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Secret Service: Don't Ignore Incel Warning Signs

Report calls for behavioral assessment to prevent mass killings
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 15, 2022 5:12 PM CDT
Secret Service Warns of Rising Incel Terror Threat
This photo provided by the Leon County Sheriff's Office shows Scott Paul Beierle.   (Leon County Sheriff's Office via AP, File)

Men who consider themselves anti-feminists, male supremacists, or "incels"—"involuntary celibates"—have killed dozens of people in attacks in recent years and more attention needs to be paid to warning signs, the Secret Service said in a report released Tuesday. Experts at the agency's National Threat Assessment Center said that while "there is no one profile of an individual who plans or executes an act of targeted violence," behavioral assessment and early intervention could save lives, CBS reports. "The hatred of women requires increased attention from everyone," said Steve Driscoll, a specialist at the center.

"The term 'incel' is often used to describe men who feel unable to obtain romantic or sexual relationships with women, to which they feel entitled," the report said, per CNN. The report took a close look at the case of Paul Beierle, a 40-year-old man who killed two women at a Tallahassee yoga studio before killing himself in 2018, reports the AP. The report said Beierle "pursued higher education, served in the military, and held highly regarded professional positions of trust," but his history also had numerous red flags pointing toward "misogynistic extremism." Beierle was arrested for groping women, was banned from local bars because of his behavior toward women, and wrote songs about torturing and killing women, the report found.

Beierle's disturbing behavior "elicited concern from parents, siblings, friends, roommates, coworkers, workplace managers, school officials, students, law enforcement, the online community, neighbors, and other community members," but nobody was looking at the picture as a whole, the report states. Driscoll said threat assessment is a growing field, and "there are programs being implemented specifically to identify and assess and intervene with individuals like this one." (A Canadian man referenced the incel subculture in a Facebook post made minutes before he killed 10 people in a vehicle attack in Toronto.)

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