Racist Manifesto Gives Apparent Motives Of Charleston Shooter


Dylann Storm Roof apparently outlined his racist views on a website filled with hate group symbolism and personal photographs showing him with a .45-caliber handgun that might be the one used in the mass shooting at Emanuel AME Church, reports the Charleston Post and Courier. On the day Roof allegedly drove to the church, where witnesses say he studied the Bible before fatally shooting nine parishioners inside, he updated the website attributed to him. The website lastrhodesian.com was registered and hosted in February by Reg.ru, a Russian domain registry and hosting company. The day the website was registered, a digital footprint was left behind: Roof's full name, home address and an email address.

Why Roof would publicize his motive and plans to attack Charleston will remain a topic of speculation as his case proceeds. Socologist Jessie Daniels of the City University of New York says, “I think that there are a lot of reasons that have to do with somebody like him feeling that he's not powerful and he wants to be powerful. Also doing something like this gets his name in the press. He writes this 'manifesto' that people are reading and talking about and poring over. That's a huge power rush.” The site includes a nearly 2,500-word diatribe against African-Americans, Jews and Hispanics in which the author says he chose Charleston for his killing spree “because it is the most historic city in my state, and at one time had the highest ratio of blacks to whites in the country.”

The website attributed to Roof was discovered Saturday, a day after a Charlotte TV station reported that he confessed to the Wednesday shooting during a videotaped interview with police in Shelby, N.C. The 21-year-old was arrested there a day after the church shooting that killed nine African-Americans.

The document and photos on the site — some of them taken at several locations in the Charleston area — have not been authenticated, and it is uncertain whether Roof actually is the author. However, the document's language is in line with what Roof's friends say he told them and what survivors of the shooting say Roof told church members before allegedly opening fire.

A federal law enforcement official told The Associated Press that the FBI is aware of the website and is reviewing it. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly on the case.

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