New York, NY, March 15, 2019 …
The ADL (Anti-Defamation League) called the shootings at two mosques in New Zealand “the latest indication that violent white supremacists pose an international terrorist threat” and that extremists around the world “can inspire others like never before.”
The shooter, identified by law enforcement authorities as Brenton Tarrant, 28, allegedly left behind a white supremacist manifesto laying out his belief that a white genocide is occurring. At least 49 people were killed at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand after the manifesto was posted online.
“This attack underscores a trend that ADL has been tracking: that modern white supremacy is an international threat that knows no borders, being exported and globalized like never before,” said ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt. “The hatred that led to violence in Pittsburgh and Charlottesville is finding new adherents around the world. Indeed, it appears that this attack was not just focused on New Zealand; it was intended to have a global impact.”
As has become a pattern with white supremacist violence, the shooter not only meticulously planned the attack, but also designed it for social media, even live streaming it on Facebook. The fact that his video is still accessible on several social media websites is a reminder that these platforms need to do more to stem the flow of hateful messages and memes on their platforms, especially white supremacist memes targeting Muslims, Jews and other minorities.
“We are devastated by the loss of life in Christchurch and mourn this tragedy with Muslims around the world,” said Greenblatt. “No one should be targeted for their faith or their immigrant status, and it is unconscionable that the shooter singled out Muslims during their hours of prayer. We stand in solidarity with Muslims around the world and unequivocally condemn Islamophobia.”
In response to these horrific shootings, ADL will be providing its community security resources to mosques and Muslim community leaders across the country through its 25 regional offices. ADL’s has an online guide to protecting religious and communal institutions and also provides security awareness briefings to religious institutions nationwide.
ADL experts are continuing to monitor this situation and will provide additional resources.