The atrocity in New Zealand shows us, once again, that we’re dealing with an international terrorist movement linked by a dangerous white supremacist ideology that’s metastasizing in the echo chambers of internet chat rooms and on social media networks.
The killer’s manifesto bears the unmistakable fingerprints of the so-called alt-right, both in tone and reference. It celebrates the Norwegian terrorist Anders Breivik as well as Charleston terrorist Dylann Roof. It speaks of “invaders” who will “replace” white people. This is the very same kind of language used by Roof and numerous other white supremacists who have committed or attempted acts of terror.
On his weapon, the killer wrote the white supremacist slogan known as the 14 words – “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children” – coined by the infamous neo-Nazi terrorist David Lane.
In this case, a killer attacked Muslims worshiping at two mosques. In October, a killer massacred Jews at a synagogue in Pittsburgh. Though the victims were different, and the attacks came in different parts of the world, the terrorists shared the same ideology of white supremacist hate.
We – and that includes policymakers and the law enforcement community, in particular – must begin to view what we call “domestic terrorism” through a global lens, just as we do the threat of groups like ISIS, because the growing white supremacist movement represents a clear and present threat to democracies across the world.
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