18-year-old gunman charged with a deadly racist stampede at a Buffalo supermarket Seems to fit an all-too-familiar profile: a victimized white man engulfed in online hate-filled conspiracies, and inspired by other extremist genocide.
Peyton Gendron of Conklin, NY, appears to have been propelled to action nearly two years later than when his radical theory began, showing how quickly and easily murderous attacks can take place on the Internet. Huh. No tactical training or organizational support is required.
While law enforcement officers have become adept at disrupting well-organized plots since the September 11 attacks, they face a much tougher challenge in stopping self-radicalised youths who absorb racism on social media and themselves. plotting violence,
“That’s why everybody’s so worried — and then, if you have a gun, you don’t need a big plan,” said Christopher Costa, a former senior director of counterterrorism at the National Security Council in the Trump administration. “What has changed is the Internet.”
Gendron is charged with fatally shooting 10 black people and could face federal hate crime charges in the coming days. He reportedly left behind a 180-page diary in which he said the purpose of the stampede was to terrorize non-white people and force them to leave the country. It Parrot the Ideas Left by Other White Assassins whose massacres he researched extensively online.
evidence so far Underscores the emerging threat to law enforcement.
In the first years following the September 11 attacks, US officials were troubled by the possibility that organized terrorist cells would prompt followers to launch new attacks against the homeland. Later they were concerned about the possibility of self-radicalised Islamic jihadists working on their own.
Now, white supremacists have emerged as the front and center focus. FBI Director Christopher Wray described the threat of domestic terrorism last year As in “metastasizing”. Young white men are responsible for the deadliest attacks on American soil in the past five years, including the 2018 shooting inside Pittsburgh. synagogue and a stampede the following year in which a gunman targeted Hispanics 22 people died inside a Texas Walmart.
Last year, an unclassified report by the US intelligence community warned that violent extremists fueled by political grievances and racial hatred posed an “advanced” threat to the country.
In recognition of the problem, the White House said in March that its latest budget provided a $33 million increase to the FBI for its domestic terrorism investigation. In 2019, the FBI brought together agents who specialize in combating hate crimes with those focused on acts of domestic terrorism—a nod to the overlapping nature of the threats.
Federal officials have prosecuted members of white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups, including the Atomwaffen Division and The Base, in recent years. These organizations have adopted a fringe philosophy known as “accelerationism”, which promotes mass violence to fuel the collapse of society, start a race war or overthrow the American government.
Those defendants’ paths to digital indoctrination appear to mirror Gendron’s in some ways. The racist punches to which he is attributed advanced ideas from the “Great Substitution” theory – An unfounded conspiracy that says it is a conspiracy to undermine the influence of white people.
A generation ago, extremist groups involved meeting people face-to-face, talking and exchanging books, and such harmful ideologies were unlikely to spread as quickly as they can today, said Shannon Foley, a reformist extremist. Martinez, who advises people trying to leave supremacist groups.
“When I go and talk to middle and high school and university students and I ask them who has seen racist or anti-Semitic comments or material online, 100 percent hands up,” Martinez said, Who broke 28 years of ties with the extremists. Earlier
There has been a long-standing debate within the criminal justice system about the ability to rehabilitate racially or ethnically motivated extremists, or to create so-called “off-ramps” for them before committing violence. Once charged, many defendants have sought to abandon their ideologies, pointing to mitigating factors in their own lives, saying they had distorted their judgment and harboring a virulent set of beliefs. had given birth
After the Justice Department charged four Atomwaffen members in Seattle in 2020 with a campaign to intimidate journalists and others with threatening posters at their homes, defense attorneys sought to parallel their clients’ backgrounds and radicalization paths. Demanded: He was bullied, friendless, ostracized; Craving a community, they found each other on the Internet.
Cameron Shea was addicted to opium and was living in his car when he founded Atomwaffen.
“Ï was lost, depressed, and (at the risk of sounding dramatic) angry with the world,” he wrote in a letter addressed to the judge who sentenced him to three years in prison. “It was easier to be angry at everything and feel angry at everything than to let go of the feeling of sadness and displacement.”
Taylor Ashley Parker-Dippe, who was 21 at the time of sentencing, is a transgender man who was ostracized by her peers and frequently bullied at her New Jersey high school, said her attorney, Peter Mazzone. After a failed attempt to “join the LBGTQ crowd,” Parker-Dippe gravitated online toward an Atomwaffen cell in Florida led by a 16-year-old boy and became a “total follower,” his lawyer said.
“But he also felt he ‘passed’ as a man, was accepted by a ‘masculine’ club, and was part of a group that would fight for him if necessary, as long as someone Let’s not know he was actually transgender,” Mazon wrote.
The Atomwaffen defendants either pleaded guilty or were convicted by jury. All four had been sentenced to prison or were already behind bars. While those men bonded over the internet, Gendron’s wanderings online may have been a more solo effort. However, the statement he apparently posted online indicates that he drew inspiration from other racist stampedes, such as the one by a white man who killed 51 people at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand in 2019.
In the document, Gendron said he was experiencing “extreme boredom” as the COVID-19 pandemic progressed, and in May 2020 he began browsing 4chan, a lawless message board popular for anonymity – and often Violent or deceptive – post. Gendron said he first browsed the site’s gun messaging board.
Soon, she stumbled upon neo-Nazi websites posted on the site and then, on a copy of a livestream video of the New Zealand mosque shootings.
“This document shows a very clear trajectory from online radicalization to domestic terrorism and extremism,” said Sophie Björk-James, assistant processor at Vanderbilt University who researches the white nationalist movement and hate crimes.
Gendron shared screenshots of memes and conservative news headlines, helping him formulate his extreme beliefs in the document.
“It’s extremely important to take the megaphone away from those people and megaphone is on social media right now,” Björk-James said.
Facebook didn’t take down the livestream until 17 minutes after the New Zealand killing spree aired, causing copies of the video to be indefinitely broadcast on seedier sites like 4Chan. Gendron’s livestream video has also spread across social media sites. Can be used to motivate more users.
Tucker and Seitz reported from Washington. Kunzelman reported from College Park, Maryland.