Dozens of people have been arrested over threats to commit mass attacks since the El Paso and Dayton shootings

Some are teenagers accused of threatening to gun down classmates. Others allegedly issued social media warnings of attacks on store customers or coworkers. Still others are said to have vowed to unleash small arsenals against victims based on their race or religion. If you see a red flag for a mass shooting, this is what you should do If you see a red flag for a mass shooting, this is what you should do More than two dozen people have been arrested over threats to commit mass shootings in the weeks since 31 people were killed in one August weekend in shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, The raft of cases follows a directive by the FBI director immediately after those two massacres for agency offices nationwide to conduct a new threat assessment in an effort to thwart more mass attacks.
The FBI was concerned that US-based domestic violent extremists could become inspired by the attacks to “engage in similar acts of violence,” the agency said in a statement. The FBI director ordered the agency’s field offices to scour the country for mass shooting threats
The FBI director ordered the agency’s field offices to scour the country for mass shooting threats At least one person now facing charges told deputies he simply wasn’t being serious, they said. Joke or not, though, such comments in many places are a felony. “After the mass violence we’ve seen in Florida and across the country, law enforcement officers have a responsibility to investigate and charge those who choose to make these types of threatening statements,” the sheriff’s office involved in that case wrote on its Facebook page. Here are the known threats with publicized arrests that law enforcement agencies have investigated since the Dayton and El Paso shootings:

via cnn: Dozens of people have been arrested over threats to commit mass attacks since the El Paso and Dayton shootings

Polizei fasst Verdächtige von Hakenkreuz-Skandal in Burg Stargard

Im April hissten Unbekannte in Burg Stargard eine Hakenkreuz-Flagge vor dem Rathaus. Jetzt hat die Polizei mehrere Tatverdächtige ermittelt. Sie waren bereits zuvor auf dem Woblitzsee bei Wesenberg aufgefallen. Es war eine Nachricht, die bundesweit Schlagzeilen machte. „Unbekannte hissen Reichskriegsflagge mit Hakenkreuz“, vermeldete neben dem Nordkurier beispielsweise auch der Online-Auftritt der Süddeutschen Zeitung. Dass Rechtsextreme am Osterwochenende, das in diesem Jahr auch den 20. April – Hitlers Geburtstag abdeckte – eine Deutschlandfahne stehlen und vor dem Rathaus ihr eigene Flagge hissen, brachte Burg Stargard in der gesamten Republik zweifelhaften Ruhm. Erst vier Monate später konnte die Polizei ihre Ermittlungen abschließen. „Wir mussten noch auf eine Zeugenaussage aus Brandenburg warten“, erklärte der Dienststellenleiter der Kriminalpolizeiinspektion Neubrandenburg, Hanno Lüders. Erst danach konnte die Polizei ihre Ermittlungen abschließen und den Fall an die Staatsanwaltschaft übergeben. Dass es so lange gedauert hat, sei sicherlich nicht glücklich, aber der Landesgrenzen übergreifenden Zusammenarbeit geschuldet, musste der Kriminaldirektor zugestehen.
Tatverdächtige aus Strelitzer Raum und Burg Stargard Die Tatverdächtigen, so Lüders weiter, würden aus dem Personenkreis der Rechtsextremen stammen, die bereits vor dem Hissen der Flagge am Rathaus auffällig wurden. Am Ostersonnabend hatte die Polizei 16 Männer und drei Frauen im Hafen der Marina von Neustrelitz gestellt. Diese sind zuvor auf dem Woblitzsee bei Wesenberg auffällig geworden, da sie auf einem Floß schippernd die Hakenkreuzflagge gehisst und vorbeifahrenden Booten „Sieg Heil“ zugerufen hätten. Mehrere Zeugen hatten daraufhin die Polizei verständigt. Die beiden Fälle am Osterwochenende hatte unter anderem die Linkspartei in Schwerin dazu veranlasst, vor weiteren Aktivitäten aus der rechtsextremen Ecke zu warnen.

via nordkurier: Polizei fasst Verdächtige von Hakenkreuz-Skandal in Burg Stargard

#Zweifel an „#Anschlags“-Version des Essener #AfD-Abgeordneten – #schauhin #pinocchiopartei

Der Essener AfD-Politiker und Bundestagsabgeordnete Stefan Keuter stilisierte sich wegen eines angeblichen Anschlags auf den Briefkasten an seinem Werdener Domizil als Opfer. Nach Darstellung der Polizei ist von Unbekannten lediglich sein Namensschild vom Briefkasten entfernt worden. Essen. Anschlag? Massive Sachbeschädigung? Vom Briefkasten des AfD-Politikers Stefan Keuter sei nur das Namensschild entfernt worden, so die Polizei. An der vom Essener AfD-Bundestagsabgeordneten Stefan Keuter verbreiteten „Anschlags“-Version auf den Briefkasten in seinem Werdener Domizil sind erhebliche Zweifel aufgekommen. In unserem Bericht vom 13. August hatte der Parlamentarier von einem „Anschlag auf den Briefkasten“ berichtet, bei dem es eine „massive Sachbeschädigung“ gegeben habe. Doch ein Werdener Bürger, der dieser Zeitung namentlich bekannt ist, aber anonym bleiben möchte, widerspricht dieser Darstellung entschieden. „Den von Herrn Keuter vorgegebenen ‘Anschlag’ auf den Briefkasten hat es nicht gegeben“, sagt der Mann. Polizei spricht nur von Diebstahl eines Namensschildes, nicht von Sachbeschädigung Eine Nachfrage bei der Essener Polizei ergibt ein ähnliches, eher undramatisches Bild. Am 15. November 2018 hätten Unbekannte das Namensschild des AfD-Politikers vom Briefkasten entfernt, sagt ein Polizeisprecher. Es sei zwar eine Strafanzeige geschrieben worden: allerdings wegen Diebstahls und keinesfalls wegen Sachbeschädigung und erst recht nicht wegen „massiver Sachbeschädigung“. Von einem „Anschlag“ ist überhaupt keine Rede. Wie die Polizei weiter mitteilt, sei noch ein Aufkleber an dem Briefkasten angebracht worden. Der nicht näher beschriebene Inhalt des Aufklebers deute eher auf Leute aus dem Antifa-Milieu hin.

via derwesten: Zweifel an „Anschlags“-Version des Essener AfD-Abgeordneten

German Cop Dismissed For Pushing Nazi Symbols and Mocking Holocaust on WhatsApp

A police officer in the German city of Cologne was dismissed from his post on Friday after he was discovered to have shared Nazi imagery along with crude jokes about the Holocaust while using the WhatsApp messaging platform. One message sent by the officer contained a picture of the Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, along with a joke mocking the millions of Jews and others murdered in concentration camp gas chambers. “What’s the difference between Santa Claus and the Jews? One goes down the chimney, the other goes up,” the joke read. Other messages contained symbols associated with neo-Nazi and far-right groups that are banned in Germany.

via algemeiner: German Cop Dismissed For Pushing Nazi Symbols and Mocking Holocaust on WhatsApp

Canadian military knew about suspected neo-Nazi: top general

Defence chief Gen. Jonathan Vance speaks out for the first time about Master Cpl. Patrik Mathews The military “did not miss” a Manitoba reservist’s alleged links to a neo-Nazi group, but in fact first started looking into it months before media reports on the subject began to surface, Canada’s top general said Thursday. Defence chief Gen. Jonathan Vance was speaking out for the first time about Master Cpl. Patrik Mathews, whose case has raised questions about whether the military is doing enough to address hate and right-wing extremism in the ranks. He promised to be more active in rooting out such behaviour and beliefs from the military ranks, and issued a stern warning to those hoping to use the Canadian Forces as a training ground or avenue to spread their “vile ideology.”

via babaibo: Canadian military knew about suspected neo-Nazi: top general

Military faces calls to train soldiers to identify neo-Nazis, hate-group members

The Canadian Armed Forces is facing calls to drop what experts say is a reactive approach to racism and hate in the ranks, and instead launch a concentrated, proactive effort campaign to root out extremist beliefs and behaviours. The demand, including more training to identify and weed out members of hate groups, follows an internal military report and several high-profile incidents linking some service personnel to right-wing extremists. The most recent case includes separate RCMP and military investigations this week into a reservist in Manitoba on suspicions of being a recruiter for a militant neo-Nazi group. The military has said it is investigating Master Cpl. Patrik Mathews, who joined the reserves in 2010 and is a combat engineer with 38 Canadian Brigade Group in Winnipeg No arrests have been made or charges laid. Police would only say that they raided a house in Beausejour, Man., on Monday and seized a number of weapons.

via panow: Military faces calls to train soldiers to identify neo-Nazis, hate-group members

Rechtsradikale Umtriebe: 28 Polizisten unter Verdacht

In der Affäre um rechtsradikale Umtriebe bei der hessischen Polizei gibt es jetzt allein bei der Frankfurter Staatsanwaltschaft schon 28 Beschuldigte. Gegen einen Beamten, der Drohbriefe an eine Anwältin verschickt haben soll, wird weiter ermittelt. POLAS wird das Computersystem der Polizei abgekürzt, das von Beamten auch in Hessen vor allem bei Personenkontrollen bemüht wird, um festzustellen, ob gegen den Betreffenden etwas vorliegt. Nicht immer werden aber Informationen zu rein dienstlichen Zwecken abgerufen. So haben laut Landespolizeipräsident Udo Münch nach einem Konzert von Helene Fischer noch in der Nacht 83 Polizisten den Namen des Schlagerstars eingegeben, um – wohl aus Neugier – Daten über sie zu erhalten. Sehr viel ernster ist im Vergleich dazu die missbräuchliche Abfrage von Informationen über die Frankfurter Rechtsanwältin Seda Basay-Yilidz, die seitdem vier mit “NSU 2.0” gezeichnete Schreiben mit Drohungen gegen sie selbst, das Leben ihrer zweijährigen Tochter und weiterer Familienangehöriger erhalten hat. Das erste davon traf bereits im Sommer vorigen Jahres per Fax bei der Juristin ein, die Nebenklägerin im Münchner Prozess um die Morde des rechtsextremistischen “Nationalsozialistischen Untergrunds” (NSU) war. Es enthielt nicht nur ihre Adresse, sondern auch den Namen des mit dem Tod bedrohten Kindes, also persönliche Informationen, die öffentlich gar nicht zugänglich waren. Dass die Infos kurz davor von einem Polizeirevier in der Frankfurter Innenstadt ohne erkennbaren Anlass aus den Polizeisystem abgefragt worden waren, fanden die Ermittler bald heraus.
Polizisten in Hessen schicken sich Hitler-Bilder Und entdeckten bei der Gelegenheit, dass sich sechs Beamte eben jenen Reviers in einer Chatgruppe unter anderem Hakenkreuze und Hitler-Bilder zugeschickt hatten. Die mittlerweile vom Hessischen Landeskriminalamt übernommenen Ermittlungen dauern noch immer an, ohne dass Anklage gegen einen Beschuldigten erhoben wurde. Allein bei der Frankfurter Staatsanwalt sind nach aktuellen Angaben derzeit 16 Ermittlungsverfahren in Zusammenhang mit rechtsradikalen Umtrieben bei der hessischen Polizei anhängig, davon zwei gegen Unbekannt. Da einige der Verfahren mehrere Personen umfassen, beläuft sich die Zahl der Beschuldigten nach Angaben des stellvertretenden Justizsprechers Sinan Akdogan sogar auf 28. Darunter sind 18 Polizeibeamte, sieben Polizeianwärter, also Beamte auf Widerruf, ein angestellter Wachpolizist und zwei Privatpersonen. Neue Zahlen für ganz Hessen liegen bislang nicht vor. Landesinnenminister Peter Beuth (CDU) hatte im Mai im zuständigen Ausschuss des Landtags von landesweit 38 Polizeiangehörigen gesprochen, bei den es in den letzten vier Jahren zumindest Hinweise auf eine mögliche rechte Gesinnung gab. In 14 Fällen habe sich der Verdacht nicht bestätigt, sechs Polizisten seien inzwischen gekündigt oder entlassen worden, ein weiterer kam bei einem Verkehrsunfall ums Leben. In 17 der 38 Verdachtsfälle werde noch intensiv ermittelt. Die Zahl von jetzt 28 Beschuldigten allein bei der Staatsanwaltschaft Frankfurt, darunter 26 Polizeiangehörige, lässt vermuten, dass der Kreis der Verdächtigen in der Zwischenzeit zumindest nicht kleiner geworden ist.

via fnp: Rechtsradikale Umtriebe: 28 Polizisten unter Verdacht

Extremists creep into Roblox, an online game popular with children

NBC News was able to find more than 100 accounts that featured extremist and racist content. It’s become an almost inevitable problem on the internet: If you build it, they will troll. That is, if a company builds a successful gaming or social media platform, trolls, extremists and other users spouting noxious speech will find a way to those online locations. This week, a Twitter user by the name of @lululemew started to find neo-Nazi references on Roblox, a popular online game that has more than 100 million active users worldwide and is popular with children. While such disturbing user names, profiles and content in Roblox aren’t new, they got renewed attention from this woman’s tweets. “My kid plays Roblox,” she wrote in an attempt to alert the company. “Did you know you have members on your site promoting #WhitePowerExtremist #DomesticTerrorism groups?” Roblox, like Minecraft, allows users to create avatars and virtual worlds for those characters to roam around in. While most people use the game’s platform to create fun, innocuous characters, some have used it to try to spread hateful messages. The game has become yet another frontier in the ongoing battle over content moderation and appropriate lines of speech on private platforms that are now often spaces where people congregate. For years, YouTube, Reddit, Instagram, Facebook and many other sites and services have faced similar struggles. “There are so many kids that play that game, and the company should be more careful and be aware of the content that’s on their site,” the woman, who asked that her name be withheld for fear of real-world harassment, said in a phone interview with NBC News. NBC News quickly located and identified four hateful profile accounts, one of which included clear anti-Semitic language. Another showed a model of a Nazi-era uniform, and two others were Proud Boys-related profiles and included an avatar of its founder, Gavin McInnes. The Proud Boys organization has been identified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

via nbcnews: Extremists creep into Roblox, an online game popular with children

Sites like Facebook, Google and Twitter allowed white supremacists to flourish. Now what? – #terror

Before walking into a Norwegian mosque with a pair of shotguns earlier this month, Philip Manshaus called for a race war in a statement he posted on the dark reaches of social media. He couldn’t go to 8chan, the renegade message board where suspects in three recent mass shootings had uploaded white nationalist screeds. That board had been booted days earlier by its internet provider, after the man suspected of killing 22 people in an El Paso Walmart posted his own hate-filled manifesto. It wasn’t hard for Manshaus to find a megaphone, though. The 21-year-old – whose Aug. 10 attack was foiled when a worshiper tackled him – posted on a little-known board called endchan. Much attention since the El Paso shooting on Aug. 3 has focused on 8chan. But white supremacists remain active all across the web – including on the biggest social media sites, where they proselytize in plain sight. Attempts to curb racist and violent views on the internet have become serious only recently, with limited success. In April, a white nationalist charged with killing 51 people in two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, livestreamed his gruesome shooting spree on Facebook. David Duke, the former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, still maintains his own YouTube channel, as do other prominent white nationalist groups. Although 8chan took down the El Paso shooter’s manifesto, it turned up soon afterward on many other sites, including mainstream Reddit and Facebook. One person who posted the manifesto on the popular message board 4chan before the news media had even disclosed its existence said gleefully, “whoooooo WE ARE DOING THIS!!!!!” The post drew a quick response: “Race war, baby!” Moderators at 4chan never removed that post. The presence of racist ideology on popular social media sites has helped fuel the rise of white nationalism, experts say – far more so than on the niche sites, which tend to cater to those already deep in the movement. “You had a decade-long period in which social media, meaning virtually all of it, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc., was unregulated when it came to speech,” said Heidi Beirich, an expert on extremism at the hate-watch group Southern Poverty Law Center. “Hate groups were completely active there. They were spreading propaganda like wildfire.” (…) Even though 4chan and 8chan are unrelated, their histories are closely intertwined, offering insights into where some internet hatred festers. Users of both sites often have seemed indistinguishable. Both sites are full of vile language, with frequent use of the N-word and slurs against Jews. Both are “imageboards,” where users embed images in their posts. On 4chan, posters often talk nonchalantly about violence. Last week one asked, “Why won’t Generation X and Millennial’s rise up together and kill all the baby boomers? It’s the one real way to fix all our problems.” Another replied, “the enemy is the Jews, not boomers.” Christopher Poole started 4chan in 2003, when he was a high school student, for fans obsessed with anime. But 4chan was purist in its approach to free speech and over time attracted a lot of young white males with extremist right-wing political views. By contrast, 8chan was founded as an obscure copycat board in 2013 by Fredrick Brennan, a 4chan fan. Users on 4chan don’t have to register and almost never reveal their true names. The same was true on 8chan. Unlike most social media sites, there’s no way to track a user’s history. Posters’ identities are unknown even to the message board. Volunteers manage 4chan, as they did 8chan. The only sitewide rule on 8chan was to not break U.S. laws; 4chan’s politics board bans racist posts, a rule routinely ignored. While 8chan is now gone, 4chan is ubiquitous on social media. It has Twitter account, a Facebook page and a Reddit group with more than 1 million members. Poole, who now works for Google, stepped down as administrator in 2015. He did not respond to an email requesting an interview. His departure came shortly after two scandals. Someone posted stolen nude photographs of Hollywood actresses on 4chan, which Poole said cost him tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees. Around the same time, he booted posters who were harassing female critics of sexism in video games, a scandal known as GamerGate. Many of those exiled were welcomed by 8chan, turning an obscure message board into a much bigger player.

via usatoday: Sites like Facebook, Google and Twitter allowed white supremacists to flourish. Now what?

Tech & Terrorism: Internet Infrastructure Companies Critical To Curbing Online Extremism

Extremists across the world have misused social media platforms to upload violent propaganda and hateful manifestos. Counter Extremism Project (CEP) Executive Director David Ibsen recently wrote in an op-ed for The Hill about the attacks in El Paso, Christchurch, and Poway—all of which have links to 8chan’s politically incorrect board, an online message board known for attracting far-right and neo-Nazi users due to its lax content moderation policies. Ibsen states that despite 8chan’s refusal to remove white nationalist and white supremacist material under the guise of protecting free speech, Internet infrastructure companies “have demonstrated that it is possible to combat such inaction and prevent the spread of extremist content.” Internet infrastructure companies such as Voxility can choose to cease providing services to other tech firms that support and help facilitate the spread of extremism online, thereby shutting down those companies’ operations, as Voxility did in the case of the El Paso attack and Epik/Bitmitigate. He explains, “Voxility’s decision serves as a useful example of how a business-to-business (B2B) tech company can help prevent the spread of hateful, extremist content by denying critical services to other firms … The Internet is effectively a network of networks, an ecosystem where a reliance on others can be leveraged to mitigate the most extreme and dangerous websites.”

via countreextremism: Tech & Terrorism: Internet Infrastructure Companies Critical To Curbing Online Extremism