Exposed: The extremist sub-forums that contributed to the radicalisation of the New Zealand Shooter

The terrorist attack in New Zealand has been marked as one of the worst tragedies in the Western World in recent years, however the details of this attack are a damning similarity to other ethno-nationalist and far-right attacks in the past, all revolving around one internet enclave operating out of two hugely popular and extremely controversial internet forums.

The forums in question are known as 4Chan and 8Chan, and the characteristics that have garnered a cultural following among internet-users of almost all walks of life, hobbies, and views are also among their most controversial- complete anonymity for its users.

4Chan and 8Chan do not require users to create an account and identity to converse on their forums, and instead anyone is allowed to freely post information on its various sub-forums, with each post simply being labelled as having been posted by “anonymous”. This has led many to see these websites as a “libertarian utopia” free from biases, both from the government and between individuals. The reality, however, if far from the truth.

While 4Chan is generally known to be the less extreme website of the two, far-right views can still easily be found on the board’s /pol/ sub forum, also known as the “politically incorrect” section of the website. The general pretext for this sub forum is that the majority of posts are in-jokes or intentionally shocking for audiences not affiliated with the general 4Chan community, also known as “shitposting”. However, there is a considerable number of posts, from both anonymous and registered users, that connote that 4Chan’s /pol/ board is significantly less self-aware than it would appear.

One post, sent several days after the Christ-Church Shooting, alludes to a conspiracy theory developed since the attack that the shooting was in some way staged by the now widely defunct Islamic State.

One user, under an account named “Turkishguy” spreads an image which appears to allege that the New Zealand shooter was a member of the so-called Islamic State.

Another post, written on Saturday by an anonymous user, citicizes the New Zealand Shooter for not “eliminating” the right people, instead referring to an anti-Semitic right-wing conspiracy theory that governments are being influenced by “subversive zionists”. Another anonymous user responding to the post refers to right-wing terrorists as “heroes” and asks whether the actions of them were “in the best interest of the white race”.


Two anonymous users, with one being traced to a US-based IP address, discuss right-wing conspiracy theories. Profanity has been censored.

4Chan and 8Chan is not a difficult website to access. These images were not taken from a closed off internet fringe website, or collected from somewhere within the dark-web, they were collected from a public website which can be accessed from most search engines and from a sub-forum that can be accessed by anyone, regardless of age.

4Chan is one of the largest internet forums in the world, with approximately 1.8 billion posts since it’s creation in 2004, and roughly 1 million posts made each day, with an average monthly view count of 703 million. The /pol/ sub-forum is placed prominently on the website’s front page.

The more recent image board of the two, 8Chan, is generally known for it’s more extreme views within its political sub-forums, and 8Chan is the forum that the New Zealand shooter was known to frequent, and also the website where he first announced his attack while approaching the Christ Church Mosque.

8Chan is where the most extreme white-supremacist views can be found, including numerous posts portraying the New Zealand attack as a “heroic sacrifice” and listing ways to “honor” the Christ-Church Shooter.

Profanity has been censored, as have terms or links distributing right-wing material.

The data analytics website SimilarWeb has estimated 8Chan’s monthly traffic to be around 14-16 million views, with around half of the site’s views coming from America. The third highest country in terms of proportional viewer count is the UK, with around 5% of the site’s traffic taken up by UK registered computers. All images included in this article have been taken from the front pages of both political sub-forums at the time of writing.

Would these messages have been posted if 4Chan and 8Chan required its members to attach an account and identity? Probably not, many social media websites, such as twitter and facebook allow its users to hide behind fake account names, including the social media accounts of the New Zealand Shooter himself, who’s accounts were under a pseudonym, and the phenomenon of twitter and facebook “trolling” has been widely publicised in recent years.

Numerous media outlets have reported on the toxicity and potential for extremist content of both 4Chan and 8Chan, such as Vice back in 2016, however legislation on these forums has been sparse, and many countries are yet to enact any meaningful legislation against 4Chan and 8Chan and its use by citizens.

AROUND THE WORLD: Fascist Mass Killer Murders 49 In Christchurch Mosque Attack

Pittsburgh, Tree of Life Synagogue, 11 dead. Charleston, Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, 9 dead. Wisconsin, Sikh temple, 6 dead. Quebec City, Mosque, 6 dead. And now Christchurch, Al Moor Mosque 2019, 49 dead. All attacks committed by violent white supremacists. All attacks committed at peoples places of worship.

The horrific and cowardly shooting that took place on the 15th of March has once again shown the danger the far right poses to minorities across the world. The far right resurgence of the last decade poses by far the greatest threat to blacks, Jews, Muslims, Sikhs (and anyone who wishes to protect the targets of the worldwide Fascist menace), than anything else that exists in today’s times. Yet this attack, and the many others that precede it, did not come about suddenly or by accident.

Mainstream journalism (which has seemingly come to be made up of a combination of broadly right wing shock jocks, click-bait hacks and so called “free speech” Fascist enablers) has long subjected Muslims to a programme of dehumanisation that has allowed Neo-Nazis, Fascists and other assorted scum to commit appalling mass killings. In the shooters manifesto, he names Candace Owens as an influence for his atrocity. Owens, a known conservative commentator, has previously perpetuated nonsense relating to a Muslim takeover of Europe and a so called “Great Replacement” often tweeting about the rate of Muslim birthrates. This very same conspiracy was heavily peddled in the shooters manifesto, which was espoused on a site known for its distribution of child pornography.

The case bares the hallmarks of previous Fascist mass murderers inspiration from more mainstream conservative pundits and the assortment of Fascists often peddled on television. The Quebec City mosque shooter had viewed the Twitter of right wing poster boy Ben Shapiro 93 times in the month leading up to the shooting. In 2016, Shapiro personally promoted an article that called the Muslim presence in Europe a “disease.” and declared that Muslim men are “uncivilised.”, concluding on a quote from Winston Churchill that begins: “How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries!” Anders Breivik, the Neo-Nazi mass killer of over 70 people (most of them children), was inspired by Tommy Robinson (real name Stephen Lennon) the well known former leader of the EDL turned “free speech martyr” who was recently peddled out for all to see by the BBC Newsnight team. The cases all show how the rhetoric of well known right wingers propagating their views across television and the internet embolden the mass murderers that make up their most obsessive followers. Along with other Islamophobic writings, the Christchurch shooter has ‘For Rotherham’ written on his ammo. The revelation is disturbing and startling, Robinson himself had seen his resurgence after getting arrested in a court which trialled an alleged grooming gang.

In 2016, Shapiro personally promoted an article that called the Muslim presence in Europe a “disease.” and declared that Muslim men are “uncivilised.”, concluding on a quote from Winston Churchill that begins: “How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries!” Anders Breivik, the Neo-Nazi mass killer of over 70 people (most of them children), was inspired by Tommy Robinson (real name Stephen Lennon) the well known former leader of the EDL turned “free speech martyr” who was recently peddled out for all to see by the BBC Newsnight team. The cases all show how the rhetoric of well known right wingers propagating their views across television and the internet embolden the mass murderers that make up their most obsessive followers. Along with other Islamophobic writings, the Christchurch shooter has ‘For Rotherham’ written on his ammo. The revelation is disturbing and startling, Robinson himself had seen his resurgence after getting arrested in a court which trialled an alleged grooming gang.

Hidden amongst his rambling, often ironically written, manifesto the Christchurch shooter had showcased references to the work of Alexander Dugin and his writings on the strategy of tension. Dugin, a Russian neo-Fascist of a Strasserite ilk, had developed on the strategy of tension model which was used by Italian neo-Fascist terrorists during the Years of Lead and also Turkish far right nationalists during the political conflict of the 70’s and 80’s. The strategy of tension, wherein violent struggle is encouraged rather than suppressed, and its co-option by the modern far right is an issue that requires the greatest amount of vigilance from progressive forces around the world. Make no mistake, the far right wish for a race war. Their current resurgence, which partly lays in the hands of more mainstream commentators, must be countered by any means necessary. To placate the Nazis is to enable mass murder. To stop them is humanitarian.

¡No pasarán

Sam Glasper is TPN’s Foreign Affairs Commentator and studies at Manchester Metropolitain University.

AROUND THE WORLD: Venezuelan President Maduro Claims the KKK Rule The White House, Here’s Why He’s Right

In a BBC interview held this week, president Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela claimed that Donald Trump is an open white supremacist and that the Ku Klux Klan run the White House. When he made this claim, he seemed rather bemused that he had to explain this to interviewer Orla Guerin. Indeed, when you look at the bloody history of ingrained white supremacy of the United States, Maduro’s claims are not as controversial as they first appear.

An exploration of American fascism has already been touched upon in an earlier TPN article, but with Yankee chauvinism at yet another staggering high under Trump, the need to analyse the violent white supremacist nature of American exceptionalism has become vital.

Klanist thought has remained dominant in domestic American affairs. Proof of this can be found in the continued discrimination of black people in the United States. Old Jim Crow habits reared their heads in last years mid terms where, in Georgia, 50,000 mostly black votes became invalidated. Before the November election, Secretary of State Brian Kemp was sued for having found to be suppressing minority votes. The events are a reminder of America’s draconian voting laws that have, seemingly in certain areas, not moved on since the literacy tests of Jim Crow.

Whilst the KKK have died off as America’s dominant white supremacist paramilitary, their practices can still be found today in America’s heavily militarised policed force. The past few years have seen multiple controversial shootings of African Americans in the US, which has been followed by a lack of accountability or conviction of offending officers. Recent shootings and lack of prosecution are reminiscent of the era of Jim Crow where alleged murderers of black people would regularly be found not guilty by all-white juries. This issue is deep seated in the American justice system. Even today, all white juries and their allegedly racially biased decision making have remained prevalent. An earlier TPN article has outlined how US police assassinated Black Panthers and collaborated with Neo-Nazis to commit appalling acts of mass murder with impunity. Clearly domestically, Maduro’s claims of an America dominated by Ku Kluxism rings true.

Trumps own white supremacy has been examined in another TPN article, but whilst his far right flirtations (enabling of fascist violence of Charlottesville and sharing of Britain First Islamophobic posts) need to be showcased, they are hardly anything new. The United States was built on the idea of Manifest Destiny, an imperialist notion that holds that the US was destined by God to expand its dominion and spread capitalism. It is the very foundation of American fascist exceptionalism and its widespread propagation that directly led to the genocide of America’s indigenous populations.

Maduro’s claims are most evident in the blood-soaked history of American foreign policy. This is where it becomes obvious where Maduro’s thinking, with regards to the current coup in Venezuela, comes from. In Chile, the CIA (whilst “making the economy scream”) backed the neo-fascist Fatherland and Liberty Nationalist Front paramilitary group in an attempting to sabotage the democratically elected socialist Allende government. In Bolivia, the US forces used the “Butcher of Lyon” and Gestapo functionary Klaus Barbie to track down and execute Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara. In Indonesia, the US embassy handed out lists of suspected communists to far right death squads who embarked on the genocide of over half a million people. And in perhaps the most staggering and shady example, the US heavily participated in NATO stay behind operations in Italy and Turkey. Operation Gladio, as it was known, led to the Strategy of Tension model where US backed neo-fascist terrorists who would commit disgusting acts of terror and blame them on radical left groups.

The list of examples of American support for foreign fascists is endless. Even recently, as detailed in a TPN article, it was discovered that American Nazi riot participants had been trained by Ukrainian Nazis whom have previously found themselves in possession of Pentagon weapons and used them to commit pogroms against Ukraine’s Roma population. The history of homicidal white supremacy is astounding and supports Maduro’s claims to the utmost extent.

With all this in mind it should hardly be surprising that there is truth to Maduro’s claims, which no doubt seem outlandish to the naive supporters of American “democracy”. The useful idiots and stooges of US imperialism should note America’s viscous white supremacy when it comes to the coup in Venezuela. The coup is being partly directed by Elliot Abrams who is currently being questioned by Congress over the role he played in propagating and covering up the El Mozoto massacre which featured the mass rape and murder of children as young as two, as outlined in a previous TPN piece.

Whilst it first may seem spurious to claim that the United States (which is allegedly the bastion of democracy around the globe) is run by the Klan, the practices and thought processes of American elites from the foreign policy propagators to the CIA, police, and justice system all point to a narrative that the US is gripped by an ideology of Klan-like white supremacy. As of today, this very grip seems all the more vice-like and unshakeable.

Sam Glasper is TPN’s foreign affairs correspondent and studies Politics at Manchester Metropolitain University.