Suspected Charleston shooter may have posted on a white-power site since September

Dylann Roof has likely been immersed in white-supremacist rhetoric for quite some time.

Mar 1, 2020, 12:56 am*

Tech

 

Mary Emily O'Hara

New evidence shows that alleged Charleston attacker Dylann Roof was most likely posting on the white supremacist website the Daily Stormer as far back as last September, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Hatewatch blog.

The SPLC team ran Roof’s manifesto through plagiarism software and discovered nearly identical passages on the Daily Stormer website—all in the form of comments by an anonymous poster using the handle AryanBlood1488.

Roof had published his racist manifesto on his own website, Last Rhodesian, a domain he registered in February. Many of the photos he also posted there included the number 1488, which refers to the white supremacist movement’s “Fourteen Words” slogan as well as a numerical code for the phrase “Heil Hitler” (Since H is the eighth letter of the alphabet, 88 is code for HH).

But the Daily Stormer user’s handle isn’t the only similarity. Several of the AryanBlood1488 comments are nearly identical to parts of Roof’s recently-discovered manifesto—and they were made months before Roof even registered the domain for his own site.

For example, on Sept. 12 of last year, AryanBlood1488 left a comment on an article debating whether Ashkenazi Jews were European.

“The vast majority of European and American Jews are white… The Jewish identity is the problem. If you could destroy their identity and raise them as white, there would be no issue. The problem is that they identify as something ‘other’ but are actually white, and therefore able to infiltrate and subvert.”

In Roof’s manifesto, which was discovered last Saturday and presumably written after he registered the Last Rhodesian domain this February, the passage about Jews is nearly identical.

“Unlike many White naitonalists, I am of the opinion that the majority of American and European jews are White. In my opinion the issues with jews is not their blood, but their identity. I think that if we could somehow destroy the jewish identity, then they wouldn’t cause much of a problem. The problem is that Jews look White, and in many cases are White, yet they see themselves as minorities.”

Another part of Roof’s manifesto was discovered to be distinctly similar to a Daily Stormer comment posted Feb. 1 this year on an article about the Swedish Prime Minister.

From the manifesto: 

“On another subject I want to say this. Many White people feel as though they dont have a unique culture. The reason for this is that White culture is world culture. I dont mean that our culture is made up of other cultures, I mean that our culture has been adopted by everyone in the world. This makes us feel as though our culture isnt special or unique. Say for example that every business man in the world wore a kimono, that every skyscraper was in the shape of a pagoda, that every door was a sliding one, and that everyone ate every meal with chopsticks. This would probably make a Japanese man feel as though he had no unique traditional culture.”

From the February 1 Daily Stormer comment:

“The reason some whites feel as if they have no culture, or that their culture is uninteresting, is very simple. White culture is world culture, and by that I don’t mean that our culture has been adopted by everyone in the world. This makes us feel as if it isn’t special, because everyone has adopted it. For example, forks, doors on hinges, suits, pianos, and other simple things are all part of White Culture (sic), just as chopsticks, sliding doors, kimonos, and the koto, are part of Japanese culture.”

In another comment that matches a manifesto passage, AryanBlood1488 writes about admiration of the Council of Conservative Citizens (it’s been said that CoCC was Roof’s “entry point” into the white supremacist subculture), and says that the council was “the first site I went to the day that changed my life, the day I decided to type in ‘black on white crime’ into Google.”

For comparison, one of the first paragraphs of Roof’s manifesto reads: “But more importantly this prompted me to type in the words ‘black on White crime’ into Google, and I have never been the same since that day. The first website I came to was the Council of Conservative Citizens.”

The media and law enforcement have shown some hesitance in determining Roof to be a terrorist that represents a larger, organized criminal subculture. While no one has yet tracked the Daily Stormer comments to determine whether they came from the same source as Roof’s other online activity, the extreme similarities in the writing suggest that the alleged Charleston shooter was involved in white supremacist communities for at least the past nine months, if not much longer.

Roof has been charged with nine counts of murder and criminal possession of a firearm. He is being held in a maximum security cell in South Carolina.

H/T Hatewatch and Southern Poverty Law Center | Illustration by Max Fleischman

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*First Published: Jun 22, 2015, 5:20 pm