The suspect shot dead after ramming his car into barriers outside the US Capitol has been identified by NBC News and other media outlets as Noah Green, a 25-year-old black man and reportedly a follower of the Nation of Islam, RT reports.
Green allegedly drove a car into security barriers outside the US Capitol on Friday afternoon, injuring two Capitol Police officers, one fatally.
Police have identified the deceased officer as William Evans, an 18-year veteran of the force. He was hospitalized following the Friday incident, but succumbed to his injuries in hospital. Police say he was shot by the officers as he left his vehicle and lunged at them with a knife.
Despite their investigation being in its early stages, police say they have so far ruled out terrorism as a motive.
Biden ‘Heartbroken’ Over Capitol Attack
President Joe Biden has, meanwhile, said that he was “heartbroken to learn of the violent attack at a security checkpoint on the US Capitol grounds”, adding that he ordered the White House flag to be lowered to half-mast. Biden has called the incident an “attack,” while House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) has dubbed the deceased officer a “martyr for our democracy.”
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, for his part, said in a statement that “there is still much to be determined” about the Friday attack and offered the department’s support to the DC mayor and Capitol Police.
While police have not released any details about the suspect in the immediate aftermath of the attack, information obtained by NBC News identified him as 25-year-old Noah Green of Indiana. The African-American man was earlier seen being carried away from the scene of the attack on a stretcher by paramedics, and died shortly afterwards.
Green’s Facebook and Instagram accounts were deleted immediately after the NBC story broke, but screenshots purportedly showing some of Green’s posts have circulated online. Media reports have also added further detail about his online activity.
Facebook admitted Friday it suspended the accounts of the suspect in the fatal US Capitol incident — as news outlets reported he was a Nation of Islam devotee who recently lost his job and believed the government was conducting mind control experiments on him.
“We have designated the incident under our Dangerous Individuals and Organization policy, which means we have removed the suspect’s accounts from Facebook and Instagram, and are removing any content that praises, supports, or represents the attack or the suspect,” Facebook said in a statement to NBC.
In the weeks leading up to the attack, Green wrote on Instagram that the US government was targeting him with “mind control,” also claiming he had “terrible afflictions” that were “presumably [caused] by the CIA and FBI, government agencies of the United States of America,” according to CNN.
Another post described the federal government as the “#1 enemy of Black people.”
Nation of Islam Fan?
On Green’s Facebook page, moreover, he indicated that he was a follower of the Nation of Islam, a black nationalist interpretation of Islam that once counted Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali as members. Its current leader, Louis Farrakhan, often draws media attention with his anti-Semitic speeches.
Green shared confessions on social media about how “tough” his life has been in recent years, including losing his job over apparent mental issues.
“I have been tried with some of the biggest, unimaginable tests in my life. I am currently now unemployed, after I left my job, partly due to afflictions”, the Capitol attacker reportedly posted.
In a separate Facebook post, Green claimed that “Satan’s rule over us is up”. The suspect also ostensibly thanked Farrakhan for saving him “after the terrible afflictions” he “suffered presumably by the CIA and FBI, government agencies of the United States of America”.
“I have suffered multiple home break ins, food poisonings, assaults, unauthorised operations in the hospital, mind control”, the 25-year-old reportedly wrote in one of his Instagram posts, insisting that his troubles started in 2019 when Green’s former teammate and roommate drugged him with Xanax, an anti-anxiety medication.
Just two hours before Friday’s attack, the suspect allegedly posted a video on his Instagram account with a caption that said: “The US government is the #1 enemy of Black people!”
Vehicle attack raises new questions about US Capitol security
New questions are being raised about security measures around the United States Congress after a vehicular assault on a security checkpoint killed one Capitol Police officer, injured another and ended with the driver of the car shot dead.
Most of the 535 members of Congress were away on recess when the attack happened. National Guard soldiers and police with riot shields responded to the incident which caused a two-hour lockdown for thousands of congressional staff working at the Capitol complex.
“I personally believe that the Capitol Police need reinforcements right away and we should do everything in our powers to add the personnel that they require,” said Representative Raja Krishnamoorthi in an interview with the MSNBC news outlet.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement there would be “a swift and comprehensive investigation into this heinous attack” and praised the “heroism” of the police officers.
Sensitivities are high following the January 6 attack on the Capitol by a mob of supporters of former President Donald Trump. Protesters seeking to disrupt Congress’s certification of President Joe Biden’s 2020 election overran police checkpoints and invaded the Capitol building.
Authorities had begun to remove the fencing in recent days as congressional leaders sought to return a sense of normalcy to Congress. It was only two weeks ago that public traffic was allowed again on Constitution Avenue, the street where Friday’s attack occurred.
“As far as the perimeter fencing and other issues … we’re going to have to look at it more deliberately and make sure that we can prevent incidents such as these,” said Krishnamoorthi, a Democratic member of the House Intelligence Committee.
Recently, Republicans had urged Democrats who control the top decision-making posts in Congress to reopen the Capitol complex to the public.
“Without credible security threats, we can no longer justify keeping this institution closed off to the American people whose tax dollars not only fund Congress, but as citizens also deserve access to their legislative chambers,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said on March 26.