Is Nikolas Cruz down with the KKK?
Well, something like that. The leader of white supremacist group Republic Of Florida Jordan Jereb claims that Cruz had “something to do” with his Tallahassee-based organization.
Jereb told The Associated Press on Thursday that Cruz had participated in paramilitary drills where his group is based. Jereb said he didn’t know Cruz personally and that “he acted on his own behalf of what he just did and he’s solely responsible for what he just did.”
Jereb told the Miami Herald that he knew “with certainty” that Cruz “had something to do with us.” He told the Daily Beast that Cruz “wasn’t particularly active” in his group but came to Tallahassee with a “secretive cell” from Clearwater, Florida. ABC News reported that three former schoolmates of Cruz said he was part of the Republic of Florida and was often seen with Jereb.
Jereb did not respond to repeated phone calls from AP to clarify.
The Anti-Defamation League also said it spoke with Jereb, who told it that Cruz was associated with his group and had been “brought up” by another member. Later Thursday, however, the ADL noted that someone posting in a discussion forum for far-right extremists said the claims were part of an elaborate attempt to dupe news outlets.
Cruz is currently facing 17 counts of premeditated murder after shooting and killing seventeen high school students in the school where he was previously expelled.