El Paso Was Latest Target Of A Global White Supremacist Movement - 2019-08-05
Authorities say the shooter who killed 22 people and wounded dozens of others in El Paso, Texas, Saturday acted alone. In a narrow sense that may be true, but experts warn that it's important to recognize his actions were rootedin a wider movement of white nationalism and violent extremism that is behind a growing number of mass murders.
In Christchurch, Munich, Quebec City, Birstall, Pittsburgh, Charlottesville, Oslo and other cities around the world, white supremacists have killed innocent people in calculated acts of hate. Lawmakers and the media often describethese killers as "lone wolves," who radicalized in isolation and whose actions were a unique aberration. But each found homes in a sprawling online network of racist propaganda, where fellow extremists offered them a sense of community and purpose. Each attack directly informs and encourages others, creating a decentralized network of violent white supremacists who share similar goals.
"These attacks are symptomatic of basically a very powerful global movement that is just not adequately captured by describing these perpetrators as lone wolf actors," said Vidhya Ramalingam, founder of Moonshot CVE, which develops counter-extremism programs and software. "Even to consider them simply domestic terror threats would be an underestimation."