8chan Owner Lives In Philippines And US Congress Can’t Find Him
The House Committee on Homeland Security has invited Jim Watkins, owner of the notorious message board 8chan used by El Paso murderer Patrick Crusius, to testify about his now-defunct website's links to three lethal mass shootings in the United States and New Zealand.
The only problem is, the House committee doesn't know Watkins' valid mailing address in the Philippines, where Watkins has been living since 2004. Apart from running a number of websites, Watkins is said to have his own pig farm.
"Please provide the Committee with current physical contact information for you or your authorized representative in the United States so that you can receive communication from the Committee," said the letter from the House committee.
The letter "respectfully requested" Watkins' presence at the hearing. The committee also tweeted the letter to Watkins and sent it to 8chan's Twitter handle. 8chan later retweeted the House tweet, confirming it knew Watkins was being summoned to return to the U.S. to face Congress.
Crusius, the 21-year-old white supremacist who shot dead 22 people and wounded 24 others, posted his racist and anti-immigrant manifesto to 8chan 27 minutes before he began killing people at the Walmart Supercenter in El Paso, Texas on the morning of Aug. 3. Crusius later surrendered to police.
In his manifesto, Crusius described the Walmart attack as "a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas." He said the influx of Hispanics into the U.S. will replace aging white voters.
This flood of Hispanics will turn Texas into a Blue State controlled by the Democratic Party, and allow Democrats to win back the presidency from Republicans. He also said he admired president Donald Trump, who made the demonization of immigrants a platform of his re-election bid. Trump has also continued to hurl invectives and racist remarks at immigrants and non-whites.
8 chan has been clearly linked to three horrific mass murders: the Christchurch massacre in March where 50 Muslims were shot dead; the Poway, California synagogue shooting in April where one person was killed and the El Paso mass shooting on Aug. 3 where 22 people were murdered.
Interviewed in 2016, Watkins said that while 8chan was spreading racist ideologies, he isn't as racist, according to the news and opinion website, Splinter.
"I don't have a problem with white supremacists talking on 8chan," said Watkins. "They have reasons for their beliefs. I don't need to justify their reasons."
Watkins has refused interview requests after the El Paso mass shooting. His son Ron, has consistently dismissed the idea of 8chan doing more to stop mass shootings or other types of violence.