After an 18-year-old allegedly threw a Molotov cocktail at a Delaware Planned Parenthood, investigators looked at his social media footprint — and found signs of anti-abortion extremism.
Samuel James Gulick is accused of spray painting “Deus Vult” — “God wills it” — on the outer wall of a Delaware Planned Parenthood clinic on Friday, then throwing an incendiary device at the building’s front window. The device exploded and burned for a minute before self-extinguishing, an FBI agent said in the criminal complaint against Gulick, citing surveillance camera footage.
The device appeared to have been a Molotov cocktail, according to an ATF explosives enforcement officer cited in the complaint.
Gulick was charged with malicious damage of a building used in interstate commerce through the use of fire or destructive device, intentional damage to a facility that provides reproductive health services and possession of an unregistered device under the National Firearms Act. He was arrested Saturday and the charges against him were announced Monday. It was unclear Tuesday whether he had retained an attorney.
“Several postings on the Samuel Gulick’s Instagram page indicate support of strong anti-abortion ideology,” the complaint against Gulick read. It referenced an Instagram page that was registered to Gulick’s phone number, shared his name and included the phrase “Deus Vult” in its bio. The phrase is associated with the Crusades and has been appropriated by modern-day right-wing extremists to refer to civilizational struggle.
On Tuesday, the Instagram account appeared to have been deleted.
“This is an act of domestic terrorism and a blatant attack on reproductive health,” the president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Delaware, Ruth Lytle-Barnaby, told The New York Times Tuesday. “Unfortunately, I feel like we are in a time and an administration that emboldens people to do things and this is one of the kinds of things that has been happening around the country.”
One of the infographics Gulick appeared to have shared on his account came from National Right To Life, the anti-abortion organization.
“The Nazis said killing millions of Jews was a national health issue,” Gulick wrote below the image. “Democrats are using the same excuse to kill American children.” Another infographic compared the number of abortion procedures in the United States to the casualty numbers of major wars.