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Home / World / Author J. M. Berger says New Zealand massacre points to a global revival of "extremism": NPR

Author J. M. Berger says New Zealand massacre points to a global revival of "extremism": NPR



Women are watching the tributes of the Linwood Islamic Center in Christchurch, New Zealand after the March 15 massacre in two mosques.

William West / AFP / Getty Images


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William West / AFP / Getty Images

Women are watching the tributes of the Linwood Islamic Center in Christchurch, New Zealand after the March 15 massacre in two mosques.

William West / AFP / Getty Images

On March 15, a 28-year-old Australian opened fire in two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, killing 50 and injuring dozens. The shooter had previously declared his allegiance to "white identity" – a fact not surprising to JM Berger, an author who studies extremist movements.

"There is a resurgence in different countries," he says of white nationalism. "It's a worldwide phenomenon."

Berger, who investigates extremist online activity, notes that the New Zealand gunman praised President Trump as a "symbol of renewed white identity" in a 74-page document he published before the massacre. This mention, Berger says, is consistent with a trend he found while studying the hashtags and the language of right-wing Twitter users.

"When we use social media analysis, it comes out to shout at you," he says. "We can count the links they've posted on Twitter and other social media platforms. What we find most often is #MAGA." The most common description of someone they use in the profile they use on Twitter is "Trump supporter".

Berger is the author of the book extremism and co-author of Isis: The State of Terror.

An interview with the

interview [19659015] How Trump Bringed Old-Right Fractions

Mitt Romney, John McCain [previous Republican candidates for president] – White nationalists hated these people … They were really too definite against them to be of use to the movement and what they find in Trump is that he is someone who is much closer to their worldviews, and he repeatedly refuses to attack them directly. [19659016] Extremism “/>