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Stop in Halle: the copy


The attacker of Halle obviously tried to imitate the actions of the Christchurch assassin. His actual plan failed - but the digital traces of the attack could still be dangerous.

Already during his act of violence, the assassin von Halle seems to suspect how the public will look at him - and possibly even the people he originally wanted to impress. To him, the 27-year-old white German, who wanted to penetrate with self-made weapons in a synagogue to commit a mass murder - and ultimately apparently arbitrarily shot two people. "One time Loser, always Loser", he once said in his livestream, and before he throws his phone out of the car, he calls himself "complete loser".

Stephan Balliet does not do that much less dangerous because, despite the failure of his actual plan, he could serve as an example to others.

The events in Halle seem confused, but the attack was actually prepared. He follows a kind of screenplay from the net. At least initially, the perpetrator based on the assassin of Christchurch, who attacked two mosques in March, killed 51 people and transmitted this via Facebook live on the net.

Before going to the synagogue, Halle's attacker in his car turns on rap music, its sound to kill. Just how chaotic the act of terror is is also shown in the pre-written and online manifest. The offense has everything that makes terrorism in the live age - above all a livestream to the action, which the assassin launches on Twitch, before he drives to the intended crime scene. The staging for the net is thought the same, the footage provides the perpetrator by helmet camera.

The video does not disappear anymore

In an attack like in Halle, the act is staged as a live experience, video portals and social networks are used as terror PR platforms. The attackers calculate that content such as the video for the synagogue attack spreads quickly in the network. So fast that they can not be erased at some point. They put themselves with the live video also under pressure, their plans go through, and the camera as possible.

The perpetrator of Halle is in his stream probably not necessarily to spread maximum terror. His message, which he brings to the potential live audience via the microphone, is aimed specifically at like-minded people, young, white, right-wing extremist men who could see the video and who might be inspired to do similar things. For example, the perpetrator's allusions to gamer culture, the trigger words he uses - they are supposed to activate others to a certain extent for his cause.

Violent offenders often orient themselves to each other, as school riots around the turn of the millennium have already shown. And terror also has a disturbing kind of remix culture. Terror also gains its horror by putting different acts into context, for example through manifestos or allusions.

Explicit references to the Christchurch attack already occurred in April and August in the violence in Poway and El Paso, where people were killed in a synagogue or supermarket. The Norwegian right-wing extremist and mass murderer Anders Breivik was once again a role model for the Christchurch terrorist, who was clearly also a role model for Halle's assailant.

Ideal templates for your own actions

While potential imitators used to only have access to media-mediated clippings of attacks, video recordings are now available to them first-hand. They are ideal templates for their own actions - if only as a guide to avoid mistakes of predecessors, such as the use of homemade weapons.

One could call a perpetrator like Balliet a copy-and-paste culprit, if only because of his other-inspired, formulaic approach. Instead of formulating his own thoughts, he quotes conspiracy theories and memes, his messages seem like zusammengeklaubt from the Internet.

The term copy-and-paste perpetrator fits but also in line with the niches in which perpetrators like him radicalize, such as the discussion forum 4chan or its even more violent and currently taken off the grid variant 8chan, where you can never be sure can, whether a theory, a saying, a picture is new or only copied.

A crude mix of attitudes

The perpetrator of Halle apparently drove a poorly thought out, crude mix of conspiracy theories and hatred of Jews, foreigners, feminists - attitudes that are common in the chan forums and tolerated there.

In his manifesto, the assailant writes that he originally wanted to attack a mosque or an Antifa cultural center - the synagogue was simply the closer target. He also hoped to meet a large number of Jews there.

At the beginning of his livestream, he makes an apparently memorized Aufsager that goes through as a forum signature of an anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist. "Hi, my name is Anon," says the perpetrator as well - this is a reference to the chan forums, where users post under the pseudonym "Anonymous" and call each other "Anon".

Whether the perpetrator of Halle had accomplices is so far unclear. From the way he staged, but he acts more like a single perpetrator than a "single perpetrator". He sees himself as part of a community, to which he still seeks contact during the act and who he trusts in recognition.

Intended for an international audience

As the video shows, he soon does not seem to care who he kills: When he fails to penetrate the synagogue, he murders a woman who happens to pass by - more passersby save only that the weapon of the offender has a stoppage , Later he penetrates into any Dönerrestaurant, which he discovers from the car.

Like other assassins, Halle's assailant targets a global audience: his manifesto is written in English, and he also speaks a lot of English in the video. "Sorry Guys," he once apologized to the invisible spectators - apparently, because he has killed fewer people than planned.

According to Twitch, only five users have actually watched his livestream live on the platform, while the Christchurch attack hit some 200 viewers on Facebook. Whether five or several hundred eyewitnesses see the deed in real time is of secondary importance for the effect. From the point of view of the perpetrators, it is crucial that the video is distributed in large numbers later - by whom.

The attackers know that they can rely on the Internet users as willing terrorists: Every single post, every video screenshot increases the attention for the attack and also the possible fame, with which the offender wants to become a role model for others.

If every white man kills only one Jew, "we win," says the manifesto of the perpetrator of Halle. The document he has among other things tl; dr ("too long, did not read") a succinct summary for attacks attached - an Internet-friendly short guide for lesefaule imitators.

Source: spiegel

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