Where the El Paso Mass Shooting Fits in the Evolution of White Supremacist Tactics

Aug 6, 2019 | 09:00 GMT

Handmade crosses memorialize the victims of a mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, on Aug. 5, 2019.

(MARIO TAMA/Getty Images)


  • White supremacist terrorism isn't a new phenomenon, but it appears to be trending upward globally again.
  • Three recent high-profile white supremacist mass shootings involved the use of the concept of leaderless resistance, which was developed in a bid to avoid law enforcement infiltration.
  • The internet has played a major role in driving the recent spike in white supremacist violence.

Before his attack, the El Paso shooter, who I will purposefully not name to deny him the attention such killers seek, posted a four-page statement to the website 8chan. This is the same website that the perpetrators of the Christchurch, New Zealand, mosque attacks in March and the Chabad of Poway, California, synagogue attack in April posted their statements to. The El Paso shooter began his statement by praising the Christchurch killer, but said he was targeting Hispanics, who he claimed were invading Texas. He specifically mentioned the "great replacement theory," the idea that white people are going to be replaced by people of color. This concept, sometimes referred to as "white genocide," has been linked to a number of other killers, including those in Christchurch and Poway. These three massacres raise the question of why we are seeing more white supremacist attacks....

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