Lifestyle & Belief

Sikh temple shooter was observed by federal investigators


People mill around in front of the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin where at least one gunman fired upon people at a service August, 5, 2012 Oak Creek, Wisconsin.


Scott Olson

Sikh temple shooter Wade Michael Page had been looked at by federal investigators "more than once" because of his links to right-wing extremists and his possible support of a domestic terrorist group, the Los Angeles Times reported

Though Page had been under observation by law enforcment, officials had determined at the time that they did not have enough criminal evidence against him to open an investigation, a senior US law enforcement official told the Times. 

“This happens a lot where somebody will come to your attention and you do a preliminary investigation of the guy’s activities and nothing pans out,” Bob Blitzer, the domestic counterterrorism chief for the FBI from 1996 to 1998, told the Times. “Some private groups collect a lot of information, but they can. Law enforcement can’t.” 

According to federal law, the FBI is not allowed to collect information on citizens unless a suspect has threatened violence, broken federal law, and is trying to advance a political or social agenda, the Times reported. 

More from GlobalPost: Wade Michael Page identified as Sikh temple shooting gunman

Page, a 40-year-old army veteran, was shot dead after injuring a police officer during his rampage Sunday at a Sikh temple in Milwaukee. Six people were killed in addition to Page. 

The news that Page had been on the radar of officials comes just a day after the Southern Poverty Law Center said it had been aware of the shooter, who was a member of at least two white supremacist bands, since 2000, Yahoo! reported

Label56, the record label who had distributed albums by one of Page's bands End Apathy, released a statement Monday afternoon in an effort to separate themselves from what officials are calling an act of "domestic terrorism." 

More from GlobalPost: Sikh: Facts about the religion

“We have worked hard over the years to promote a positive image and have posted many articles encouraging people to take a positive path in life,” the statement by Label56 read, the Southern Poverty Law Center reported.

“[W]e have never sought attention by using ‘shock value’/ symbols and ideology that are generally labeled as such. With that being said, all images and products related to End Apathy have been removed from our site.”

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