A right-wing conspiracy theory touted by Pittsburgh synagogue shooter Robert Bowers before his October 27 rampage was promoted and amplified by a Kremlin-run propaganda website, according to NBC reporter Ben Collins.
In a Twitter thread posted on October 27, Collins wrote that Bowers was particularly fond of the conspiracy theory that the “migrant caravan,” a group of several thousand Central America refugees making their way north towards the US border, was funded by Jews.
In the days before he carried out mass murder at the Tree of Life congregation, Bowers repeatedly posted an image from what appeared to be a Fox News report that showed a truck emblazoned with a Star of David, helping to transport asylum seekers to the US border.
According to Collins, images of the Star of David on the side of a truck were posted in such forums as Gab, 4chan and parts of Twitter.
The image, as well as the theory that Jews were behind the “migrant caravan,” was also promoted by a site called USA Really, which is reportedly funded by the Kremlin.
“Star of David spotted amidst migrant caravan: Who’s behind the invasion?” read a headline on the Russian propaganda site on October 24.
“Some bloggers claim that the impending flood of migrants is part of a broader plan to emasculate, threaten, and distract Americans. All while the “Greater Israel Project” continues its occupational expansion and terror throughout the Middle East,” reads the article.
The article had 1,450 readers as of this writing.
The idea that either George Soros, the Hungarian-Jewish financier, or Jews in general were behind a group of Honduran and Guatemalan migrants marching towards the US border gained widespread traction when Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida tweeted on October 17 that he had received footage from Honduras of people “giving cash 2 women & children 2 join the caravan & storm the US border @ election time. Soros? US-backed NGOs? Time to investigate the source!”
After Gaetz’s tweet, the meme spread widely on alt-right social media, although it is unclear where the meme originated.