YouTube attacker went postal over ‘blocked videos’

A woman identified by police as the attacker who wounded three people at YouTube’s headquarters in California was a vegan blogger

A woman identified by police as the attacker who wounded three people at YouTube’s headquarters in California was a vegan blogger who accused the video-sharing service of discriminating against her, according to her online profile.

Police said Nasim Najafi Aghdam, 39, from San Diego, was behind Tuesday’s shooting at YouTube’s offices in Silicon Valley, south of San Francisco, where the company owned by Alphabet Inc’s Google employs nearly 2 000 people.

A man was in critical condition and two women were seriously wounded in the attack, which ended when Aghdam shot and killed herself.

Californian media reported that Aghdam’s family had warned the authorities that she might target YouTube prior to the shooting. Her father, Ismail, said he had told police that she might be going to YouTube’s headquarters because she hated the internet video company.

Police said they were still investigating possible motives but Aghdam’s online activities show that she believed YouTube was deliberately obstructing her videos from being viewed.
“YouTube filtered my channels to keep them from getting views,” she wrote on YouTube according to a screenshot of her account. Her channel was deleted on Tuesday.

Law enforcement officers are seen near a patio with crime scene markers at Youtube headquarters following an active shooter situation in San Bruno, California Picture: Reuters/Elijah Nouvelage
Law enforcement officers are seen near a patio with crime scene markers at Youtube headquarters following an active shooter situation in San Bruno, California Picture: Reuters/Elijah Nouvelage

Writing in Persian on her Instagram account, Aghdam said she was born in the Iranian city of Urmiah but was not planning to return to Iran. “I live on a planet that is full of injustice and diseases,” she wrote.

Her family in Southern California recently reported her missing because she had not been answering her phone for two days, police said.

At one point early on Tuesday, police in Mountain View, California, found her sleeping in her car and called her family to say everything was under control, hours before she walked onto the company grounds with a hand gun and opened fire.

Aghdam ran a website called NasimeSabz.com, which translates as “Green Breeze” from Persian, on which she posted about Persian culture, veganism and long, rambling passages railing against corporations and governments.

“BE AWARE! Dictatorships exist in all countries. But with different tactics,” she wrote. “They care only for short term profits & anything to reach their goals even by fooling simple-minded people.”

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