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Inspired by Dallas courthouse shooter, Air Force base circulates ‘incel’ warning signs

An aerial view of the flight line during the Joint Base Andrews 2019 Air and Space Expo at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, May 10, 2019. Displayed among aircraft like the T-38 Talon and C-5 Galaxy, the MQ-9 Reaper was the only Remotely Piloted Aircraft in attendance at this year’s airshow. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Haley Stevens)

A Maryland Air Force base is teaching its personnel to recognize the warning signs posed by “introverted, sexless individuals” in the wake of a discharged Army veteran’s attempts to shoot up a federal courthouse in Dallas this week.

Brian Isaack Clyde, who was killed Monday after firing shots into the Earle Cabell Federal Building in downtown Dallas, shared several “involuntary celibate,” or incel, memes in his social media accounts.

That connection, according to the Air Force Times, inspired the brass at Joint Base Andrews to initiate a program alerting airmen to signs that someone might belong to the online incel community — men who can’t find romantic partners and who sometimes react violently because of it.

Clyde, 22, shared memes prevalent in the incel community in some of his social media posts, including one that referred to a “Chad rampage” vs. a “virgin shooting.” The Chad vs. virgin trope is a common incel meme.

In the memes, “Chads” are strong men who can attract women, unlike weaker “virgins.”

Incels single out two personality types they especially despise, the “Stacy” and the “Becky,” the air base pointed out in its instructional materials, illustrating its point with a meme that turned up on Facebook featuring two women representing each type with derogatory comments next to each one.

“The content of this briefing was based upon law enforcement as well as public sources and was used to inform both military commanders and law enforcement personnel about a very real threat to military members and civilians,” said Master Sgt. Jake Richmond, spokesman for Joint Base Andrews, according to the Air Force Times.

“The briefing aims to provide those audiences with the necessary tools to identify and prevent threats,” Richmond said in the Times.

Staff writers Dana Branham and Cassandra Jaramillo contributed to this report.


© 2019 The Dallas Morning News

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