There seems to be an apparent ground swelling of online activity by white supremacists following the Christchurch extremist violence committed in New Zealand.
Rita Katz, director of the SITE Intelligence Group, said that the series of online support that the Christchurch attack continues to attract is so distinct that it cannot be compared to any other response on similar right-wing attacks.
“Attacks always spark reactions from different extremist communities, but when it comes to the far right, there was never anything like the response to the Christchurch attack,” she explained to media.
“His target, deadly execution, and his live streaming of the event fuelled these communities’ unprecedented response. The reactions were like nothing we’ve ever seen thus far from the far-right across the globe,” she said.
“If you compared it to jihadist attacks, it was like the 9-11 of far-right terrorists. Even the horrific Norway attacks by Anders Breivik didn’t amass this level of universal approval by the far-right.”
Ms. Katz said white supremacists have discussed the “lesson of Christchurch” as being that “accelerationism works”.
Accelerationism in this context meaning violent, retaliation-sparking attacks like Tarrant’s, she said. “A month after his attack, those in the far-right still talk online about their desire to ‘Make Brenton Proud’ by committing acts of violence and share endearing artwork of him. Many of these posts and images likewise incite violence against Muslims.”
SITE has also detected calls for revenge attacks against Australians by Muslim extremists. One message was posted along with news reports and photos of the shooting at the Al Noor Mosque and the Linwood Islamic Centre in Christchurch and called on IS supporters to “sharpen your knife” and attack Australians in Indonesia.
“If you find… kuffar travelers from the land of Australia, then stab him!” it said in part.
“If you find they are on the beach, then kill them! If you find those kufr immigrants coming to your country and setting their dirty foot, then kill him!”
According to Katz, the recruitment and radicalisation activities of white supremacist and jihadist groups in the wake of the attacks reflected one another.
“These parallel swells of incitements by both jihadists and far-right extremists in some ways strip both movements of their ideological veils, leaving behind a much barer look at extremism itself,” she wrote.
“For these violent groups and communities, such tragedies are mutually beneficial events. That said, an attack like that in Christchurch should not be seen simply a tragedy in and of itself; it is a link in a longer, branching chain of attacks.
“From jihadists’ attacks on Charlie Hebdo in France and Pulse nightclub in Orlando, to white nationalists’ attacks on the Islamic Cultural Centre of Quebec City and now in Christchurch – each of these events adds more fuel to extremists’ delusions of ‘Crusades’ and ethnic ‘invasions.’”