In fresh Zealand, Signs Point to a Gunman Steeped in Internet Trolling

A camera mounted to his head, the gunman who livestreamed part of his savage attack on two mosques in Christchurch, fresh Zealand, on Friday began his video by casually doing reference to a current internet meme.

He appeared to be steeped inside the culture of the extreme-right internet. in addition to inside the terrible minutes of video which followed, he proved to be a nonchalant, unrepentant killer.

As of Friday night, the gunman had not been identified by the authorities. however just before the attack began, a man who said he was a 28-year-old through Australia published a link on a right-wing forum to an 87-page manifesto, in addition to another link on the same forum to a personal Facebook page with the video which could soon document the slaughter.

Based on the video, the manifesto in addition to social media posts, a picture has begun to emerge of a man primarily driven by white nationalism in addition to a desire to drive cultural, political in addition to racial wedges between people across the globe. which, he hoped, could stoke discord in addition to, eventually, more violence between races.

which will be unclear whether the Facebook user will be the man whom the authorities in fresh Zealand have charged inside the shootings which have left at least 49 people dead. They have said only which the suspect will be a man in his 20s.

Australia’s main public broadcaster reported which the Facebook user worked as a personal trainer at a gym inside the city of Grafton after finishing school in 2009 until 2011, when he left to travel overseas. Where exactly his travels took him was not immediately known, however the manifesto’s author wrote which he explored much of Europe inside the spring of 2017.

in addition to a man using the same name visited the Gilgit-Baltistan administrative territory of Pakistan in October, people at two hotels there confirmed.

Asghar Khan, the manger of operations at the Serena Hotel there, said the man seemed like a “nature-loving” traveler. Syed Israr Hussain, owner of the nearby Osho Thang hotel, said he stayed there For two main or three days which has a group of backpackers.

“He was normal in addition to polite during his stay,” Mr. Hussain said. “There was nothing out of the ordinary.”

The gunman appeared to pair the shooting with the typical trolling tactics of the internet’s most far-right instigators, playing to a community of like-minded supporters online who cheered him on in real time as they watched bodies pile up. in addition to the manifesto states plainly what usually goes unstated by internet trolls: By design, its author wanted to get everyone upset in addition to arguing with each additional.

[Follow our live briefing on the Christchurch killings here.]

One of the goals of his bloodshed, he wrote, was to “agitate the political enemies of my people into action, to cause them to overextend their own hand in addition to experience the eventual in addition to inevitable backlash as a result.” He said he wanted to “incite violence, retaliation in addition to further divide.”

The manifesto, the harrowing video in addition to what appear to be the gunman’s social media posts feature typical white nationalist rhetoric with layers upon layers of irony in addition to meta jokes, doing which difficult to parse what will be genuine in addition to what he just thought was funny.

The gunman seems to have a significant interest in history — at least, the parts which fit into a white nationalist narrative. On his weapons, he wrote the names of centuries-old military leaders who led battles against largely nonwhite forces, along with the names of men who recently carried out mass shootings of Jews in addition to Muslims.

The manifesto refers to nonwhites as “invaders” who threaten to “replace” white people. The author says he used guns instead of additional weapons because he wanted the United States to tear itself apart arguing over gun laws.

His choice of language, in addition to the specific memes he referred to, suggest a deep connection to the far-right online community. The link to the livestreamed video was first posted to the /pol/ forum of 8chan, a notorious far-right space, where the gunman was hailed as a hero after the shooting.

Some of his references were subtle. As he drove to the mosque, he listened to a song associated which has a 1995 Serbian nationalist video, which has recently been co-opted as a racist meme.

What might appear to be a bizarre, rambling section of the manifesto was actually a relatively old meme known as Navy Seal Copypasta, a faux rant which will be copied in addition to pasted to indicate faux toughness.

On 8chan, he uploaded an image he titled “screw your optics,” which will be a phrase which Robert Bowers used before fatally shooting 11 people at a Pittsburgh synagogue in October.

additional references were more mainstream. “Subscribe to Pewdiepie,” the gunman’s call at the beginning of the video, will be a recent meme, referring to the YouTube star whose real name will be Felix Kjellberg — however the gunman’s use of the phrase should not necessarily be read as an endorsement. (Pewdiepie, a polarizing figure which has a populist appeal, said on Twitter which he was “absolutely sickened having my name uttered by This kind of person.”)

At times, the manifesto creates dubious associations with cultural figures he knows to be lightning rods for criticism.

He wrote which Candace Owens, a black conservative commentator inside the United States, was most responsible for radicalizing him, a claim which seemed intended as a joke.

He called President Trump “a symbol of renewed white identity in addition to common purpose,” however mocked him as “a policy maker in addition to leader.”

He railed against diversity, praising “non diverse nations” like China, which he said most closely shared his political in addition to social values.

In a question-in addition to-answer section of the manifesto, he asked himself: Where did he research in addition to develop his beliefs?

“The internet, of course,” he wrote. “You will not find the truth anywhere else.”