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Governor forms new anti-terrorism unit after El Paso attack

Updated: August 14, 2019 05:21 PM

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Gov. Greg Abbott says Texas is adding manpower to gang investigations surrounding white nationalist groups in the wake of the El Paso shooting that left 22 people dead.

Abbott said Wednesday that Texas will also create a new domestic terrorism unit to help "root out the extremist ideologies that fuel hatred and violence in our state."

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Authorities say 21-year-old Patrick Crusius confessed to the Aug. 3 shooting at a Walmart and told investigators that he targeted Mexicans during the attack. He's also suspected of posting a racist, anti-immigrant screed online before opening fire in the Texas border city.

Federal prosecutors have said they're weighing hate-crime charges against Crusius.

Texas Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Katherine Cesinger says the agency will assign more than a dozen additional people to anti-gang centers following Abbott's directive.

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(Copyright 2019 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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