New Zealand massacre shines light on threat of far right extremism worldwide

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The mass shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand, which left 49 dead and many others injured, is a reminder that far-right, white supremacist ideology — which was linked to an overwhelming majority of violent extremist murders in the United States in 2017 — is the “most prominent and ascendant threat not just in the United States, but around the world,” a Southern California expert who studies hate and extremism said Friday.

A 74-page manifesto posted online by the 28-year-old man charged with the mass shooting read like a “cut-and-pasted scrapbook taken out of the neo-Nazi, white nationalist world,” said Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at Cal State San Bernardino.

“Far right extremists are the fastest growing and prominent threat in the United States,” he said.

Levin said he was shocked by President Donald Trump’s statements during a White House press conference, Friday, that he doesn’t think white nationalists are a growing threat around the world. While Trump called the incident a terror attack and sent a sympathetic message of support to New Zealand’s prime minister, he shrugged off a question about white nationalism.

“I think it’s a small group of people that have very, very serious problems,” he said. “It’s certainly a terrible thing.”

Levin said he found those comments “appalling.”

“I’m in complete disbelief that the president can be so misguided on a critical national security issue,” he said. “I do not understand what fact, if any, the president bases his contentions upon. This is not what we, as analysts in this field, have found.”

In the manifesto, which officials encouraged the public not to share online, the accused shooter mentioned “heroes” in the white supremacist world who influenced him, including Dylann Roof, the man who killed nine people at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., in June 2015.

The manifesto also named Anders Breivik, who is serving life in prison in Norway for shooting and killing 77 people, most of whom were youth attending a summer camp, in Utoya Island, Norway, in July 2011.

Bjorn Ihler, one of the survivors of the Utoya shooting, said he saw a number of commonalities between the accused shooter in Christchurch and Breivik, the man who fired bullets at Ihler and missed.

“The talk is very similar,” said Ihler, who now runs a counter-terrorism think tank in Sweden. “His execution using guns in combination with explosives struck me. The manifesto …read more

Source:: Dailynews – News

      

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