haven’t said who that person is.

The authorities hope to find clues about motive in a cell phone. The search warrant asked for permission to inspect a cell phone found in the car of Ciancia’s roommate – the car that took Ciancia to LAX on Friday.

The FBI believes it is Ciancia’s phone, because he did not have a phone with him at the airport, and the phone found in the car had no battery. A cell phone battery was found near Ciancia in LAX.

Cell phone search warrant


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