The white nationalist allegedly behind the recent terror attack at a synagogue in Poway, California started planning the attack after the Christchurch, New Zealand mosque shooting. He was also apparently inspired by the mass shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in late 2018.
That’s according to NBC News, which recently analyzed posts on the politics forum of 8Chan, a known white nationalist haven. Posts purportedly from the 19-year-old suspect taken into custody after the Poway attack show that he felt inspired to begin planning a terror attack of his own following the deadly massacre in March in Christchurch, New Zealand. In that attack, a white nationalist who posted a manifesto explaining his hate livestreamed a terror attack at a mosque in which 50 Muslim worshippers were killed.
Others in the 8Chan community supported his idea, telling him to “get a high score,” meaning a high number of casualties. The suspect allegedly credited 8Chan with radicalizing him. NBC News also reported that the Poway terrorist posted a manifesto of his own that was very similar in format to the one posted by the Christchurch terrorist in that it was also listed in a question-and-answer format. The Poway terror suspect wrote in his manifesto that he wished more conservatives would use violence against their political opponents.
The 8Chan post announcing the planned attack was also very similar to the post from the Christchurch suspect, and the alleged shooter even included a playlist of songs he would be listening to while carrying out the attack. However, there was no livestream posted of the shooting despite the alleged attacker’s promise that the terror attack would be streamed.
NBC News reporter Ben Collins tweeted that the 8Chan poster claiming to be the Poway shooter also used anti-Semitic slurs to describe the media, and urged others in the community to use violence against journalists.
8chan users cheered on the note posted in the name of the suspected San Diego shooter, imploring him to “get a high score.”
— Ben Collins (@oneunderscore__) April 27, 2019
8Chan is still up and running as of this writing. Domain security company CloudFlare protects 8Chan’s servers, according to Who.is records. As of 10:30 AM Monday morning, neither Cloudflare nor its co-founder and CEO, Matthew Prince, have made any public statements regarding 8Chan.
(Grit Post’s editorial policy is to not publish the names or likenesses of mass shooters in order to deny them the notoriety they’re seeking. We encourage other media outlets to do the same.)
Tom Cahill is a contributor for Grit Post who covers political and economic news. He lives in Bend, Oregon. Send him an email at tom DOT v DOT cahill AT gmail DOT com.