Abstract: On October 9, 2019, 27-year-old Stephan Balliet allegedly attempted to forcibly enter the Jewish community center and synagogue in the eastern German town of Halle (Saale) and execute a mass shooting livestreamed online. It is alleged that after failing to enter the building, he randomly shot a woman who happened to be passing by and moved to a Turkish restaurant as a secondary target, where he shot and killed a second victim. Balliet appears to be mainly a copycat attacker inspired by previous incidents involving the posting of a manifesto and online livestreaming, such as the shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand, in March 2019; Poway, California, in April 2019; and El Paso, Texas, in August 2019. The Halle attack reflects and evidences several trends, including the internationalization of right-wing terrorism and lone-actor terrorists fashioning their own weapons. The attack stood out because it was the first time a terrorist appears to have used homemade firearms.

On October 9, 2019, at 11:54 AM, the alleged shooter Stephan Balliet allegedly sat in his rental car on a parking lot close to the Jewish community center and synagogue in the eastern German town of Halle and started his livestream on the gaming platform Twitch. He allegedly used a smartphone attached to a helmet for that purpose. At 11:57 AM, he published a link to the Twitch livestream on the social media picture network site Meguca, where he allegedly uploaded his manifesto.1 Meguca, the now-defunct2 niche network site, contained general-purpose discussions and was “loosely affiliated with 4chan’sa anime board.”3 According to Twitch, only five users actually saw the livestream in real time. It took the platform administrators 30 minutes to find and delete the video. By then, it had been watched by approximately 2,200 viewers.4 Notwithstanding Bailliet’s later confession (which is discussed below), these details and all the other assertions about the case that follow must be regarded as allegations as they have not—to date—been proven in court.

Balliet arrived at the synagogue at 12:01 PM. At this time, 51 people were inside the building celebrating Yom Kippur. It is alleged that after several failed attempts to force entry into the building through the main door and a side gate using his firearms and improvised explosive devices, Balliet shot and killed a 40-year-old woman who happened to walk by. The perpetrator was now clearly agitated and frustrated as he also shot his car’s front tire by accident. When Balliet allegedly attempted to shoot a second person who had stopped to render help to his first victim, his self-made fully automatic weapon jammed multiple times as can be clearly seen in the livestream. Abandoning his main target, Balliet drove away from the scene in a seemingly aimless fashion. He then came across a Turkish kebab restaurant approximately 656 yards away. It appears he spontaneously decided to stop and continue his attack at 12:10 PM, where a second victim, a 20-year-old restaurant guest, was shot and killed. At 12:16 PM, police officers arrived at the scene and engaged Balliet in a firefight during which he received a minor neck injury and was able to escape. At 1:00 PM, Balliet changed his car in the neighboring village of Wiedersdorf where he allegedly shot and seriously injured two victims who refused to give up their vehicle to him. Unable to use their car, he moved on to stealing a cab and attempted to flee southward toward Munich on the highway until he caused a traffic accident with a truck and was arrested at 1:38 PM approximately 25 miles from the attack site and without further resistance.5

This article outlines what is known about the perpetrator of the Halle attack and his motives and ideology. It then describes how the attack both evidences and reflects trends seen in extreme right-wing terrorism and terrorist violence more generally.

One of these is the internationalization of far-right terrorism. While right-wing extremist groups and terrorists have long been very well connected internationally, their main target audience usually was their home nation. With the increasing use of livestreaming, English-language manifestos, and social media platforms as the main facilitator of personal networks, right-wing terrorism is shifting more toward a global stage.

Another trend is the emergence of “hive terrorism,” where extremist activists who are part of fluid networks of likeminded individuals without previous connections to organized extremist milieus more or less spontaneously mobilize to violence and are therefore difficult to detect.

A third trend is lone terrorists improvising their own weapons for attacks, making it unnecessary for them to obtain or purchase weapons from other parties and therefore making their attack plots more difficult to detect. This has been seen in Islamic State-inspired attackers’ use of vehicles and knives in attacks. As outlined in the article, the Halle attacker appears to have crossed a new threshold by self-manufacturing the guns he used in the shooting. His livestream appears to show him firing two of the self-manufactured firearms that he had described and photographed in his manifesto.6 Investigators have not publicly stated whether they believe he made the weapons alone or received outside help in making them.

Whether or not he received such help, the Halle attack appears to be the first time a terrorist had used self-manufactured firearms for an attack.

The Perpetrator, Motives, and Ideology
The perpetrator of the Halle attack was allegedly German national Stephan Balliet. Born in 1992, he experienced the divorce of his parents at the age of 14.7 He graduated from high school in 2010 and served in the German military in an armored infantry battalion as one of the last conscription cohorts between 2010 and 2011.b There are no reports of any extremist or otherwise concerning behavior during his military service.8 At the age of 22, Balliet started and dropped out of university programs in chemistry and chemical engineering after only a short time, possibly due to health issues.9 In 2018, he applied to become a professional soldier in the Bundeswehr but never showed up to the job interview for unknown reasons.10 In the months before the attack, Balliet was living with his mother who later described him as socially isolated.11

In his confession, Balliet stated his motives were anti-Semitic in nature but denied being a neo-Nazi.12 According to his lawyer, Balliet blamed a Jewish conspiracy for his social and economic failure.13 In his interrogation, he also blamed his lack of intimate partnerships on foreigners14 and referred to Jewish-invented feminism in the livestream. He said he shot and killed the female passerby outside the synagogue and the male diner at the Turkish restaurant out of panic after he failed to enter the synagogue.15

Further indication of Balliet’s ideological motivations can be found in his statements during the livestream. In the first introductory remarks before starting his car to drive up to the synagogue, Balliet explained that he believed the Holocaust never happened. He then proceeded to claim feminism would be responsible for decreasing birth rates and subsequently for mass migration. All of this, in his view, was the doing of “the Jew.”

Balliet’s 16-page English language manifesto,16 which he posted to Meguca before the attack, was broken up across three PDF files. There was a section in one of the PDF files called “The Objective,” which outlined his main goals:

“1. Prove the viability of improvised weapons; 2. Increase the moral [sic] of other supressed Whites by spreading the combat footage; 3. Kill as many anti-Whites as possible, Jews preferred.”

Balliet also included gaming-like “achievements” according to the number of killed victims. Even though anti-Semitism clearly dominates the text, Balliet wrote that he did consider attacking a mosque or antifa center because of what he saw as their less robust protection. According to his manifesto, in the end, he decided his main target would be the Jewish community because he viewed them as supremely responsibility for all societal problems. Most of the manifesto consisted of descriptions and pictures of his self-manufactured weaponry.

The perpetrator appears to have been motivated predominantly by a mixture of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and anti-feminism. His rhetoric both in the livestream and the manifesto does not contain many classical references or codes typically associated with white supremacism or neo-Nazism. On a more subtle level, nevertheless, it is possible to trace at least elements of broader extreme right-wing ideological components. For example, Balliet references the “Zionist Occupied Government” (ZOG) in his manifesto and the first background song played in the livestream, “Powerlevel” by the cover rapper Mr. Bond, is filled with standard neo-Nazi references, such as “master race” or the “black sun.” He also jokes during the video: “Nobody expects the internet SS,” referring to the Nazi “Schutzstaffel” (protection squad) who were responsible for guarding and managing the concentration camps, among other duties.

There are, however, also multiple references very untypical of the wider extreme right-wing movement and arguably difficult to decipher for many within it, at least in the German scene. Starting with self-references like “Anon” (an abbreviation for “anonymous” and widely used by online gamers) and “weeb” (internet users who are followers of video games and animation forums), one of his manifesto files includes an anime cat-girl picture and reference to “techno-barbarism,” a term used in the Warhammer 40.000 fantasy computer game. “Techno-barbarians” in this game are troops who dominate a certain time period called the “Age of Strife” and are equipped with a primitive form of armor, which can become the basis for the development of much superior weaponry later on. Interestingly, this specific era in the game is a destructive, anarchic, and regressive time period prior to the forming of the “Imperium of Man,” a galactic empire under which the majority of humanity is united.

Without reading too much into them, the gaming culture references are fitting to Balliet’s declared goals to inspire future generations of activists to develop better improvised weaponry and stand up against the proclaimed Jewish conspiracy. Another set of codes used by Balliet are mentions of “waifus,” fictional female anime, manga, or video game characters to which someone is strongly attracted. The Halle attacker writes in his manifesto: “Repeat until all jews [sic] are dead or you prove the existence of Waifus in Valhalla, whatever comes first.” The mixture of Japanese anime culture with Norse mythology is striking and is reminiscent of jihadi promises of 72 virgins awaiting the martyr in paradise. Achieving martyrdom during his attack does not seem to have been a major goal for Balliet. Even though he acknowledged in his manifesto that he could “fail and die,” he declared that surviving the attack would be a “bonus.” Balliet ultimately did not resist arrest.

Racism in the form of white supremacism appears to have been an important part of Balliet’s worldview. One of his declared goals was to “increase the moral [sic] of other supressed Whites” and kill as many “anti-Whites” as possible. His particular self-image as a “loser” and a “disgruntled white man”17 in combination with his anti-feminism strongly points toward him espousing an “Incel”c ideology and identity18 rather than classical white supremacism, however.

At this point, it must be made clear that this author’s interpretation of Balliet’s motives and ideology necessarily relies on his own written and spoken words, as well as to a small degree on his lawyer’s statements. Hence, analysts must be cautious in making conclusions. Until the end of the official investigation and trial, which might produce additional or alternative motives, all that is possible is to describe how Balliet wanted to appear. In this context, it is noteworthy to point out that Balliet wrote his manifesto in English and shifted between English and German language during his livestream. Hence, it appears clear that he wanted to reach a global audience well versed in his gaming, anime, anti-Semitic, and right-wing extremist references rather than the hardcore neo-Nazi milieu in Germany or abroad.

In addition, as the investigation is currently still ongoing, it is also unclear if Balliet was connected to any other co-conspirator or someone else supporting the attack. The perpetrator himself confessed that he had received financial support for his attack preparation from a so far unknown individual in the form of cryptocurrency.19 Looking at research on preparatory acts and characteristics of lone-actor terrorism, poor operational security and intent leakage are common features.20 As far as is currently known, neither were the case with Stephan Balliet. Regardless, it is safe to assume that the Halle attack was at least partially inspired by the attacks in Christchurch, New Zealand, which received significant global media coverage and perhaps also the Poway, California, attack because Balliet’s mode of operation (livestreamed mass shooting following the posting of a manifesto) aligns with those incidents. Similar to what was attempted in the Poway attack21 d and what materialized in the Christchurch attacks,22 Balliet also used a helmet-mounted camera to livestream his attack. Like Tarrant23 in Christchurch, Balliet also made numerous references to video games and online subculture and both announced their upcoming attack and livestream on image boards.

Flowers and candles are seen outside the synagogue in Halle, Germany, on October 10, 2019, after two people were killed in a shooting. (Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters)

The Halle Attack and Terrorism Trends
The Internationalization of Far-Right Terror
The Halle shooting was, without a doubt, a right-wing terror attack. Still, it was a very unusual one on many counts. Right-wing terrorists, at least in Germany, have predominantly shied away from focusing public attention to themselves or their attacks, for example through claiming responsibility. In fact, any form of public communication connected to violent acts by right-wing terrorists has been extraordinarily rare, at least in Germany.24 A prime example of this phenomenon is the German “National Socialist Underground” (NSU) terror group, which assassinated 10 victims and conducted numerous bombings and bank robberies over the course of its 13-year existence. It was only after the group’s detection and the suicide of the other two main cell members that the last surviving member Beate Zschäpe mailed out a video (mostly to press and politicians) claiming most of the attacks attributed to the group.25 Similarly, even the most outspoken German militant right-wing extremists in the past such as, for example, Michael Kühnene or Karl Heinz Hoffmannf were careful to distance themselves from terrorist attacks or other severe acts of violence. Some tactical manuals for right-wing guerrilla warfare against the democratic system even made it crystal clear that publicity is counterproductive and increases the likelihood of being detected and arrested by the authorities.26 Continuing to attack the enemy was typically seen as much more important than gaining public attention. Celebrating the attack openly with a focus on the individual perpetrator like in recent livestreams in New Zealand, Poway (attempted livestream), or Halle is highly untypical for the German extreme right-wing movement.

This point is very relevant for a development described as “the globalization” of right-wing terrorism, for example by the Soufan Center,27 meaning the increasing blurring between “domestic” and “international” terrorism through transnational influences and impacts.28 Indeed, it was pointed out by The New York Times that recent extreme right-wing terrorists since Anders Breivik’s 2011 Oslo and Utøya island attacks display a significant degree of mutual inspiration or sometimes even actual connections.29 However, international connections within the extreme right are not at all new. Internationally operating neo-Nazi networks like Blood & Honour30 or the Hammerskins31 have created divisions in countries around the world for decades. Even groups traditionally focused on one nation have formed international chapters, for example the Ku Klux Klan32 or the Aryan Brotherhood33 in Germany. Individual neo-Nazi leaders have also had significant international influences and networks. To name only one example, the American right-wing extremist Gary “Gerhard” Lauck has exported neo-Nazi propaganda into 30 countries, and he was instrumental in rebuilding the neo-Nazi movement in post-World War II Germany in the 1980s.34 International influences through shared literature and music or through personal meetings at rallies and concerts or for strategic collaboration have always been an integral part of extreme right-wing movements. Nevertheless, the international impact of extreme-right wing violence and terrorism seen with the Oslo or Christchurch attacks and their deliberate orchestration to reach a global audience is certainly a new development in right-wing extremist terrorism and is a new form ‘internationalization’ in itself.

A second noteworthy aspect is that Balliet, from what is known so far, had no previous ties or contacts with the organized right-wing extremist milieu in Germany.g While he must have consumed subcultural products (e.g., music) with right-wing extremist origin or content, he was unknown to the authorities for participating in extremist groups or any criminal activities.35 The ongoing investigation will hopefully shed light on his online and offline connections, as well as radicalizing influences, but it appears he is a representative of what has been called “Hive Terrorism.”

Hive Terrorism
“Hive Terrorism,” a term introduced by the author, is a very recent and growing phenomenon in Germany and is composed of fluid networks centered around shared opposition to democratic government and immigration and mobilizing activists from mainstream society more or less spontaneously for terrorist and other violent acts.36 Hive terrorism can have two manifestations: a) individuals without previous ties to extremist milieus committing terrorist crimes and violence (e.g., arson or explosive attacks) or b) these individuals without previous ties to extremist milieus all of a sudden becoming involved in terrorist plots with hard-core members of that environment.37 The increasing number of individuals engaging in terrorism without identifiable radicalization pathways that bring them into observable contact with extremist groups and milieus has become a major concern for the German authorities and could potentially also be a significant future risk in other countries.38 The author’s theoretical explanation for this development takes into account the role of extremist subculture and recruitment activities (e.g., concerts and rallies), which bring individuals from the outside of extremist milieus into contact with their ideas and members. Furthermore, an opportunity for mobilization (e.g., significant increase in refugees in Germany between 2015 and 2016) might be a strong push factor for “Hive Terrorism” in the extreme radical-right milieu in Germany.39 In Balliet’s case, the findings of the investigation and trial will likely shed further light on the details of his specific radicalization process.

A New Threshold in Weapons Improvisation
Notwithstanding the significance of the attack in the evolution of right-wing terrorism, the Halle attack most likely will be remembered as historically significant for apparently being the first time a terrorist ever used homemade firearms, some with 3D-printed components. Much has been written about how Islamic State sympathizers in the West have fashioned their own weapons, be it knives, vehicles, or explosives. This has made detecting such plots more difficult for authorities because there is no trip wire triggered unlike plots in which, for example, extremists purchase weapons or explosive precursor chemicals.

But the Halle attack appears to have crossed a new threshold in weapons improvisation in terrorism. Balliet stated in his manifesto that he produced his own firearms, including fully automatic weaponry, using generally available low-tech components from a standard warehouse and high-tech 3D printing at the same time.40 While authorities have not publicly confirmed he made weapons in this way nor publicly ruled out that he received assistance, no evidence has publicly come to light calling his claim into question. Balliet claimed to have constructedh a fully automatic Luty 9mm submachine gun,41 a 12-gauge shotgun, and a pistol for use during the attack using widely available materials like steel and wood. In his manifesto, he further claims to have manufactured two more firearms as reserve to be placed in the car: another 9mm Luty submachine gun with 3D-printed plastic components, calling it a “Plastic Luty,” and a “Short Slam-Bang” shotgun.42 According to one German media report, the “Plastic Luty” submachine gun had a 3-D printed magazine and grip,43 which appears to fit with the visual impression of the “Plastic Luty’s” picture in the manifesto. It is not certain yet which of the two Lutys Balliet actually used in the attack. Even though he also had acquired professionally made weapons, Balliet, the livestream appears to show, completely relied on the improvised ones during the attack.44 The livestream repeatedly showed how the attacker struggled with jamming problems, which prevented the death of at least one other victim.45

Explicitly aiming to provide a proof of concept for the use of self-made weaponry in terrorist attacks, Balliet neither failed nor succeeded. Without a doubt, more people would have been killed, if entry into the synagogue would have been possible. But his “improvised” weapons did not fully pass the final test of reliability during the exact time when needed. For his target audience, however, Balliet likely did accomplish enough to show the potential of such weapons and to trigger more development and fine-tuning of the manufacturing process by others. For extremists like him, using “relatively cheap technology” for “increasingly lethal purposes”46 is likely seen as holding the promise of gaining an edge over otherwise greatly superior police and intelligence agencies. Current methods of detecting high-risk individuals in the run up to an attack (for example, placing mass purchases of certain chemicals under mandatory reporting, gun regulations, and online monitoring) would have been fruitless in Balliet’s case.

From what is known so far, Balliet did not stand out in any discernible way in his specific online environment. This does not mean that his radicalization process came out of the blue and is not traceable. But in the course of moving toward violence, it appears that Balliet did not cross a line or display any red flags that would have warranted any intervention by security agencies or even one of the many countering violent extremism (CVE) programs in Germany. Again, it should be stressed that at this point, little is known about his own online behavior in the years and months before the attack.

His offline life, albeit dominated by social isolation and failure to achieve educational or economic successes, did not contain significant criminality or deviance. From one media interview with his mother, it appears that anti-Semitic conspiracy theories might have been part of his upbringing and parental influence. In it, Balliet’s mother explained that from her perspective, her son does not hate Jews as such but only those “behind financial power,” hinting at a belief in stereotypical Jewish conspiracy theories.47 There are many questions, with one unknown being whether Balliet engaged in spreading hate postings or illegal extremist codes and symbols or partially illegal anti-Semitic tropes (e.g., denying the Holocaust). Based on the currently available information, an early intervention by the authorities would most likely not have resulted in any charges. Interventions by one of Germany’s many CVE or deradicalization counseling programs were unlikely. First, voluntary participation by Balliet can be dismissed as unrealistic as he has not shown any signs of ideological distancing from his actions since the attack.i This leaves only his family or social environment as counseling clients who could have had a potential risk mitigating or deradicalizing influence on him. As no one around Balliet (online and offline) seems to have noticed or seen any reason for concern in his views, this second scenario would also not have been likely.48

Stephan Balliet painfully highlighted the limits and boundaries of security agencies’ current ability to prevent lone-actor terrorism by individuals with little apparent online or offline extremist footprint who can fashion their own weapons—be it cars, knives, or guns apparently made with 3D-printed components. Unless the investigation brings to light significant new details about previous illegal activities, Balliet did not show any red flags and prepared and executed the attack with little if any potential opportunity for an early intervention. The attack may have been virtually impossible to detect and stop. Even the most robust countering violent extremism network imaginable is futile if no one in the social environment close to the future attacker spots troubling behavior or ideology and dares to call in help or if intelligence or police services do not learn of any concerning activity.

Hence, countering a future terrorist threat like the one in Halle requires a shift in the public perception of some key components of Balliet’s radicalization and worldviews so that people (relatives, acquaintances, friends, co-workers, and the like) can see potential warning signs. First, research has shown a link between conspiracy theories and tendencies toward political extremism and violence.49 Conspiratorial narratives, for example, in political rhetoric might therefore increase the risk of violent behavior.50 Hence, awareness of the potential consequences of conspiracy theories should inform measures to prevent the spread of truth-decaying content online and offline.51

Second, what has become known as the “Incel” movement should be recognized at least in part as a form of political extremism, as has been argued before. For example, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) added male supremacy to their list of ideologies tracked on its hate map in 2018.52 Only recently have terrorism experts begun to study the incels as a form of violent extremism—for example, Dr. John Horgan of Georgia State University with a grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security awarded in June 2019.53 Especially the link between social isolation, deep rooted psycho-social frustration and deprivation, misogyny, and violence calls for specific psycho-therapeutic and social support on the level typically associated with countering other forms of violent extremism. Dedicated prevention and social services must be developed and made available to address this phenomenon.

Third, norms and values governing acceptable, deviant, or high-risk behavior offline (for example, regarding bullying, sexual abuse, and violence) and the subsequent impulse for family and friends of an at-risk individual to seek outsider assistance for that individualj need to spread to online environments as well. However, the solution cannot be enforcing stricter community rules of engagement alone, as this would too often lead to the creation of parallel networks and shift users to the darknet or more lenient platforms. Rather, primary and secondary education must recognize the online space as a part of civic, political, and cultural communities of practice in which political opinions, social values, norms, and offline behavioral patterns are constructed, negotiated, and transmitted. The solution to terrorist threats like the Halle attack is not necessarily to extend criminalization or political correctness to online spheres but to build and embed virtual civic communities that are aware of warning signs that warrant calling for outside help, before a person turns to violence.k     CTC

Daniel Koehler is Founding Director of the German Institute on Radicalization and De-Radicalization Studies (GIRDS), editorial board member of the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism in The Hague (ICCT), and research fellow at the Polarization and Extremism Research and Innovation Lab at the “Center for University Excellence (CUE)” of the American University in Washington, D.C. He has published extensively on extreme-right terrorism and countering violent extremism, including Right-Wing Terrorism in the 21st Century. The National Socialist Underground and the History of Terror from the Far-Right in Germany (2016). He is the editor-in-chief of the open access, peer-reviewed Journal on Deradicalization and the Routledge Studies in Countering Violent Extremism book series. Follow @GIRD_S

Substantive Notes
[a] 4chan is an anonymous English-language imageboard website launched on October 1, 2003. As a hub for online subculture (e.g., memes), the politics discussion board /pol/ has been infiltrated by white supremacists and neo-Nazis and has become a hotbed of racist and sexist content.

[b] General conscription was ended in 2011.

[c] “Incels” (short for “involuntary celibates”) are members of online subcultures defining themselves as unable to find a romantic or sexual partner despite desiring one, a state they describe as “inceldom.” Racism, misogyny, male supremacism, and legitimization of violence are often part of Incel discussions online. With a growing number of violent attacks by perpetrators who identified as Incels, their celebration online and the publication of quasi political and ideological concepts within the movement, Incels continue to evolve into a form of violent extremism. See Zack Beauchamp, “Incel, the misogynist ideology that inspired the deadly Toronto attack, explained,” Vox, April 25, 2018.

[d] According to reporting by Bellingcat, the Poway shooter posted a link to an impending livestream before the attack. ABC News reported the shooter “wore a helmet mounted with a camera that malfunctioned and prevented him from livestreaming the attack.” Robert Evans, “Ignore The Poway Synagogue Shooter’s Manifesto: Pay Attention To 8chan’s /pol/ Board,” Bellingcat, April 28, 2019; Bill Hutchinson, “Alleged San Diego synagogue shooter John Earnest had 50 rounds on him when arrested: Prosecutor,” ABC News, April 30, 2019.

[e] Michael Kühnen (1955-1991) was a leading German neo-Nazi in the 1980s. He was involved with several militant and terrorist groups but could not be legally tied to their actions. For a short biography, see Anton Maegerle and Rainer Fromm, “Michael Kühnen. Biographie eines Neonazis,” Der rechte Rand 13:91 (1991): pp. 21-22.

[f] Karl-Heinz Hoffmann (born 1937) is a notorious German neo-Nazi and founder of the “Wehrsportgruppe Hoffmann (WSG)” (military sports group Hoffmann), which became one of the largest extreme right-wing paramilitary militias in Germany. The group was banned in 1980, and several members became perpetrators of some of the bloodiest extreme right-wing terrorist attacks in that decade and beyond. For example, the 1980 Octoberfest bombing was executed by a former WSG member and is to date the most lethal terror attack in post-World War II Germany. Hoffmann’s personal involvement in the former group members’ campaigns of violence was suspected but could never be proven. For a detailed account of the group’s history, networks, and involvement in violence, see Rainer Fromm, Die “Wehrsportgruppe Hoffmann”. Darstellung, Analyse und Einordnung: ein Beitrag zur Geschichte des deutschen und europäischen Rechtsextremismus (Frankfurt: Peter Lang, 1998).

[g] As noted earlier in this article, Balliet did, by his own account, receive financial support from a yet unknown source who could turn out to be member of the right-wing extremist milieu.

[h] Based on the author’s analysis of Balliet’s manifesto, it is unclear if he received any help in producing the weapons. Even though Balliet does not directly acknowledge using manufacturing manuals, it is clear that he utilized information widely available online, for example regarding the Luty submachine gun. See Oliver Moody, “Machinegun used by Stephan Balliet in Halle synagogue attack designed by British activist,” Times, October 10, 2019.

[i] Balliet did express remorse but only for killing and hurting Germans instead of Jews or Muslims.

[j] This process is called “vicarious help-seeking,” the intent to help others who appear in need of help but who are not actively seeking help. See, for example, Michael Williams, John Horgan, William Evans, and Jocelyn Bélanger, “Expansion and replication of the theory of vicarious help-seeking,” Behavioral Sciences of Terrorism and Political Aggression (2018) online first.

[k] Technological solutions to indicate red flags and digital tripwires can also help authorities foil attacks.

[1] A detailed minute-by-minute incident report was released by the German police to the public one day after the attack. See “Anschlag in Halle: Stahlknecht schildert genauen Ablauf,” mdr Sachsen-Anhalt, October 10, 2019.

[2] Konrad Litschko and Sebastian Erb, “Vorwurf Volksverhetzung,” taz, October 16, 2019.

[3] Ryan Broderick, “Far-Right Halle Shooter Allegedly Posted A Manifesto With Xbox-Like ‘Achievements’ To Anime Message Board Before Livestreaming Attack,” BuzzFeed, October 11, 2019.

[4] See Twitter thread from Twitch company regarding the incident in Halle. Twitch, “We’re continuing to investigate the Halle event …,” Twitter, October 9, 2019.

[5] Philipp Seibt and Jean-Pierre Ziegler, “Attentat in Halle: Hundert Minuten Terror,” Spiegel Online, October 10, 2019.

[6] This observation is based on the author’s visual analysis of the manifesto and the livestream.

[7] “Halle: Stephan Balliet soll zwei Menschen getötet haben – das wissen wir über den Neonazi,” Der Westen, October 10, 2019.

[8] “Attentäter absolvierte Waffenausbildung bei der Bundeswehr,” Spiegel Online, October 11, 2019.

[9] Gören Schattauer, “Bei erstem Treffen fragt Stephan Balliet seinen Anwalt: ‘Sind Sie Jude?’” Focus, October 15, 2019.

[10] Martin Lutz, “Attentäter besaß 45 Sprengvorrichtungen – und will ‘kein Nazi’ sein,” Die Welt, October 16, 2019.

[11] Ibid.

[12] Ibid.

[13] “Aussage vor Ermittlungsrichter: Halle-Attentäter glaubt an jüdische Weltverschwörung,” Spiegel Online, October 25, 2019.

[14] Robert Bongen and Katharine Schiele, “Feminismus als Feindbild,” tagesschau.de, October 31, 2019.

[15] Sven Röbel, “Halle-Attentäter wurde von Unbekanntem finanziell unterstützt,” Spiegel Online, October 11, 2019.

[16] The author obtained and reviewed a copy of the manifesto.

[17] “Aussage vor Ermittlungsrichter: Halle-Attentäter glaubt an jüdische Weltverschwörung.”

[18] Stephane J. Baele, Lewys Brace, and Travis G. Coan, “From ‘Incel’ to ‘Saint’: Analyzing the violent worldview behind the 2018 Toronto attack,” Terrorism and Political Violence (2019) online first.

[19] Röbel.

[20] Bart Schuurman, Edwin Bakker, Paul Gill, and Noémie Bouhana, “Lone Actor Terrorist Attack Planning and Preparation: A Data-Driven Analysis,” Journal of Forensic Sciences 63:4 (2017): pp. 1,191-1,200.

[21] Bill Hutchinson, “Alleged San Diego synagogue shooter John Earnest had 50 rounds on him when arrested: Prosecutor,” ABC News, April 30, 2019.

[22] Graham Macklin, “The Christchurch Attacks: Livestream Terror in the Viral Video Age,” CTC Sentinel 12:6 (2019): pp: 18-29.

[23] Ibid.

[24] Daniel Koehler, Right-Wing Terrorism in the 21st Century. The National Socialist Underground and the History of Terror from the Far-Right in Germany (Abingdon, United Kingdom: Routledge, 2016).

[25] Ibid.

[26] Koehler, Right-Wing Terrorism in the 21st Century.

[27] “INTELBRIEF: Christchurch and the Globalization of Right-Wing Terrorism,” The Soufan Center, March 18, 2019.

[28] Joshua A. Geltzer, Mary B. McCord, and Nicholas Rasmussen, “The Christchurch Shooting: Domestic Terrorism Goes International,” Lawfare, March 19, 2019.

[29] Weiyi Cai and Simone Landon, “Attacks by White Extremists Are Growing. So Are Their Connections,” New York Times, April 3, 2019.

[30] “Blood & Honour,” Southern Poverty Law Center.

[31] Hellmuth Vensky, “Hammerskins: Die Untergrund-Neonazis,” Zeit Online, February 1, 2013.

[32] “Four Ku Klux Klan groups active in Germany, says govt,” Local Germany, October 25, 2016.

[33] Julian Rohrer, “Sachsen: ‘ABE 125’: Im Osten bildet sich ein gefährliches Bündnis aus Nazis und Rockern,” Focus, March 28, 2017.

[34] “Gary ‘Gerhard’ Lauck,” Southern Poverty Law Center.

[35] Axel Spilcker and Florian Reiter, “Männlich, deutsch, radikalisiert: Was wir über den Todesschützen von Halle wissen,” Focus, October 10, 2019.

[36] Daniel Koehler, “Recent Trends in German Right-Wing Violence and Terrorism: What are the Contextual Factors behind ‘Hive Terrorism’?” Perspectives on Terrorism 12:6 (2018): pp. 72-88.

[37] Ibid.

[38] Daniel Koehler, “Right-Wing Extremism and Terrorism in Europe. Developments and Issues for the Future,” PRISM 6:2 (2016): pp. 84-104.

[39] Koehler, “Recent Trends in German Right-Wing Violence and Terrorism.”

[40] Bruce Hoffman and Jacob Ware, “Is 3-D Printing the Future of Terrorism?” Wall Street Journal, October 25, 2019.

[41] Oliver Moody, “Machinegun used by Stephan Balliet in Halle synagogue attack designed by British activist,” Times, October 10, 2019.

[42] Hoffman and Ware.

[43] ”Baute der Killer-Neonazi seine Waffen mit einem 3D-Drucker?” Bild Zeitung, October 11, 2019.

[44] Ibid. This observation is also based on the author’s visual analysis of the attacker’s manifesto and the livestream.

[45] Kai Biermann, Luisa Hommerich, Yassin Musharbash, and Karsten Polke-Majewski, “Anschlag in Halle: Attentäter mordete aus Judenhass,” Zeit Online, October 9, 2019.

[46] Hoffman and Ware.

[47] “Anschlag von Halle: Die wirre Welt des Attentäters,” Spiegel Online, October 14, 2019.

[48] For the rationale and different types of CVE and deradicalization programs, see Koehler, Understanding Deradicalization: Methods, Tools and Programs for Countering Violent Extremism (New York: Routledge, 2017).

[49] See, for example, Joseph Uscinski and Joseph Parent, American Conspiracy Theories (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014); Jamie Bartlett and Carl Miller, The Power of Unreason: Conspiracy Theories, Extremism and Counter-Terrorism (London: Demos, 2010); and Jan-Willen van Prooijen, André Krouwel, and Thomas Pollet, “Political Extremism Predicts Belief in Conspiracy Theories,” Social Psychological and Personality Science 6:5 (2015): pp. 570-578.

[50] Stephane Baele, “Conspiratorial Narratives in Violent Political Actors’ Language,” Journal of Language and Social Psychology (2019) online first.

[51] See, for example, RAND Corporation‘s research cluster on countering truth decay. “Countering Truth Decay,” RAND Corporation.

[52] Rachel Janik, “’I laugh at the death of normies’: How incels are celebrating the Toronto mass killing,” Southern Poverty Law Center, April 24, 2018.

[53] “Grant Will Fund Research Into Growing Male Supremacist Subculture Online,” Georgia State University News Hub, June 26, 2019.

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