Almost 100 hate crimes have been perpetrated by users of the right-wing extremist website Stormfront.org, according to a new study from the South Poverty Law Center.
Stormfront.org founder Don Black, former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, denounced white supremacist Frazier Glenn Miller, 73, who shot up two Kansas City Jewish centers Sunday killing three people.
“We have enough of a problem with how we are portrayed without some homicidal whack job coming along and reinforcing that,” Don Black told the Daily Beast.
Heidi Beirich, a director at the SPLC’s Intelligence Project, called Stormfront the “largest hate site in the world” and “a magnet and breeding ground for the deadly and deranged.”
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“Stormfront is the murder capital of the racist Internet,” Heidi Beirich, author of the SPLC report, said in a release. “It has been a magnet for the deadly and deranged. And VNN is almost as bad.”
The SPLC report says, “registered Stormfront users have been disproportionately responsible for some of the most lethal hate crimes and mass killings since the Web forum became the first hate site on the Internet in 1995, a month before the Oklahoma City bombing.”
Two of the deadliest non-Islamic terror attacks, the 2011 bombing and shooting in Norway killing 77 and the 2012 shooting at a Wisconsin Sikh temple killing six, were both carried out by Stormfront users.
“It’s pretty clear that websites like Stormfront are breeding grounds for people who are just enraged at their situation, it’s there that people find the reasons their lives aren’t as they had hoped and Stormfront helps them find the enemy that is standing in their way – whether it be Jews, African Americans, immigrants and so on,” said Beirich. “Unfortunately it’s not very surprising that people who live in this kind of stew of violent racism eventually pick up a gun and do something about it at some point.”
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SPLC says there are 10 characteristics shared by hate killers who were active on Stormfront, including unemployment, posting on more than one white supremacist website and having sustained activity across those sites.
Miller was also a frequent commenter on commenter on another anti-Semitic and racist Internet forum, Vanguard News Network.
SPLC says those racist right wing groups are expanding rapidly since President Barack Obama first ran in 2008.
“We have seen and documented at the SPLC an enormous growth of groups on the radical right, particularly in the last five years,” said Mark Potok, editor of the report and a senior fellow on the Intelligence Project. “That growth quite clearly seems to be driven by the appearance of Barack Obama on the political scene in the fall of 2008 and of course his subsequent election.”