White Supremacy is Being Weaponized And Spread Abroad, New ADL Report Says

White supremacy is being weaponized and spread internationally, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) announced in a new report called “Hate Beyond Borders: The Internationalization of White Supremacy.”

The report, released on September 18, asserted there has been a surge of violence worldwide motivated by elements of white supremacy. Sharon Nazarian, ADL senior VP for international affairs, said in a statement it has become essential to understand how followers of white supremacy are “growing their networks and recruiting new members.”

According to the new report, white supremacists in Europe and the US are “learning from each other, supporting each other, and reaching new audiences.” These white supremacists feel emboldened by the perception they are influencing politics and reaching “disaffected” white people.

“On both sides of the Atlantic, racist and xenophobic views are seeping into mainstream social discourse. This growing network of hate has emboldened white supremacists who see themselves as part of a global movement to ‘save the white race,” Nazarian said.

The report found that the exchange of the hateful and dangerous ideology is being facilitated by the internet and even at conferences. White supremacists in the US and in Europe are turning to social networking sites, including Twitter, Gab, Minds, Telegram, and message boards like 8chan, 4chan, and Reddit, to spread racism and anti-Semitism.

“This networking online and in person emboldens them and gives them the impression that the white supremacist movement is thriving,” the report said. “This, in turn, encourages white supremacists to believe they have widespread credibility and support, while creating an international marketplace for their hateful ideas.”

White supremacist such as Norwegian Anders Breivik and American Dylann Roof are influencing others to commit acts of right-wing extremism, the report found. Brenton Tarrant, a white supremacist from Australia, named both Breivik and Roof in a manifesto called “The Great Replacement” before he killed 51 Muslims in two New Zealand mosques in March.

The ADL noted that Tarrant, in turn, influenced John Earnest, who led an attack on a synagogue in Poway, California, and Patrick Crusius, who is accused of killing 22 people in a mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas.

Breivik, Roof, and Tarrant all posted their white supremacists manifestos online before committing their deadly acts of terrorism. “They—and their words—are worshipped by untold numbers of individuals around the world who share their bigoted, murderous views,” the report said.

White supremacy has gained new supporters due to changing demographics and a rise in non-white immigration to Europe and the US, according to the report. This has been amplified as political parties promote the racist and xenophobic idea that immigrants and non-whites are a threat to society.

The ADL’s report was produced by its Center on Extremism in collaboration with researchers from anti-hate organizations in Germany, the UK, Sweden, France, and Poland.

Nazarian shared the new report during testimony before the US House Committee on Homeland Security’s Subcommittee on Intelligence and Counterterrorism. Dr. Cynthia Miller-Idriss, director of international training and education program at American University, and Christian Picciolino, the founder of the Free Radicals Project, also testified during the hearing.

In her testimony, Miller-Idriss said white supremacist extremism “is currently at a record high, in terms of recognized hate organizations, number of violent attacks, and the spread of its propaganda.” Miller-Idriss urged Congress to take “this clear and pressing danger to the safety of the American public and the harmony of our nation” seriously.

“White supremacist extremism is currently the most lethal form of extremism in the US,” Miller-Idriss warned. She noted that the number of hate groups in the US is at a record high and that the pace of white nationalists terror attacks “is also rapidly increasing.”

In June, the ADL reported a rise in white supremacist propaganda on college campuses across the US. The report found cases of white supremacist propaganda on campuses grew 7 percent during the 2018-2019 academic year from the 2017-2018 school year.

There was a particular spike in white supremacist activity during the 2019 spring semester, the organization said. The ADL documented 161 incidents in 122 different campuses across 33 states and the District of Columbia from January to May 2019.

About the Author

Nicole Rojas is a breaking news writer for The North Star. She has published in various publications, including Newsweek, GlobalPost, IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly, and the Long Island Post. Nicole graduated from Boston University in 2012 with a degree in print journalism. She is an avid world traveler who recently explored Asia and Australia.