Abstract: Since the deadly terrorist attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, in March 2019, there has been a chain reaction of extreme right-wing violence targeting religious and ethnic minorities. On May 14, 2022, 18-year-old Payton Gendron allegedly murdered 10 people in a grocery store in Buffalo, New York, in one of the deadliest racist massacres in recent American history. This article examines the Buffalo terrorist atrocity, its perpetrator, his pathway to violence as well as the techniques, tactics, and practices that underpinned his attack, which counterterrorism practitioners can only fully understand if considered within this wider cumulative momentum of extreme-right transnational violence.

On the afternoon of Saturday, May 14, 2022, an 18-year-old committed one of the deadliest racist massacres in recent American history at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York.1 The alleged gunman, Payton Gendron, killed 10 African-Americans and wounded three with a rifle at a Tops Friendly Markets.2 The shooter was wearing military gear and a helmet with a GoPro Hero 7 camera attached.3 After exiting his car, the gunman shot four people outside of the store, three fatally.4 Upon the gunman’s entry into the store, a security guard fired multiple shots at him, but they did not have an effect on his bulletproof armor.5 The perpetrator then killed the security guard before shooting other victims throughout the store.6 In total, 11 of those he shot were Black and two were white. All 10 who lost their lives were Black.7 Once the police arrived, the gunman put the rifle to his neck and appeared to be about to commit suicide, but the police talked him into dropping his gun before arresting him.8

The weapon in the shooting was a second-hand Bushmaster XM-15 semi-automatic rifle that was purchased from a licensed dealer and then illegally modified so that high-capacity magazines could be loaded into it.9 In the months before the attack, Gendron used a private Discord server as a personal diary chat log to document his attack planning.10 In the chat log, Gendron noted that he had two backup weapons—a legally purchased shotgun and another rifle.11 He also explained how he planned to deliberately load heavier rounds to penetrate the glass at the front of the supermarket before loading lighter rounds to target shoppers.12

Aside from the Discord chat log, a 180-page manifesto published by Gendron has emerged, which discusses the 2019 Christchurch, New Zealand, mosques shooter, the extreme far-right Great Replacement theory, and explains that the Tops Friendly Markets was selected because it was frequented by large numbers of Black residents within driving distance from his hometown.13 It also appears that the gunman had plans to continue driving down Jefferson Avenue to shoot more Black people and to possibly attack another location if he had not been stopped.14 Gendron had originally posted the manifesto to Google Docs at 8:55 PM U.S. Eastern time, Thursday, May 12, two days before the attack.15 It was subsequently posted to 8chan “moe”a and 4chanb as well, the latter credited by Gendron with initially influencing his racist views.16 The shooter used the camera on his helmet to livestream on the video livestreaming platform Twitch for about 30 minutes, including his drive to the store and the first two minutes of the attack.17 The stream was seen by 22 users before being taken down,18 but as will be outlined below, many more would eventually see it. Approximately 30 minutes before the attack, Gendron invited a number of Discord users to join his private, invite-only server; it was then that other people were given access to view his diary chat log for the first time.19 Fifteen users accepted the invitation before the attack started.20

Since Gendron’s arrest, he has pleaded not guilty to all 25 charges brought against him by the Erie County Court in Buffalo, New York, which includes one count of a domestic act of terrorism, 10 counts of first-degree murder, 10 counts of second-degree murder as a hate crime, three counts of attempted murder as a hate crime, and one count of criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree.21 On June 15, 2022, the Department of Justice also added federal hate crime charges, which, if Gendron is convicted of, could mean life imprisonment or the death penalty.22 On July 14, 2022, a federal grand jury indicted Gendron on 27 counts, including 14 hate crimes charges and 13 firearms charges. On July 18, he pleaded not guilty to all 27 counts.23

The details presented in this article are considered allegations based on court documents filed by prosecutors and press reports, as well as materials (including Gendron’s manifesto and Discord diaries) obtained by the authors. As of the time of publication in July 2022, these allegations have yet to be proven in court, however.

The first section of this article investigates the perpetrator’s pathway to violence, taking particular account of his growing social isolation and immersion in internet “chan culture” before turning to address the influence that a long continuum of previous extreme right-wing terrorism had upon his thoughts and deeds. It also charts his own self-stated inner compulsion to commit a mass atrocity as well as his own struggle with suicidal ideation. The article then explores the perpetrator’s tactics, techniques, and procedures in preparing and conducting the attack and—of particular concern to counterterrorism practitioners—the lengths to which he went both in planning his attack and disseminating what he learned to others. It concludes with a discussion of the implications of the Buffalo attack and more broadly the ongoing chain reaction of extreme right-wing terrorism for counterterrorism practitioners.

Gendron’s Radicalization: Takeaways for Counterterrorism Practitioners
Unlike most previous attackers, the Buffalo shooter left a wealth of writing behind, which provides an important window into his planning, ideological commitments, as well as what he wanted his legacy to be. His official manifesto is 180 pages, the large majority of which is directly copied and pasted from the manifesto of Brenton Tarrant, who killed 51 and injured 40 at two Christchurch mosques on March 15, 2019.24 The rest of the manifesto is a kind of meticulous instruction manual for others who want to follow in his footsteps, outlining everything down to the best socks to wear during a mass shooting. Unlike previous attackers, however, the manifesto is also accompanied by a 673-page Discord diary or chat log,c where Gendron posted several times a day between November 18, 2021, and May 12, 2022, two days before the attack. It is important to note that while the diary is not akin to his manifesto, Gendron instructed those in his Discord network to make it public after the attack. Seen in this light, the diary serves an important purpose: to give future attackers a window into his emotional journey, how he was almost caught a few times, his self-doubt, his suicidal ideations, and his months-long dedication to carrying out the attack. According to Gendron’s discussion of his own radicalization, there are several key nodes that are worth unpacking: his growing isolation from friends and family, the impact of 4Chan and “Chan” culture, the influence of Brenton Tarrant and the Christchurch massacre, and his growing sense that he “can’t even turn back” from his attack plans.

Growing Isolation and Chan Culture
While much of Gendron’s writings seek to inspire future attackers and to explain why he is planning an attack, and meticulously outline his choice of weapons, shooting practice, and livestreaming tools, elements of his personal life are mentioned throughout. On May 5, 2022, nine days before the attack, he engaged in a longer reflection regarding his radicalization. He noted that people generally made him feel “so uncomfortable” and that he had “probably spent actual years of my life just being online.”25 He mentioned several of his friends and cousins growing up, and good times he had with them, but noted that he had lost touch with almost all of them. He described being somewhat heavily involved in gaming and gaming communities over the years and noted that “the problem with video games is that it leaves you with a false sensation of progress. In reality, you haven’t changed anything in the real world. Plus, it can be addictive when it is your only escape.”26 With respect to his years in school, he noted that he was never close with his classmates, and that he had had some “bad experiences with black people,” such as getting in trouble for calling a Black student the N-word in sixth grade and being harassed by another student. “These experiences didn’t make me racist against blacks though,” he wrote, “maybe uncomfortable around the majority of them, since I only relate them to trouble.”27

According to Gendron’s own account, his turn toward racism was linked to his immersion in 4Chan. He became convinced by the “facts” he encountered on 4Chan and incorporated into his manifesto and Discord logs a barrage of screenshots relating to Holocaust denial, purported Jewish control of the world, the contribution of white people to America’s economy and culture, random charts about the supposed contribution of Black people to the crime rate, IQ differences, and the need for racial segregation. He argued that there are genetic differences between Blacks and whites, and that Blacks were having more children than whites because they were receiving “700000 dollars from government support.”28 One of the ways he justified his anti-Black racism, and the attack itself, was through the adoption of pseudo-scientific theories of race, such as those pushed by Michael Woodley,29 Robert Sepehr,30 and others.31

Much of what Gendron presented in his writings was provided with no context or citation and was simply a rehashing of racist tropes that have circulated on 4Chan for some time. Spending more time on 4Chan led to a seamless incorporation of anti-Semitism into his growing anti-Black racism. As he wrote, “Then I saw how the Jews brought them over as slaves, how Jews funded leftism and how they teach us to be ashamed of our heritage.”32 According to Gendron, it is through 4Chan that he became more deeply immersed in the discourse around the Great Replacement theory and a belief in ‘white genocide.’ The term “great replacement,” coined by French writer Renaud Camus, neatly encapsulated the long-running belief in extreme far-right thinking that the white race was facing imminent extinction.33 “It seemed like there was no hope for us,” Gendron wrote in his Discord diary nine days before the attack. “We are doomed by low birth rates, a hedonistic, nihilistic, individual culture, and a growing population that wants us dead.”34 He stated that, not wanting to see the white race stagnate and die, he had almost committed suicide several years previously.35 Then came the March 2019 Christchurch attack.

The Influence of Past Attackers
The Christchurch attack, for Gendron, was a major turning point. By his own account, the attack moved Gendron from thinking about suicide as a solution to the plight of the white race to revolutionary action. He stated that after the Christchurch attack, “I realized that hope is not over, that our replacement can be overturned.”36 Reading more about the Christchurch attack also led him to learn more about El Paso shooter Patrick Crusius,37 Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof, Poway synagogue attacker John Earnest,d and others, who were, he wrote, “white men fighting for me.”38 Gendron cited as particularly influential a section in Christchurch attacker Tarrant’s manifesto where he asks, three times, “Why won’t somebody do something?” in reference to the purported destruction of the white race. In Tarrant’s screed, the third time the statement is written, the phrase changes to “why don’t I do something?”39 For Gendron, this changed the way he saw the problem, shifting his perception of himself from a dejected spectator to a heroic protagonist. As he wrote:

It was then I realized that I could fight our replacement myself, finally I felt awakened. No longer will I just accept this. I will take the fight to the invaders myself. I will stand up to defend my race from the decay. From the replacers, from the Jews that take from us, from the elite that exploit us. I will dedicate my life to this cause … that’s how I was radicalized, I learned the truth.40

As the authors show further below, Tarrant’s influence on Gendron was multi-faceted, from being an object of ideological inspiration to providing tactical blueprints. Gendron initially chose March 15, the anniversary of the Christchurch attack, as the date of his own attack, and like Tarrant, Gendron wrote the names of previous attackers on his weapon and wanted to have music playing during his livestream. There is a kind of “wiki effect” to these attacks, with each individual attacker contributing to the larger product of the far-right extremist movement. Gendron, perhaps more than other attackers, is most explicit about this feature of contemporary extreme far-right attacks. For instance, his manifesto is 67 percent identical to Tarrant’s manifesto, with large ideological chunks plagiarized directly from the Christchurch attacker.41 As he writes, “I stole lots of info from Tarrant because I can’t say it any better.”42 In other words, at least in the view of the Buffalo shooter, the ideological foundation for future attacks has already been “perfected” by Tarrant. Where Gendron felt that he could contribute was with tactical advice.

Indeed, just three days before the attack, Gendron wrote on Discord:

I need you guys to do a deep analysis of all mistakes I made and how to fix them … mistakes will be made. [Halle, Germany, synagogue shooter] Stephen [sic] Balliete and [Poway, California, synagogue shooter] John Earnest are examples. They had the right intentions but still it went wrong for them. What’s important is to honor these men who at least tried, and to learn from their mistakes.43

Accordingly, almost all of Gendron’s original writing in the manifesto, as well as hundreds of pages of his Discord logs, deal, ad nauseam, with the mechanics of his planned attack, from preparing his automatic weapon and helmet to his diet and even the type of socks he planned to use during the attack. The banality of this preparation conveys the sense that there was a “cruise control” element to his attack planning that, as the authors argue below, provides an important additional window into Gendron’s radicalization.

‘Can’t Turn Back’
One of the interesting elements of Gendron’s Discord logs is the number of times he wrote about the doubts he was having. While it is hard to say whether this was also part of the performative aspect of his Discord logs, it seems the daily posts instilled in Gendron a sense that he had started down a path he could not turn back from. Having decided to eventually make the diary public made him feel like his future audience was supporting him in the present, creating a sense of obligation. For instance, when he was forced to change the date of the attack several times, he wrote, “I’m sorry guys I have to delay the attack again. All because of me being a retard as usual.”44 As far as the authors are aware, there was no real-time audience for Gendron’s private Discord chat. Rather, he had internalized the potential disapproval and disappointment expressed by a future audience, which pushed him to stay on the path.

This is a key point because it is overwhelmingly clear from Gendron’s Discord diary that there were repeated moments during which he wanted to cancel the attack or when he thought about killing himself instead. Notwithstanding these hesitations, he stated over a dozen times in his diary that he could not turn back. For example, on February 26, 2022, he wrote, “I don’t want to kill them like this but this is the only way. I can’t even turn back now. I am trapped to this fate, I can’t back out, I have to do this.”45 A month later, on March 16, 2022, he wrote, “I can’t tell you how much I don’t want to do this attack. My only other choice is suicide I can’t go back.”46 He appears to have felt an overwhelming obligation to his audience, the Chan community, and to fellow white people who he felt were being “replaced,” and had convinced himself that he had been called upon to carry out an attack. On March 17, 2022, for example, he wrote, “Anything I do it leads me to the same fate, I can’t escape. In fact, this attack existed before I was even born.” On March 30, 2022, he wrote, “Whenever I think that I’d prefer suicide instead I tell myself its over anyways, might as well at least try to fight for your people.”47

There is a lot more that will likely be learned about Gendron’s radicalization as the case winds through the courts. For instance, what he does not talk much about in the over 800 pages he left behind is striking. There is relatively little mention of his childhood, his family life, or his relationship with his mother and father (aside from a few scattered mentions). It is of course likely that, as with other attacker manifestos, Gendron believed that much of his past was no longer relevant in the context of his racial awakening. Nevertheless, these gaps will be important to fill in order to get a fuller picture of the process of his radicalization to violence.

A person visits a makeshift memorial on May 19, 2022, near the scene of a shooting that took place
on May 14, 2022, at a supermarket, in Buffalo, New York. (Matt Rourke/AP Photo)

Gendron’s Roadmap for Terror: Takeaways for Counterterrorism Practitioners
Ideologically, Gendron is not very creative, as mentioned above; he is a product of the ecosystems he inhabited online, crediting 4chan for his radicalization and Brenton Tarrant for opening his eyes. More notably, but not uniquely, Gendron provided in the writings that he posted online a detailed guide of tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) on how to carry out mass shootings to any potential future mass shooter. Given the copycat nature of extreme far-right attacks and case after case of individuals drawing inspiration from the likeminded terrorist actors who preceded them, this is of significant concern to counterterrorism practitioners.

Gendron demonstrates the use of malevolent creativity, which is a form of creativity that “is deemed necessary by some society, group, or individual to fulfil [sic] goals they regard as desirable, but [which] has serious negative consequences for some other group, these negative consequences being fully intended by the first group.”48 In the context of the Buffalo mass shooting, it refers to both Gendron’s violent activities (for example, his detailed notes on his attack planning and deployment of the plan) and his non‑violent activities (for example, financing an attack, reconnaissance, streaming strategies, and analysis on armor and weapons).49

According to the criminal complaint from the U.S. District Court of New York, in the seven months prior to the attack, Gendron “wrote a self-described manifesto containing a detailed plan to shoot and kill Black people at the Tops at 1275 Jefferson Avenue,”50 and “chronicled the progress and development of his plan on his Discord account in the months leading up to the attack.”51 According to Gendron, the manifesto “is what I want you to really take home”52 in order to understand his ideology and motivations; the Discord logs are for those who “want to see memes and learn and understand how I got to the point I am today.”53

Gendron composed a total of 853 pages in preparation for the attack. He stated several times in his writings that these documents were aimed at his imagined audience that would be reading them after the attack, as well as any future mass shooters. He highlighted how he acquired his firearms, ammunition, firearm magazines, body armor, GoPro camera, and other supplies for the attack. He was meticulous in detailing his testing and modification of the firearms, testing of ammunition, modifying firearm magazines, and how he planned to livestream the attack. Finally, his Discord chat logs detailed how he made his selection of the Tops grocery store as the target of the attack based on his analysis and reconnaissance.

Gendron’s use of Discord was unique. He used Discord, a voice over IP and instant messaging social platform popular with gamers, to log daily the progress and development of his plan. The use of Discord, though innovative, was not surprising because he was familiar with the platform; according to his Steam profile,f he had logged over 2,000 hours gaming with his friends, and he made a reference to being in several Discord servers in his logs. What we can learn from this attack, is that Discord offered him pseudonymity,g as well as total privacy as there was no one else in this server until he sent invites to friends around a half hour before the attack. In the past, when alt-right leaders used Discord, such as for planning the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, the vulnerability was the amount of people in the chat that could leak information, as well as the ease with which activists were able to infiltrate the servers.54 Without anyone to report the server and its content, Gendron was able to continue his activities without hindrance, even though he shared terrorist manifestos and videos that had been hashed into the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorismh (GIFCT) hash-sharing database.55 i Gendron highlighted a flaw in Discord’s passive monitoring and trust and safety technologies,j with the concern being that other would-be mass shooters or racially and ethnically motivated violent extremists (REMVE) actors might choose to emulate his approach for operational security purposes.

Livestreaming of attacks is an important example of cross-ideological malevolent creativity between REMVE threat actors and jihadi terrorists who have incorporated some element of livestreaming into their attacks (e.g., the Magnanville terrorist in France in June 2016).56 Brenton Tarrant livestreamed his terrorist attack on Facebook,57 and following in his footsteps a few months later, Stephan Balliet livestreamed his attack on Twitch.58 Gendron put a fair amount of his time and resources into making sure that he would have the right technology and methods to stream his attack. The livestreaming, he stated in his Discord logs, would be as important as his writings, because “I most likely wouldn’t even know about the real problems in the world if Brenton Tarrant didn’t livestream his attack.”59 He further stated that though Dylann Roof’s manifesto was “not bad,” Roof had not broadcast it and so limited his impact. With his own forthcoming attack in mind, Gendron stated, “livestreaming this attack makes a 1000x greater impact.”60 Having wide ranging impact was the ultimate objective for Gendron, as he desired to inspire others to copy him in preventing what he feared was the “Great Replacement.”

When it came to livestreaming his attack, Gendron initially wanted to use Facebook, emulating Tarrant. “Livestreaming via go pro on Facebook live would be very nice, and I’ll use my computer to livestream the Facebook link on discord, and that is connected via hotspot or WIFI, and that would be in my own car. So people can watch on Facebook or discord. Not a bad plan Making a music playlist would be fun.”61 A few days later, however, he decided to use Twitch “because only boomers actually have a Facebook account nowadays and I’m pretty confident that you will have to have an account with them to watch the livestream, and on Twitch you don’t.”62 Gendron spent not only a fair amount of time going over how he was going to set up his livestream but also troubleshooting issues that came up as he tested it over seven months.k Ultimately, his choice to use Discord and Twitch to stream his attack limited initial viewership of the livestream to 22 individuals.63 One of these individuals, though, downloaded and spread the videol through platforms like Streamable, where it was, according to reporting, seen more than three million times before being taken down.64 This made the viewership of the video roughly comparable to that of Tarrant whose own video was uploaded 1.5 million times to Facebook in 24 hours, though 1.2 million were blocked at the point of upload.65 Soberingly, there were a large number of views of the Buffalo video despite the best efforts of the GIFCT. According to the GIFCT debrief from the Buffalo Content Incident Protocol, GIFCT was able to rapidly coordinate across platforms and hash the video to reduce its dissemination.66

Research and reconnaissance are another key TTP that Gendron highlighted in his logs, and it is something he could have borrowed from Tarrant who used a drone to scout one of the mosques he targeted.67 Gendron spent months researching the Black population density in and around Buffalo, New York, using census data, public databases, and physical reconnaissance to determine when and where there would be the most Black people at a specific place to achieve the highest body count, which led him to choose the location of the attack. Though Buffalo did have the highest Black population closest to his place of residence (Conklin), there were also gun laws and restrictions in New York state to consider, which he discussed in his Discord diaries. He fretted about running into anyone with a concealed carry firearm who might kill him before his attack had begun.68

Using Google Maps and Google reviews, Gendron considered several potential locations for his attack: a synagogue, a church, a mosque, an elementary school, a specific college, various other specific supermarkets and stores, an athletic center, and a specific barbershop. Ultimately, he settled on Tops, which according to his chat logs (which contains both pictures and notes he took), he traveled to several times: March 8, May 13, and May 14, 2022. During these scouting missions, Gendron created sketches of the layout of Tops, noted where the security guards were, counted the number of Black people in the store, and scouted locations to put on his gear and park his car.m According to the criminal complaint, Gendron went to Tops “only two and a half hours before the attack, and observed a ‘healthy amount of old and young’ Black people in the store and noted where the security guard was positioned.”69

An important takeaway for counterterrorism practitioners from the Buffalo shooting is the capacity for attackers like Gendron to not only learn from others but to pass on lessons through their writings. For instance, as Gendron stated in his logs:

Protip: Test your equipment and make sure they work properly. John Earnest apparently had a jam in his gun that he didn’t even shoot before. Stephen [sic] Balliet’s lutyn didn’t function properly as well. Brenton [Tarrant] had one failure to extract but he was quite smart and got it out quickly. Also look at what people did before you, I’m trying to find info on other mass shooters and see what they did and what to improve on … Imagine if I went in on March 15 not knowing my gun wasn’t properly lubed and I had a failure to feed on every shot I took, that would be quite embarrassing.70

Gendron delayed his attack time and time again. Part of the reason for this was because he was dealing with issues with his gear, which he was modifying. These delays may have contributed to his ability to execute his attack.

Gendron also wrote extensively about body armor, weapon options and costs, and ammo choices based on the situations he envisioned encountering. Gendron was obsessed with guns and armor, as well as the technological innovation behind them. There is a longwinded banality behind the number of pages in his manifesto and logs that he spent talking about helmets, gloves, socks, plate carriers, and underwear. Gendron spent significant time on weapons and armor-related boards and subreddits. In his logs, he explained how he modified his AR15 to make it fully automatic, as well as provided links to the information he used to do this at home. The logs also contain information on the issues he faced with his kit and the sources he used to overcome them, as well as where items could be purchased. Gendron purchased his armor on eBay,o but also suggested that Facebook and Instagram marketplaces were a viable option. He also suggested several subreddits where users can swap or sell tactical gear. In his own words, “I think you guys will be able to use my body armor section to fit your needs.” Gendron also went over how he self-financed his attack, which according to analysis by Jessica Davis, cost approximately $10,500.71 Davis highlighted that even though the attack was far more expensive than most lone-actor attacks, financial constraints placed on Gendron might have reduced the lethality of the attack.72

Conclusions and Implications
The Buffalo massacre was not an isolated phenomenon. Indeed, one can only fully comprehend it when considered within a continuum of self-referential extreme-right terrorism inspired by the March 2019 terrorist attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, which left 51 men, women, and children dead. That terrorist attack, committed by unemployed Australian gym trainer Brenton Tarrant, itself drew ideological and tactical succor from previous extreme-right terrorists. Tarrant’s principal inspirations included Pittsburgh synagogue shooter Robert Bowers,73 Dylann Roof, and Anders Behring Breivik, the Norwegian killer who murdered 77 people in a bomb attack and mass shooting in Oslo and on the nearby island of Utøya, where a Labour party youth camp was taking place in July 2011.74

The Christchurch attack had a catalytic effect upon extreme-right actors, sparking a chain reaction of mass shootings.75 Shortly after the Christchurch attack, extreme-right terrorist attacks took place in Poway, California (April 2019); El Paso, Texas (August 2019); Bærum, Norway (August 2019);p and Halle, Germany (October 2019). By the end of 2019, five individual extreme right terrorists had killed a total of 78 people, in four countries, on three separate continents.76

Each of these attacks, and dozens of smaller instances of violence and attempted violence, followed what sociologist Ralph Larkin called (with regard to school shootings referencing Columbine) a “cultural script.”77 In each instance, this crop of extreme-right terrorists who claimed inspiration from the Christchurch attack have sought to exceed its death toll, incite further violence, and honor the attacks with their own violence. The Buffalo terrorist attack conformed to all three of these aspirations.

In his manifesto, Gendron claimed that Tarrant had directly inspired him and that his livestreamed mass murder in New Zealand in March 2019 “started everything you see here” in Buffalo.78 Carefully constructing a narrative that emphasized Tarrant’s importance while simultaneously deliberately trying to manufacture a link to Tarrant from which he could derive status, Gendron stated, “without his livestream I would likely have no idea about the real problems the West is facing.”79 According to his Discord diary, watching the video of Tarrant murdering worshippers at the Al Noor mosque made Gendron believe he could do something to reverse the plight of the white community. Thereafter, he found Tarrant’s manifesto, claiming that its “most influential” section was Tarrant’s exhortation to “do something,” which he allegedly experienced as an awakening.80 He also copied Tarrant in seeking to situate himself within the wider community of extreme-right terrorists in the United States by referencing Dylann Roof, Patrick Crusius, and John Earnest, perpetrators of the Charleston, El Paso, and Poway attacks, respectively, as people who dedicated their lives to fighting for the white race.81

The Buffalo terrorist’s ideological affinity with the Christchurch attacker extended to copying his modus operandi and attack aesthetics. Gendron’s own impending atrocity was announced online prior to its perpetration accompanied by a “manifesto” and thereafter a livestreamed broadcast of racist murder. Beyond the violence itself, the Buffalo terrorist attack, like the Christchurch atrocity, was in itself an act of racist propaganda designed to inspire further attacks. Uploading a manifesto and livestreaming the horror in the knowledge that both would be widely disseminated throughout the extreme-right digital ecosystem was intended to leave as big a digital footprint as possible so that others could easily find inspiration and justification for their own violence in the future. Gendron’s Discord “diary” also conformed to this increasingly familiar pattern. While invaluable for researchers for documenting his personal pathway to violence, it too was an act of propaganda, “designed to be consumed” rather than representing simply “an unfiltered internal monologue.”82

The production of a manifesto prior to a terrorist assault is an increasingly ritualized part of extreme-right terrorism. The growing number of such manifestos since 2019 and other digital fragments, such as those left by Robert Bowers and Dylann Roof to justify their attacks, has created a corpus of ‘literature’ upon which extreme-right assailants can draw for intellectual and practical instruction.83

The Buffalo attack underscores the need for researchers, analysts, and policymakers to consider such manifestos collectively rather than singularly since, in essence, they constitute part of the same body of work regardless of their individual authorship. The chain reaction of extreme-right terrorism since March 2019 has highlighted that these manifestos are not static texts. They are “living documents”84 that follow the basic template adumbrated by Tarrant but have been continuously altered and adapted to suit the needs and capabilities of each individual attacker.

Gendron’s manifesto represented another stage in the ongoing crystallization of this trend. “Most of my general thoughts came from Tarrant’s manifesto,”85 Gendron admitted in his Discord diary. “I’m going to copy and paste much of his writings into my own,” he admitted in February 2022, “because we both seem to have the same views, and why write it again when you can use him as a source?”86 As already noted, the following month he stated, “I can’t say it any better,” though he also admitted being embarrassed that he had cut and pasted so much of Tarrant’s manifesto into his own document.87 The Christchurch killer was not the only source of inspiration. Gendron also followed Breivik in plagiarizing the small parts of Ted Kaczynski’s manifesto attacking “leftists.”q Gendron’s plagiarism also extended to copying the self-interview format that Tarrant had employed (which he himself had borrowed from Breivik who in turn had adapted it from celebrity interviews).88 Gendron’s desire to provide a how-to-guide for future attackers also found its echo in Breivik’s manifesto, the third section of which Breivik wrote to provide “militant nationalists” with the tools that they needed to follow in his footsteps regarding information on weapons acquisition and bomb making; the latter included Breivik’s thoughts on how he was actually able to build a viable explosive device despite a number of obstacles.89 Tarrant, by way of comparison, offered little such guidance in his manifesto.

There were significant differences, however, concerning the racist motivations articulated in each of these manifestos, highlighting that the “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory is in essence an empty vessel that its adherents can fill with their own particular racial animus. This explains the heterodox nature of the racist target selection seen during this ‘wave’ of extreme-right terrorist attacks since 2019. Gendron targeted Blacks; Tarrant chose Muslims. A decade earlier, Breivik had drawn upon his own anti-Muslim racism to target government officials and teenage Labour party activists instead, believing them to be “traitors” for facilitating Muslim immigration and multiculturalism in the first place.90 Tarrant’s own acolytes targeted a similarly diverse array of ethnic and religious minorities: Jews (Poway), Mexicans (El Paso), and Muslims (Bærum), each of whom, in the idiosyncratic worldview of the individual killer in question, fulfilled the role of occupier and usurper.91 The Halle attacker had initially targeted Jews but having failed to gain entry to a synagogue, turned to targets of opportunity—murdering a female passerby and a man eating lunch in a kebab shop instead.92

These ideological variations aside, which reflect the diversity and intersectionality of extreme-right prejudices, there is also a significant structural difference between the Buffalo and Christchurch manifestos. While Gendron largely regurgitated the format and ideological content of The Great Replacement, unlike Tarrant, he married these ideas with a detailed “how-to” guide for other would-be killers to follow in preparing their own future attacks. This was not new, however. Patrick Crusius had offered his readers rudimentary advice on firearm selection. The practical dimensions of Gendron’s manifesto were more reminiscent of Breivik’s painstaking documentation of his own preparations in 2011. However, the complexity of Breivik’s attack—and moreover, the ease with which military-grade firearms can be legally purchased in the United States—has so far obviated the need for subsequent extreme-right terrorists to follow Breivik’s plans for committing a bomb attack in tandem with a mass shooting.93 Within a much shorter timeframe, Tarrant’s example has proven the more durable template for committing carnage and achieving online “sainthood.”94

Technologically, Gendron achieved what the Poway and Bærum terrorists failed to do in their attempts to mimic Tarrant: He succeeded in livestreaming his violence. This was likely because he had spent some seven months contemplating and preparing his attack, according to his Discord diary, which the two aforementioned terrorists conspicuously did not. Their own attacks were comparatively more spontaneous and took place after only a modicum of planning and preparation had been undertaken.

Instead of using Facebook Live, as Tarrant had, Gendron transmitted his killings via Twitch, the online gaming platform that the Halle terrorist had also utilized to broadcast his attack. The Buffalo terrorist’s visual aesthetic mirrored Tarrant’s, however. He too painted his weapons with the key ideological reference points, individual inspirations, and racial slurs, while, in the commission of his violence, he dressed, like Tarrant, in combat gear as part of his self-delusion that he was a military “partisan” fighting against an occupying force.95

The massacre in Buffalo highlighted once more that the threat of extreme-right terrorism comes from individuals rather than from groups. However, it is important to note that while all of these extreme-right terrorists, including Gendron, acted alone, each of them was immersed in a shared online ecosystem from which they derived their ideas and inspirations (though one should not ignore their offline pathways to violence). This is no longer a particularly novel development. In the lead up to his 2011 attack, Breivik had submerged himself in the online world of “counter-jihad” politics.96 While the digital platforms have changed in the intervening years, virtually every extreme-right lone-actor terrorist since has been embedded, at some level, within this nebulous online social movement, which, for many, has replaced the physical group or party as the principal point of contact for engaging with extreme-right ideologies.97 Academic literature has highlighted this post-organizational shift in the REMVE space,98 whereby membership in and support for different groups have become less clear, and online activity has made it easier for transnational movements to grow and change. Attacks are carried out by people who have very weak or no ties to specific groups. Instead, violent extremists draw on a shared culture and set of beliefs.99

Earlier this year, the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD), in working with government partners and the GIFCT, developed the taxonomy of post-organizational violent extremism and terrorism (POVET) to describe the phenomenon of terrorism and violent extremism where the influence or direction of activity is ambiguous or loose.100 The ISD highlighted that the shift to a POVET taxonomy is necessary as “post-organizational dynamics strain responses which focus solely on the proscription of specific organizations,”101 which in turn leads to whack-a-mole policy dynamics where governments and private sectors need to constantly recalibrate. The White House in its June 2021 National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism highlighted that religiously and ethnically motivated violent extremists “take on a variety of forms, from lone actors and small groups of informally aligned individuals to networks exhorting and targeting violence toward specific communities, to violent self–proclaimed ‘militias.’”102

Countries such as Canada,r Australia,s and New Zealandt have also adopted similar language about ideologically motivated violent extremism, which moves beyond the boundaries of proscribed groups. The shift of the counterterrorism landscape to a POVET one has important implications as these types of groups and content are extremely challenging to develop policies around due to the use of cultural and ideological materials that are not always explicitly linked, without subject-matter understanding, to REMVE mobilization and ideologies. As ISD has highlighted, “creating responses to such material will thus require responses which go beyond individual pieces of content and instead attempt to interrogate the intention behind their circulation and the behaviors of communities involved in this.”103     CTC

Amarnath Amarasingam is an Assistant Professor in the School of Religion, and is cross-appointed to the Department of Political Studies, at Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada. He is also a Senior Fellow with the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation. His research interests are in terrorism, radicalization and extremism, online communities, diaspora politics, post-war reconstruction, and the sociology of religion. Twitter: @AmarAmarasingam

Marc-André Argentino is a PhD candidate at Concordia University, Montreal, in the Individualized program where he is supervised by professors in the departments of Theological Studies, the Centre for Engineering in Society and the Institute of Information System Engineering. He is a fellow at the International Centre for the Study of Radicalization and is also a fellow at the the Accelerationist Research Consortium. He is also a research advisor with the Government of Canada’s Canada Centre for Community Engagement and Prevention of Violence. The views expressed do not necessarily represent those of the Government of Canada. Twitter: @_MAArgentino

Graham Macklin is a researcher at the Center for Holocaust Studies and Religious Minorities affiliated to the Center for Research on Extremism (C-REX) at the University of Oslo, Norway. He has published extensively on extreme right-wing and anti-minority politics in Britain and North America in both the inter-war and post-war periods. His most recent books include Failed Führers: A History of Britain’s Extreme Right (2020) and the co-edited collection Researching the Far Right: Theory, Method & Practice (2020). He co-edits the academic journal Patterns of Prejudice and the ‘Routledge Studies in Fascism and the Far Right’ book series. Macklin is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society (RHS). He is currently completing a book on extreme right-wing terrorism. Twitter: @macklin_gd

© 2022 Amarasingam, Argentino, Macklin

Substantive Notes
[a] 8chan “moe” is an alternative image board launched in the wake of 8chan’s original closure, following the Christchurch and El Paso mass shootings. It paints itself as an anti-8kun image board, due to 8kuns affiliation to QAnon, but it is controversial among many image board users due to hosting a board that permits discussion about pedophilia. 8kun is a rebranded version of 8chan that was launched in October 2019. For more on 8chan, see footnote B in Amarnath Amarasingam and Marc-André Argentino, “The QAnon Conspiracy Theory: A Security Threat in the Making?” CTC Sentinel 13:7 (2020).

[b] 4chan is an anonymous and unregulated image board site on which anyone can post images and comments.

[c] Both terms will be used interchangeably in this article.

[d] Earnest attacked the Chabad of Poway synagogue in the San Diego area on April 27, 2019, fatally shooting a female worshipper and injuring three others. A social media post attributed to the killer indicated that he had planned to livestream the attack like Tarrant, though this did not happen. See John Wilkins, Kristina Davis, and Terie Figueroa, “One dead, three injured in Poway synagogue shooting,” San Diego Union Tribune, April 27, 2019.

[e] Balliet tried and failed to attack a synagogue in Halle, Germany, on October 9, 2019, on Yom Kippur. Having tried and failed to gain access to the premises, he subsequently turned his gun on two random targets of opportunity, murdering a female passerby and a man eating his lunch in a nearby kebab house. He wounded two others while fleeing. Balliet used the streaming service Twitch to broadcast his violence. See Daniel Koehler, “The Halle, Germany, Synagogue Attack and the Evolution of the Far-Right Terror Threat,” CTC Sentinel 12:11 (2019).

[f] Steam is a large digital distribution platform for PC gaming. As part of the service, users have their own personal profile, which allows them to use its social network service and chat with one another.

[g] “Pseudonymity is the near-anonymous state in which a user has a consistent identifier that is not their real name: a pseudonym.” “Pseudonymity,” Tech Target, n.d.

[h] The Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT) is an NGO designed to prevent terrorists and violent extremists from exploiting digital platforms. Founded by Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter, and YouTube in 2017, the forum was established to foster technical collaboration among member companies, advance relevant research, and share knowledge with smaller platforms. Since 2017, GIFCT’s membership has expanded beyond the founding companies to include over a dozen diverse platforms committed to cross-industry efforts to counter the spread of terrorist and violent extremist content online. See “About,” Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism, n.d.

[i] The GIFCT hash-sharing database is a secure industry database of “perpetual hashes” that denote terrorist content as defined by GIFCT’s own taxonomy. “Tech Innovation,” Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism, 2022.

[j] Passive monitoring is an automated way of silently analyzing network traffic to identify various signals and behavioral patterns associated with potential breaches of the terms of service or to have content flagged for human review. Discord and other social media platforms use various algorithmic methodologies to passively monitor their platforms and services. Tech Against Terrorism, “GIFCT Technical Approaches Working Group Gap Analysis and Recommendations for deploying technical solutions to tackle the terrorist use of the internet,” Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism, July 2021.

[k] Gendron discussed such challenges as bandwidth issues and how to resolve them, connectivity issues between his phone and GoPro, how to play music while livestreaming, etc. On March 5, 2022, 10 days before the initial date he chose for his attack, he was having issues with his livestream and bemoaned how he might have to use Facebook as he was having issues with Twitch. Payton Gendron, Discord chat logs, March 5, 2022.

[l] Based on videos of the Buffalo attack found on open source by the authors, only one 4chan user who was watching the stream archived it and released a 6:52 minute long video of the 24:36 livestream. This user decided not to release the full stream, for reasons unknown to the authors.

[m] From Gendron’s Discord chat logs: “At 2:00 I went inside Top’s and made the second map, then I noted there were 45 blacks inside, 8 white inside, and 10 blacks on the outside of the store I then traveled to the spot on Sherman St and noted my best route to Top’s from there, including roads I would go on. I found another good spot to gear up at 2:38, as seen below. This is off of Mohican Drive.” Payton Gendron, Discord chat logs, March 9, 2022.

[n] The “Luty” is a reference to the plans for manufacturing a homemade firearm that Balliet followed, which had originated with Philip Luty, an English gunsmith who opposed the United Kingdom’s strict gun control measures.

[o] Gendron’s Discord logs contain screen captures of the eBay auctions he purchased items from and their final price.

[p] The Bærum perpetrator, Philip Manshaus, murdered his 17-year-old adoptive sister and then tried to attack the Bærum mosque on August 10, 2019. Two worshippers overpowered him, however, and restrained him until police arrived to arrest him. Manshaus wore a helmet camera during his assault on the mosque and filmed his shooting, but failed to broadcast the attack online. See “Norway court jails mosque gunman Manshaus for 21 years,” BBC, June 11, 2020, and Anders Hammer, Terroristen Fra Bærum (Oslo: J. M. Stenersens Forlag, 2022).

[q] Gendron directly copied 139 words from Ted Kaczynski’s manifesto, according to analysis by the authors completed through Copy Leaks. See also “The Unabomber and the Norwegian mass murderer,” BBC, May 28, 2016.

[r] “Proponents of ideologically motivated violent extremism (IMVE) are driven by a range of influences rather than a singular belief system. IMVE radicalization is more often caused by a combination of ideas and grievances resulting in a personalized worldview that is inspired by a variety of sources. IMVE includes gender-driven, xenophobic, anti-authority, and other grievance-driven violence.” “Protecting National Security in Partnership with all Canadians,” Government of Canada, last modified June 28, 2022.

[s] “Ideologically motivated violent extremists—specifically nationalist and racist violent extremists—remain focused on producing propaganda, radicalising and recruiting others, and preparing for an anticipated societal collapse. They are security-conscious and adapt their security posture to avoid legal action. Nationalist and racist violent extremists are located in all Australian states and territories. Compared with other forms of violent extremism, this threat is more widely dispersed across the country—including in regional and rural areas. The emergence of nationalist and isolationist narratives globally is normalising aspects of ideologically motivated violent extremist ideology, including nationalist and racist, and specific-issue violent extremism.” “ASIO Annual Report 2020-2021,” Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, September 2021.

[t] “Identity Motivated Violent Extremism refers to ideologies such as Incel, Hindutva, and white identity who advocate violence based on ethnicity, gender, or sexuality.” “Threat Assessment: New Zealand Terrorism Level Remains at Medium,” CTAG, December 6, 2021; “Threat Insight: New Zealand’s Violent Extremism Environment,” CTAG, November 23, 2021.

[1] Jesse McKinley, Alex Traub, and Troy Closson, “Gunman Kills 10 at Buffalo Supermarket in Racist Attack,” New York Times, May 14, 2022.

[2] Carolyn Thompson, John Wawrow, Michael Balsamo, and Dave Collins, “10 Dead in Buffalo Supermarket Attack Police Call Hate Crime,” AP News, May 14, 2022.

[3] Kellen Browning, “The Gunman Broadcast the Attack on a Livestreaming Site,” New York Times, May 14, 2022.

[4] Thompson, Wawrow, Balsamo, and Collins.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Ibid.; “White gunman who killed 10 Black people in racist attack on Buffalo supermarket is charged with federal hate crimes,” Associated Press, June 15, 2022.

[8] Thompson, Wawrow, Balsamo, and Collins.

[9] Craig Whitlock, David Willman, and Alex Horton, “Massacre Suspect Said He Modified Bushmaster Rifle to Hold More Ammunition,” Washington Post, May 15, 2022.

[10] Jonah E. Bromwich, “Before Massacre Began, Suspect Invited Others to Review His Plan,” New York Times, May 17, 2022.

[11] Whitlock, Willman, and Horton.

[12] Ibid.

[13] McKinley, Traub, and Closson.

[14] Aaron Katersky, Emily Shapiro, and Miles Cohen, “Buffalo Suspect Had Plans to Continue His Killing Rampage: Commissioner,” ABC News, May 17, 2022.

[15] Ben Collins, “The Buffalo supermarket shooting suspect allegedly posted an apparent manifesto repeatedly citing ‘great replacement’ theory,” NBC News, May 15, 2022.

[16] Dan Frosch, Cameron McWhirter, Jimmy Vielkind, and Georgia Wells, “Buffalo Shooter’s 673-Page Diary Reveals Descent Into Racist Extremism,” Wall Street Journal, May 17, 2022.

[17] Cecilia D’Anastasio and Davey Alba, “Buffalo Massacre Suspect Mapped Plans on Discord App for Months,” Bloomberg, May 16, 2022.

[18] Ibid.

[19] Anya Elamroussi, Artemis Moshtaghian, and Rob Frehse, “Buffalo suspect’s posts about attack plans could be seen online 30 minutes before mass shooting,” CNN, May 19, 2022.

[20] Jon Swaine and Reed Albergotti, “Just before Buffalo Shooting, 15 Users Signed into Suspect’s Chatroom, Says Person Familiar with Review,” Washington Post, May 19, 2022.

[21] “Suspected Buffalo Mass Shooter Pleads Not Guilty to All 25 Charges, Including Terrorism,” WHAM, June 2, 2022.

[22] “Accused Tops Shooter Charged with Federal Hate Crimes and Using a Firearm to Commit Murder,” U.S. Department of Justice, June 15, 2022.

[23] “Federal Grand Jury Indicts Accused Tops Shooter on Federal Hate Crimes and Firearms Charges in Buffalo, New York,” U.S Department of Justice, July 14, 2022; Carolyn Thompson, “Buffalo supermarket shooter arraigned on federal charges,” Washington Post, July 18, 2022.

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

[25] Payton Gendron, Discord chat logs, May 5, 2022.

[26] Payton Gendron, Discord chat logs, May 5, 2022.

[27] Payton Gendron, Discord chat logs, May 5, 2022.

[28] Payton Gendron, Discord chat logs, May 5, 2022.

[29] Monika Pronczuk and Koba Ryckewaert, “A Racist Researcher, Exposed by a Mass Shooting,” New York Times, June 9, 2022.

[30] Payton Gendron, Discord chat logs, February 19, 2022.

[31] Payton Gendron, Discord chat logs, February 19, 2022.

[32] Payton Gendron, Discord chat logs, May 5, 2022.

[33] “‘The Great Replacement:’ An Explainer,” Anti-Defamation League, April 19, 2021.

[34] Payton Gendron, Discord chat logs, May 5, 2022.

[35] Payton Gendron, Discord chat logs, March 30, 2022.

[36] Payton Gendron, Discord chat logs, April 4, 2022.

[37] Graham Macklin, “The El Paso Terrorist Attack: The Chain Reaction of Global Right-Wing Terror,” CTC Sentinel 12:11 (2019).

[38] Payton Gendron, Discord chat logs, April 4, 2022.

[39] Payton Gendron, Discord chat logs, April 4, 2022.

[40] Payton Gendron, Discord chat logs, April 4, 2022.

[41] Analysis by the authors from side-by-side comparison of Tarrant’s manifesto and Gendron’s manifesto with the Copy Leaks plagiarism software.

[42] Payton Gendron, Discord chat logs, March 30, 2022.

[43] Payton Gendron, Discord chat logs, March 11, 2022.

[44] Payton Gendron, Discord chat logs, March 31, 2022.

[45] Payton Gendron, Discord chat logs, February 26, 2022.

[46] Payton Gendron, Discord chat logs, March 16, 2022.

[47] Payton Gendron, Discord chat logs, March 30, 2022.

[48] David H. Cropley, James C. Kaufman, and Arthur J. Cropley, “Malevolent Creativity: A Functional Model of Creativity in Terrorism and Crime,” Creativity Research Journal 20:2 (2008).

[49] Ibid.

[50] United States of America V. Payton Gendron, “Criminal Complaint,” United States District Court for the Western District of New York, June 15, 2022.

[51] United States of America V. Payton Gendron.

[52] Payton Gendron, Discord chat logs, April 29, 2022.

[53] Payton Gendron, Discord chat logs, April 29, 2022.

[54] Nitasha Tiku, “Violent Alt-Right Chat Logs Could Be Key to Charlottesville Lawsuits,” Wired, August 27, 2017.

[55] “Tech Innovation,” Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism, 2022.

[56] Maura Conway and Joseph Dillon, “Future trends: Live-Streaming terrorist attacks,” VOXPol, 2016; Macklin, “The Christchurch Attacks;” Marc‑André Argentino, Shiraz Maher, and Charlie Winter, “Violent Extremist Innovation: A Cross‑Ideological Analysis,” ICSR, December 2021.

[57] Guy Rosen, “A Further Update on New Zealand Terrorist Attack,” Facebook, March 20, 2019.

[58] “Halle gunman posted video on Twitch livestream platform,” The Local, October 9, 2019.

[59] Payton Gendron, Discord chat logs, February 13, 2022.

[60] Payton Gendron, Discord chat logs, February 13, 2022.

[61] Payton Gendron, Discord chat logs, December 22, 2021.

[62] Payton Gendron, Discord chat logs, January 24, 2022.

[63] Drew Harwell and Will Oremus, “Only 22 Saw the Buffalo Shooting Live. Millions Have Seen It Since,” Washington Post, May 16, 2022.

[64] Ibid.

[65] “Update on New Zealand,” Meta, March 18, 2019.

[66] “Debrief: CIP Activation, Buffalo, New York USA,” Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism, June 23, 2022.

[67] Lee Kenny, “Christchurch mosque terrorist used drone over mosque before March 15 attack,” NZ Stuff, July 23, 2020.

[68] Payton Gendron, Discord chat logs, December 21, 2021.

[69] United States of America V. Payton Gendron.

[70] Payton Gendron, Discord chat logs, March 31, 2022.

[71] Jessica Davis, “Buffalo shooting: financing terrorism,” Insight Intelligence, May 17, 2022.

[72] Ibid.

[73] Mark Oppenheimer, Squirrel Hill: The Tree of Life Synagogue Shooting and the Soul of a Neighborhood (New York: Knopf, 2021).

[74] Macklin, “The Christchurch Attacks.”

[75] Macklin, “The El Paso Terrorist Attack.”

[76] Graham Macklin, “‘Praise the Saints’: The cumulative momentum of transnational extreme-right terrorism,” in Johannes Dafinger and Moritz Florin eds., A Transnational History of Right-Wing Terrorism: Political Violence and the Far Right in Eastern and Western Europe since 1900 (Abingdon: Routledge, 2022), pp. 215-240. See also Macklin, “The El Paso Terrorist Attack” and Daniel Koehler, “The Halle, Germany, Synagogue Attack and the Evolution of the Far-Right Terror Threat,” CTC Sentinel 12:11 (2019).

[77] Ralph W. Larkin, “The Columbine Legacy: Rampage Shootings as Political Acts,” American Behavioral Scientist 52:9 (2009): pp. 1,309-1,326.

[78] Payton Gendron, Manifesto, p. 13.

[79] Ibid.

[80] Payton Gendron, Discord chat logs, May 5, 2022.

[81] Payton Gendron, Discord chat logs, May 5, 2022.

[82] Matt Kriner, Meghan Conroy, Alex Newhouse, and Jonathan Lewis, “Understanding Accelerationist Narratives: The Great Replacement,” GNET, May 30, 2022.

[83] Jacob Ware, “Testament to Murder: The Violent Far-Right’s Increasing Use of Terrorist Manifestos,” ICCT Policy Brief, March 17, 2020.

[84] Inés Bolaños Somoano and Richard McNeil-Willson, “Lessons from the Buffalo shooting: responses to violent white supremacy,” International Centre for Counter-terrorism, May 18, 2022.

[85] Payton Gendron, Discord chat logs, May 2, 2022.

[86] Payton Gendron, Discord chat logs, February 28, 2022.

[87] Payton Gendron, Discord chat logs, March 30, 2022, and April 29, 2022.

[88] Aage Borchgrevink, A Norwegian Tragedy: Anders Behring Breivik and the Massacre on Utøya (London: Polity, 2013), p. 162; Åsne Seierstad, One of Us: The Story of a Massacre and Its Aftermath (London: Virago Press, 2015), p. 206.

[89] Graham Macklin and Tore Bjørgo, “Breivik’s Long Shadow? The Impact of the July 22, 2011 Attacks on the Modus Operandi of Extreme-right Lone Actor Terrorists,” Perspectives on Terrorism 15:3 (2021): p. 178.

[90] Cato Hemmingby and Tore Bjørgo, The Dynamics of a Terrorist Targeting Process: Anders B. Breivik and the 22 July Attacks in Norway (Palgrave: Basingstoke, 2016).

[91] Macklin, “‘Praise the Saints,’” pp. 227-230.

[92] Friedel Taube, “Germany synagogue attack: Who were the victims in Halle,” Deutsche Welle, October 18, 2019.

[93] Macklin and Bjørgo.

[94] Lars Erik Berntzen and Sveinung Sandberg, “The Collective Nature of Lone Wolf Terrorism: Anders Behring Breivik and the Anti-Islamic Social Movement,” Terrorism and Political Violence 26:5 (2014).

[95] Payton Gendron, Manifesto; Macklin, “The Christchurch Attacks: Livestream Terror in the Viral Video Age.”

[96] Berntzen and Sandberg.

[97] Jade Hutchinson, Amarnath Amarasingam, Ryan Scrivens, and Brian Ballsun-Stanton, “Mobilizing Extremism Online: Comparing Australian and Canadian Right-Wing Extremist Groups on Facebook,” Behavioral Sciences of Terrorism and Political Aggression, March 2021.

[98] Joe Mulhall, “A Post-Organisational Far Right?”, Hope Not Hate, 2018; Milo Comerford, “Confronting the Challenge of ‘Post-Organisational’ Extremism,” Observer Research Foundation, August 19, 2020.

[99] J.M. Berger, “The Strategy of Violent White Supremacy Is Evolving,” Atlantic, August 7, 2019.

[100] Jacob Davey, Milo Comerford, Jakob Guhl, Will Baldet, and Chloe Colliver, “A Taxonomy for the Classification of Post-Organisational Violent Extremist & Terrorist Content,” Institute for Strategic Dialogue, January 2022.

[101] Ibid.

[102] “National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism,” National Security Council, The White House, June 2021.

[103] Davey, Comerford, Guhl, Baldet, and Colliver.

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