A Queens, New York, man accused of threatening mass shootings and buying illegal weapons was also a prolific internet troll targeting Jews and people of color online.
Joseph Miner was arrested Tuesday along with another man, Daniel Jou, after allegedly trying to buy assault-style weapons with the serial numbers removed from an undercover agent at an airport hotel. Miner allegedly used Instagram to post about “martyring” himself in a mass shooting. Miner’s reported account, which contained a white supremacist reference, was also used to harass accounts for a leading Jewish organization and a black Instagrammer, according to posts reviewed by The Daily Beast.
Miner, 29, and Jou, 40, unwittingly tried to buy guns from an undercover law enforcement officer for a full month before their arrest, according to a criminal complaint filed in New York’s Eastern District court Wednesday. Miner allegedly reached out to the officer in mid-April, asking to buy weapons. The duo wanted an AR-15 with a silencer and the serial number removed, Miner allegedly told the officer.
Miner isn’t charged with plotting a shooting. But for months on Instagram, he allegedly posted about the possibility, according to a criminal complaint. Across December and January, Miner allegedly authored multiple Instagram posts yearning for violence against minorities, especially Jews. In two, he allegedly photographed himself giving a Nazi salute (in one case holding a knife), professing hatred for Jews.
Multiple posts expressed glee over anti-Semitic attacks around the New York area. “Ngl [not gonna lie] this is pretty fucking exciting,” he allegedly wrote about a December knife attack in Monsey, New York that left one Jewish man dead and four injured during Hanukkah.
In November, Miner allegedly indicated interest in a violent movement that has since gained traction with far-right demonstrators who attend protests demanding the end of COVID-19 lockdowns. Miner wanted a gun for “boogaloo purposes,” he allegedly wrote, in reference to an archetypical violent uprising advocated for by white supremacists. Early in the month, he allegedly posted that he wanted “RaHoWa,” slang for “racial holy war,” another fantasy that plays prominently in white supremacist media. (Also on Wednesday, a Pennsylvania neo-Nazi pleaded guilty to illegal firearm possession.)
Miner appears to have written frequent fantasies about mass shootings. “Go[ing] out firing. Go on a spree after my enemies til the authorities take me out...Sometimes I’ve considered forming a well trained incel hit squad,” he allegedly wrote in November. (“Incels,” short for “involuntarily celibate” refer to misogynistic community that complains about not having sex.) In February, he allegedly wrote about going to Europe to shoot people of color because he thought he would “die a hero.”
In January, he posted a picture of the outside of a Jewish community center in Queens.
Miner allegedly posted from the handle “SouljaGoy,” the New York Daily News first reported. A law enforcement official confirmed the handle to The Daily Beast. (“Goy” is a reference to non-Jewish people, and has been adopted as an in-joke in white supremacist circles.) Although the account has since gone private, its still-visible comments reveal that it was used to harass Jews and people of color in the run-up to Miner’s arrest.
“Europe for Europeans,” read one of its comments on a post by the Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish organization. It was one of several posts targeting the group. Another one of “SouljaGoy”’s comments on an ADL post falsely blamed Jews for the 9/11 terror attacks. Another comment hurled a racist slur at a black woman who posted about running errands.
News of Miner’s arrest came one day after the ADL published its annual report on anti-Semitic attacks, which found 2019 to have had the most incidents since the ADL started tracking in 1979. “Coming one day after our 2019 Audit of Antisemitic incidents, this arrest underscores the dangers of this pernicious form of hate,” the ADL said in a statement.
It was not immediately clear whether either Miner or Jou had lawyers.
Miner also allegedly purchased body armor with a white supremacist logo in January, and a ballistic helmet in March, fueling suspicions that he planned an attack.
Sometime between those purchases, he appears to have considered his fate.
“Some day, I will probably have to shed my blood or go to prison for the things I say and do and stand for,” he posted.