A History of Recent Attacks Linked to White Supremacy

People arrive for Sunday services at the Mother Emanuel AME church in Charleston, South Carolina after a shooting. Photograph: John Taggart/EPA

Mosques. Synagogues. Black churches. Leftwing politicians.

In the past eight years, across continents, white supremacists have repeatedly chosen the same targets for shootings, stabbings, bombings and car attacks.

The mass shootings on Friday targeting two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, killing 49 people, appear to be the latest in a drumbeat of attacks motivated by the belief that the white race is endangered. The perceived threats include Jews, Muslims, immigrants, refugees, feminists and leftist politicians.

The attackers have not been part of a single white supremacist group. But they are steeped in the same global racist propaganda, fluent in the same memes and conspiracies, and the perpetrator of one attack often references the names of the killers who came before.

In less than a decade, these attacks have included:

July 2011

77 people killed in attacks on Utøya island and in Oslo, Norway

A bomb attack, followed by a shooting that targeted the island summer youth camp of Norway’s Labor party. The shooter, Anders Breivik, wanted to prevent an “invasion of Muslims” and deliberately targeted politically active young people who he saw as “cultural Marxists” and proponents of multiculturalism. More than half of the dead were teenagers.

August 2012

Six worshippers killed in a shooting targeting a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, US

A memorial to the six victims.
 A memorial to the six victims. Photograph: John Gress/Reuters

The dead included the temple president, Satwant Singh Kaleka. The shooter, a “frustrated neo-Nazi” who had played in white power bands, was a regular on racist websites. He had previously talked to one colleague in the US military about a “racial holy war that was coming” and told another he was a “race traitor” for dating a Latina woman.

September 2013

Rapper and anti-fascist activist Pavlos Fyssas stabbed to death in Piraeus, Greece

Pavlos Fyssas.
 Pavlos Fyssas. Photograph: Alexandros Theodoridis/AFP/Getty Images

A senior member of Greece’s neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party was imprisoned after confessing to the killing.

April 2014

Three killed at Jewish centre and retirement home in Overland Park, Kansas, US

former Ku Klux Klan leader shot and killed three people, one of them just 14 years old. He said he believed Jews were destroying the white race, and that diversity was a kind of genocide. None of his victims were Jewish, but he said he considered two of them to be accomplices to Jewish people.

June 2015

Nine people killed during Bible study at a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina, US

The casket of shooting victim Susie Jackson is brought into the Mother Emanuel AME church.
 The casket of shooting victim Susie Jackson is brought into the Mother Emanuel AME church. Photograph: Jason Miczek/Reuters

The nine victims included elderly longtime church members at the Mother Emanuel AME church, and Clementa Pinckney, a state senator. The shooter, a self-avowed white supremacist, said he wanted to start a race war, and that he was concerned about “black-on-white crime”.

October 2015

Three killed in attack on school in Trollhättan, Sweden

The attacker targeted a local high school with a high percentage of immigrant students. He stabbed students and teachers, targeting those with darker skin, police said. Three died, including 15-year-old Ahmed Hassan, who was born in Somalia and had recently moved to Sweden.

June 2016

Labour MP Jo Cox shot and stabbed to death, UK

Jo Cox.
 Jo Cox. Photograph: BBC/Amos Pictures

Cox was a supporter of Britain staying in the EU. She was attacked a week before the EU referendum vote in 2016. The man convicted of killing her, Thomas Mair, a white supremacist obsessed with the Nazis and apartheid-era South Africa, shouted: “This is for Britain,” “Keep Britain independent” and “Britain first” as he killed her.

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Source: The Guardian