Stochastic Terrorism – El Paso
“Stochastic terrorism is the use of mass communications to incite random actors to carry out violent or terrorist acts that are statistically predictable but individually unpredictable. In short, remote-control murder by lone wolf(ves).”
This is what Bin Laden did for Islamic terrorists around the world between 1990 and 2010. Eventually he was killed by US forces, under Obama, and lies somewhere at the bottom of the Indian Ocean. This is what Abu Hamza al-Masri, a radical preacher, did at the Finsbury Park Mosque in London for many years in the late 1990s and early 2000’s. Eventually, he was evicted and convicted; the mosque was physically and spiritually cleansed, and now he resides in Guantanamo. This is what Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi has done for wannabe ISIS emulants across the globe. This is what Omar Abdel Rahman, the Blind Sheikh, did in mosques around New York City in the early 90s. He was convicted and spent the rest of his life in a maximum security prison. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omar_Abdel-Rahman In each case, they and their followers translated rhetoric to action. Troubled young suicide bombers proliferated in response to their rhetoric.
In the USA, Tom Metzger is an American white supremacist, who founded White Aryan Resistance (WAR), was a leader in the Ku Klux Klan and was an early influential voice among the anti-immigrant right. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Metzger His followers in WAR killed an Ethiopian immigrant. Afterwards, he was sued by the family, and lost a $12 million judgment and nearly everything he owned. The search of the premises of the assailants unearthed recruitment correspondence from the Metzger family. Since losing nearly all of his finances in the lawsuit, he has been a highly influential advocate for the rise of white supremacist, lone wolves. He is now in his 80’s and may be living in California.
Metzger’s heir apparent is Richard B. Spenser, a neo-Nazi, a 40 something graduate of UVa, and an erstwhile graduate student at Duke and the University of Chicago. He has mastered dissemination of the precepts of white supremacy and white nationalism in the age of the internet. https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/06/his-kampf/524505/ He is among the white supremacist leaders being sued for their roles in the Charlottesville riots; their defense is freedom of speech and freedom of assembly even for unpopular views. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/may/24/richard-spencer-charlottesville-conspiracy-trial After the public backlash from the Charlottesville riots, neo-Nazi marches and killing, alt right supporters were urged by their leaders to go back underground to avoid losing their jobs and their positions in their communities. He lives part time in Montana and part time in the DC area.
The white supremacists use an internet discussion site known as 8chan as their vehicle to communicate. That is where the lone wolf shooters in Poway, Christchurch and El Paso posted their manifestos before striking. Jim Watkins is the owner, and his son is the manager; Jim Watkins has relocated to the Philippines.
Steve Bannon played a crucial role in using Breitbart News to give a very large megaphone to the views of the alt-right. Robert and Rebekah Mercer provided much of its funding. President Donald Trump and certain of his family members have lent enormous credibility and steady encouragement through his rhetoric on his twitter account and at his campaign rallies to the ridiculous hatreds of people of color and immigrants that are spewed by this lunatic fringe as well. We have not seen such aid and comfort and encouragement for racism from a Presidential candidate since George Wallace in 1968. The hate-filled, rhetoric of Bannon and Trump, of Spenser and Metzger, and their acolytes are protected by the First Amendment. The white supremacist militias and the NRA claim their rights to bear assault rifles, even in public, are protected under the Second Amendment — that is debatable. However, once deadly action is taken, legal consequences ensue. The President and some of his supporters say these are the solo acts of mentally ill individuals and are taking no responsibility for their own inspirational rhetoric to these unhappy, troubled young white men armed with assault rifles.
Fundamentally, it is up to the American people to reject this terrible scourge of hatred, of planned, yet random mass murder, and of domestic terrorism from the white supremacists. And it is up to American intelligence and police, to local, state and federal prosecutors and to the judicial system to track down and bring to justice the purveyors of this onslaught of hate-fueled violence, as it has effectively done with the perpetrators and the preachers of Islamic terrorism. It is up to state and local governments, to the educators, civic, church and community leaders to take the steadfast leadership and the necessary moral suasion on these issues at a time when the President and his allies are so clearly inciting and encouraging racism, and violent reactions on the part of white supremacists are ensuing.
Prepared by: Lucien Wulsin