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Expert: ‘All the Signs Were There’ for Buffalo Shooter

UMass Lowell Domestic Terrorism Expert Available for Interviews

Arie Perliger got a $998,599 federal grant to study right-wing terrorism over three years.
Criminal Justice Prof. Arie Perliger, a counterterrorism expert, is available as a source to journalists covering the topic.

05/16/2022

Media contacts: Emily Gowdey-Backus, 978-934-3369, Emily_GowdeyBackus@uml.edu and Nancy Cicco, 978-934-4944 or Nancy_Cicco@uml.edu

Payton S. Gendron, reported to be a self-described White supremacist who killed 10 and wounded three people in a mass shooting in Buffalo, New York, on Saturday, fits the profile of a domestic terrorist, according to a UMass Lowell counterterrorism expert.

Gendron, 18, pleaded guilty to a count of first-degree murder on Saturday night, with more charges pending against him. Eleven of the 13 people Gendron is accused of shooting at a Buffalo supermarket were Black. Authorities have identified him as the author of a 180-page manifesto described as racist.

Arie Perliger, a UMass Lowell expert on right-wing extremism, says Gendron’s background is consistent with those of individuals who commit such acts.

“All the signs were there, manifested in past behaviors and practices performed by the shooter. The frustration many feel stems from the fact that – at least from initial data – there is nothing unique in the radicalization process and dynamics that led to the attack,” Perliger said. 

Perliger is available to discuss:

  • Where extremist enclaves are likely to be found across the country, both in heavily Democratic “blue” or dominant Republican “red” states
  • How individuals can fall victim to extreme political ideology online
  • Strategies to counter terrorism.

Perliger is the author of “American Zealots: Inside Right-Wing Domestic Terrorism.” He is a professor in UMass Lowell’s School of Criminology and Justice Studies where he directs the graduate program in security studies.

To arrange an interview with Perliger via phone, email or teleconference, contact Emily Gowdey-Backus at Emily_GowdeyBackus@uml.edu, 978-934-3369, or Nancy Cicco, Nancy_Cicco@uml.edu, 978-934-4944.