Since the terror attack that killed 49 Muslims and wounded dozens at Christchurch, New Zealand, on March 15, French authorities have been investigating what connections, if any, the killer, Brenton Tarrant, may have had in France.
We know that Tarrant visited the country during the presidential campaign of 2017, witnessing the defeat of what he called “the nationalist camp” (that is, Marine Le Pen). Tarrant traveled to several countries at the time, including Israel, but France impressed him the most—so much so that he made his final decision to “do something” to stop the Muslim invasion of the West on his way back from France. France is where he claims to have had the revelation that the West was “invaded” by the “nonwhites,” a problem to which French politicians offered only a “farce” in guise of a solution. In language disturbingly close to that emerging from the anti-Semitic corners of the “yellow vest” movement in recent months, Tarrant also meditates on French President Emmanuel Macron, whom he sees as “a globalist, capitalist, egalitarian, an ex-investment banker was [sic] no national beliefs other than the pursuit of profit.”
Unlike their Muslim counterparts, who tend to rely on anonymous texts that submerge their subjectivity, Western terrorists are graphomaniacs. The American Unabomber of the 1990s; the Norwegian Anders Breivik, who killed 77 people on the island of Utoya in 2011; the U.S. misogynist Elliot Rodger, who killed six and injured 14 in Isla Vista, California, in 2014; and now Tarrant, who quotes Breivik: All seem eager to justify bloodshed through highly individualistic, verbose jeremiads that sometimes sound like a mockery of the intellectual posturings the French are so known for. (Robert Bowers, the author of the Pittsburgh Tree of Life synagogue massacre, appears to be an exception, but only because he spent the months preceding the attack expounding his hate on a daily basis on social media.) These “manifestoes” offer a glimpse into the killers’ views of the world.
Unlike their Muslim counterparts, Western terrorists are graphomaniacs.
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