FBI director: Charleston shooting not an act of terrorism

FBI director James Comey. Photo: Sinclair Broadcast Group

FBI director James Comey said Friday that while his agency is investigating the murder of nine people in Charleston, S.C. as a hate crime, it is not an act of terrorism.

He said due to the lack of political motivation for his actions, alleged shooter Dylann Roof is not a domestic terrorist.

"Terrorism is act of violence done or threatens to in order to try to influence a public body or citizenry so it's more of a political act and again based on what I know so more I don't see it as a political act. Doesn't make it any less horrific the label but terrorism has a definition under federal law," he said during a visit to Baltimore.

Affidavits from the Charleston police department claim Roof "with malice and aforethought" shot nine African American parishioners at Emmanuel AME Church with a .45 caliber handgun.

The documents also say he stood over one witness and uttered a racist remark during the massacre before fleeing the scene.

Roof's racist motives have the Charleston Police Department and the FBI investigating the massacre as a hate crime.

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