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Alleged New Zealand Mosque Gunman Linked to Far-Right Group Backed by Steve King
Written by <a href="index.php?option=com_comprofiler&task=userProfile&user=46077"><span class="small">Luke Barnes, ThinkProgress</span></a>   
Thursday, 28 March 2019 08:22

Barnes writes: "Austrian authorities announced Wednesday that they had discovered a financial link between the alleged New Zealand mosque shooter and a white nationalist group frequently championed by members of the U.S. far right, including Rep. Steve King (R-IA)."

The alleged New Zealand mosque shooter donated to the far-right Identitarian Movement, which is championed by Rep. Steve King, prosecutors said this week. (photo: Michelle Tantussi/Getty)
The alleged New Zealand mosque shooter donated to the far-right Identitarian Movement, which is championed by Rep. Steve King, prosecutors said this week. (photo: Michelle Tantussi/Getty)


Alleged New Zealand Mosque Gunman Linked to Far-Right Group Backed by Steve King

By Luke Barnes, ThinkProgress

28 March 19


King, Tucker Carlson, and YouTuber Lauren Southern have all backed the Austrian Identitarian Movement.

ustrian authorities announced Wednesday that they had discovered a financial link between the alleged New Zealand mosque shooter and a white nationalist group frequently championed by members of the U.S. far right, including Rep. Steve King (R-IA).

Prosecutors in the south of the country said the Identitarian Movement, a white nationalist group that first originated in France, received roughly $1,700 from the alleged gunman in early 2018. A spokesman added that there is now an investigation underway to probe any criminally relevant links between the group and the suspected attacker.

Martin Sellner, leader of the Identitarian Movement of Austria, said he had “passively received a donation” from alleged gunman but had nothing else to do with him. This is not the first time Sellner has been in trouble with the law: In May 2018, he and 16 other members of the movement were arrested and charged with hate speech in connection with several anti-immigrant and racist demonstrations they had staged over several years, although they were eventually acquitted.

There is no evidence yet to suggest that anyone involved in the Identitarian Movement had anything to do with the New Zealand attack. But the connection reveals how the group acts as a node, connecting the ideologies of violent white supremacists with the views of more mainstream far-right figures.

The group has particularly gained a large amount of sympathy from members of the U.S. far right.

In September 2018, King, on a visit to Austria, gave an extensive interview to Caroline Sommerfeld who, as HuffPost noted, is a prominent far-right intellectual within the Identitarian Movement. In the interview, King talked at length about the “Great Replacement,” a conspiracy that claims white populations are slowly being replaced by a nonwhite majority due to declining birth rates and mass immigration. The conspiracy was also a central point of alleged gunman’s manifesto.

“The [United States] subtracts from its population a million of our babies in the form of abortion,” King said at the time. “We add to our population approximately 1.8 million of ‘somebody else’s babies’ who are raised in another culture before they get us.”

ThinkProgress has reached out to King’s office for comment on his past association with the group, as well as House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who earlier this year stripped King of his committee assignments after the congressman asked in an interview with The New York Times why the terms “white supremacist” and “white nationalist” were offensive.

In addition to King, the Identitarian Movement has attracted the attention and support of conservative media figures in the United States.

In March 2018, Sellner and his American girlfriend Brittany Pettibone (who also has a number of far right links) were banned from visiting the U.K. Fox News host Tucker Carlson used his primetime news show to defend the pair, asking why they weren’t allowed into the country while “radical Muslims, more than 4,000 former ISIS fighters, were welcomed.”

Sellner had previously praised Carlson in January last year for “calling out the Great Replacement” when he ran a segment criticizing Sen. Lindsey Graham’s (R-SC) views on immigration.

There are other U.S. links to the Identitarian Movement. Breitbart, a far-right news site spearheaded previously by President Donald Trump’s former adviser, Steve Bannon, has repeatedly given the group extremely positive coverage. Lauren Southern, a Canadian YouTuber who remains a popular figure within the U.S. far-right ecosystem, also helped crowdfund nearly $75,000 in 2016 so that the Identitarian Movement could rent a boat to disrupt migrant rescues during the height of the refugee crisis.

Southern has been a frequent advocate of the “Great Replacement” conspiracy, although after the New Zealand attack, she took to Twitter to disparage the idea that she played any part in alleged gunman’s radicalization.

“Never will the solution be to shoot innocent people begging for their lives in the streets,” Southern tweeted. “To act as though this was the logical conclusion of anyone’s peaceful rhetoric or political criticism is utter insanity.”

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+2 # DongiC 2019-03-28 18:22
What's the matter with the voters of Steve King's district in Iowa that they don't defeat that creep?

Bannon, Breitbart, Identitarian, Lauren Southern, Tucker Carlson =. right wing nut jobs. Expect crazy solutions, like fascist ones, to tough problems like immigration.

Trump is their hero. We are all in trouble.
 
 
+1 # tsyganka 2019-03-29 18:05
Article sez: "Lauren Southern...who remains a popular figure within the U.S. far-right ecosystem...."

The term "ecosystem" is increasingly used to describe noxious, bigoted, racist, fascist, misogynistic, Republican, etc. systems and organizations. This is Very offensive.

The prefix "eco" is traditionally linked to ecology, the relationships of organisms to each other and to their environment. These are Good things, quite different from a "far-right ecosystem."

The author could've said "echo-system" if he wanted to use a cutesy buzzword, as the RWNJs tend to echo one another's propaganda. Or he could've simply said "far-right system" or "far-right groups."

Yes, I know that systems have entities within them that have relationships to one another. But it's detrimental to associate lethal far-right systems with ecology and environment, which pertain to survival.

If this seems nit-picky to some, so be it. The fact is that the right-wing's theft and perversion of words like "liberal," "freedom," "patriot," "democracy," etc. have made good people reluctant to use those words, and have left many with no word they can use to express solidarity. -- Now the RWNJs are also trying to redefine "progressive."

RWNJs have stuffed the public mind full of the lie that "liberalism is a mental disorder." I do NOT want to let them also pervert the value and meaning of "ecology" and "environment."