Colorado gunman with extremist ties targeted prominent rabbi’s church, ADL research shows

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. – Preliminary research by the Anti-Defamation League Center on Extremism has revealed troubling information about Genesse Moreno, the assailant who opened fire at Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church on February 11 before being killed by off-duty officers. The research shows that Moreno expressed support for a range of anti-Semitic, anti-Zionist, and extremist beliefs and praised U.S.-designated terrorist groups, including Hamas and Hezbollah.

Moreno’s mother reportedly attended the church, raising questions about why Moreno targeted Lakewood in the attack that left two people wounded. ADL researchers uncovered Moreno’s anti-Semitic, pro-Palestinian Telegram channel and chat, where she shared terrorist propaganda and anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, praised U.S.-designated terrorist groups, and frequently ranted about her former mother-in-law, Walli Carranza, a Colorado-based rabbi whom she accused of trying to “kidnap” her son.

Further investigation into Moreno’s Telegram posts revealed that she had been planning the attack at least a month prior, initially considering targeting a pro-Israel rally. Her posts indicate that she may have been motivated by anger toward her former mother-in-law, who petitioned to become the managing conservator for Moreno’s son in 2022.

Moreno’s social media posts depict her admiration for Osama bin Laden and express her desire to kill Jews and wage jihad. She also shared content from Resistance News Network, an anti-Zionist English-language Telegram channel that promotes violence against Israel, further underscoring her extremist views. In addition, Moreno posted a video of herself shooting at a target that included a drawing of a Star of David.

The troubling revelation of Moreno’s radical and violent beliefs raises concerns about the spread of extremist ideologies and the potential for targeted violence. The case also highlights the challenges of addressing mental health issues and the influence of online radicalization. As the investigation continues, authorities will need to confront the complex issues surrounding extremism and its impact on individuals and communities.