Sol Pais, a South Florida teenager “infatuated” with the Columbine massacre and its perpetrators and the subject of a massive manhunt in Colorado after authorities said a “potential credible threat” led Columbine High School and other schools to close, is dead, authorities say.
Meanwhile, a website in the name Sol Pais leaves behind a trail of disturbed journal entries, including drawings of guns and one of the Columbine killers.
The killers have achieved dark folk hero status in the corners of the internet where their carefully planned massacre is remembered, studied and in some cases even celebrated, officials say. Their admirers, often known as “Columbiners,” are frequently depressed, alienated or mentally disturbed, drawn to the Columbine subculture because they see it as a way to lash out at the world and to get the attention of a society that they believe bullies, ignores or misunderstands them.
Devil worshippers consolidate control over fascist U.S. domestic terrorist group
Several month investigation uncovers true identities of many members of clandestine terror group whose members hail both Hitler and Charles Manson as ideological visionaries.
The first of a five part series on the Atomwaffen Division U.S. domestic terrorist group
After decades of missed opportunities, the door to a sustainable future has closed, and the future we face now is one in which today’s industrial civilization unravels in the face of uncontrolled climate change and resource depletion.
What is the world going to look like when all these changes have run their course? Author John Michael Greer seeks to answer this question, and with some degree of accuracy, since civilizations tend to collapse in remarkably similar ways.
Dark Age America, then, seeks to map out in advance the history of collapse, giving us an idea of what the next five hundred years or so might look like as globalization ends and North American civilization reaches the end of its lifecycle and enters the stages of decline and fall.
In many ways, this is Greer’s most uncompromising work, though by no means without hope to offer. Knowing where we’re headed collectively is a crucial step in responding constructively to the challenges of the future and doing what we can now to help our descendants make the most of the world we’re leaving them.
John Michael Greer, historian of ideas and one of the most influential authors exploring the future of industrial society, writes the widely cited weekly blog the Archdruid Report and has published more than thirty books including The Long Descent, The Ecotechnic Future, The Wealth of Nature, and After Progress. He lives in Cumberland, Maryland, an old mill town in the Appalachians, with his wife Sara.
In recent years, a variety of both foreign and now domestic extremist movements have adopted and vigorously advocated via social media a strategy that encourages “lone wolves” to engage in individual acts of violence against a broad array of designated enemies. This breed of inspired adversary is a more recent and distinctly different kind of terrorist — to which traditional organizational constructs and definitions do not neatly apply. Terrorism today is thus also populated by individuals who are ideologically motivated, inspired, and animated by a movement, a leader, or a mélange of ideological mentors but who neither necessarily formally belong to a specific, identifiable terrorist group nor directly follow orders issued by its leadership.
White supremacist groups explicitly target recruits using the memes and fake-joking language of Internet culture. The HuffPost obtained what it called a style guide used by one of the more prominent white nationalist sites, the Daily Stormer, which outlined how it targeted recruits to its ideology.
“Most people are not comfortable with material that comes off as vitriolic, raging, non-ironic hatred,” the document read. “The unindoctrinated should not be able to tell if we are joking or not.”
The section is called “Lulz.”
Who is targeted? Largely disaffected young men — young white men — who are fed rhetoric that empowers them by casting others as a threat to them and their cultures.
“We are dealing with angry, disaffected men, mostly White, who find purpose & community with these extremist groups who give them a hero’s narrative through violent ideology of White supremacy,” New York Times contributor Wajahat Ali wrote on Twitter after the New Zealand attacks. “It’s like White ISIS.”
How do terrorists recruit people on the anonymous corner of the internet known as the dark web? We asked security expert Michael Osborne
What kind of person is susceptible to being recruited into joining a terrorist group? How do internet users become involved in online markets selling weapons, drugs and other contraband?
These are some of the questions security expert Michael Osborne is working on as part of the European project PROTON to understand criminal behaviour online. The study looks at all of the attributes necessary as a whole for terrorist recruitment and cybercrime and tries to model them. That way, we can learn what increases or decreases criminal behaviour on a large scale and inform a policy response. This means researching both on popular social media platforms and what’s known as the dark web, a part of the internet accessible only via specialised software and known for its anonymity.
“I think that Breivik was a turning point, because he was sort of a proof of concept as to how much an individual actor could accomplish,” said J.M. Berger, author of the book “Extremism” and a research fellow with VOX-Pol, a European academic initiative to study online extremism.
“He killed so many people at one time operating by himself, it really set a new bar for what one person can do.”