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Saturday, April 17, 2021

Abbott forms new anti-terrorism unit after El Paso attack

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Gov. Greg Abbott says Texas is adding manpower to gang investigations surrounding white nationalist groups in wake of the El Paso mass shooting that left 22 people dead.

Abbott said Wednesday that Texas will also create a new domestic terrorism unit to help “root out the extremist ideologies that fuel hatred and violence in our state.”

Authorities say 21-year-old Patrick Crusius confessed to the Aug. 3 shooting at a Walmart and told investigators that he targeted Mexicans during the attack. He’s also suspected of posting a racist, anti-immigrant screed online before opening fire in the Texas border city.

Federal prosecutors have said they’re weighing hate-crime charges against Crusius.

A statement from Abbott didn’t indicate how many additional agents Texas will assign to related investigations, or when they will be in place.

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