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memri
August 6, 2019 No.
1467

The Manifesto Posted On 8chan By Alleged El Paso Shooter Minutes Before Attack

By: Michael Davis*

A white supremacist manifesto was posted on 8chan shortly before the mass shooting in El Paso, Texas on August 3, 2019. It is believed to have been posted by the alleged shooter, although this has not been officially confirmed. What follows is a review and analysis of the manifesto.

Introduction

On August 3, 2019, in a Walmart store in the Cielo Vista Mall in El Paso, Texas, a lone gunman opened fire, killing 22 and injuring 24. The suspect, Patrick Wood Crusius, 21, was arrested and charged with capital murder. The crime is being investigated by the FBI as an act of domestic terrorism and a hate crime.

Approximately 19 minutes before the attack, an anonymous user, believed to be Crusius, made a post on 8chan alluding to the planned attack.[1] His post stated: "Fuck this is going to be so shit but I can't wait any longer. Do your part and spread this brothers! Of course, only spread it if the attack is successful. I know that the media is going to frame my [me] incorrectly, but y'all will know the truth! I'm probably going to die today. Keep up the good fight."[2] Attached to the post was a PDF file named "P. Crusius – Notification Letter," which contained a four-page manifesto titled "The Inconvenient Truth." The manifesto expresses support for Christchurch, New Zealand shooter Brenton Tarrant,[3] and cites Tarrant's own online manifesto as inspiration for it. The writer lists his reasons for targeting the Hispanic community, stating his belief that Hispanics pose a threat to American racial and cultural identity. He also describes the weapons he has chosen for the attack.


Image of the original post on 8chan from August 3, 2019, with PDF file titled 'P. Crusius – Notification Letter'

Connection To Other Recent White Supremacist Attacks

The El Paso shooter's methods and ideology has notable, and often explicitly stated, similarities to other white supremacist attacks. Crusius, like Tarrant, mentioned a belief in the imminent danger of "white genocide," also known as the "great replacement."[4] Tarrant, like the Norwegian shooter Andres Breivik,[5] viewed Muslims as invaders threatening white civilization. Meanwhile, Robert Bowers, who attacked the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh,[6] and John Earnest, the shooter targeting Jews in Poway, California,[7] viewed Jews as the greatest threat.

All these shooters stated that they acted from a sense of urgency and in self-defense. They viewed themselves as some of the few defenders of an endangered white race. Driven by this certainty, all four sought to publish manifestos presenting what they believed to be the rational arguments informing their choice to attack. Moreover, Crusius, Earnest, and Tarrant explicitly cited other white supremacists as their inspiration, expressed a sense of comradery with an online community who shared their ideology, and called on it to continue in the struggle. They also provided operational advice to be used by others in future attacks.

The many links between these attackers suggest that while they may initially seem like "lone wolf" extremists, they are in fact part of an active community, which views itself as the vanguard in a critical struggle seeking to spread its ideas and encourage further attacks.[8] (for an in-depth analysis of potential online threats, see MEMRI Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 1457, Online Non-Jihadi Terrorism: Identifying Potential Threats, May 30, 2019).

 
"Lineage" of white supremacist terrorists as expressed by them in their manifestos. This is an updated version of a diagram published in MEMRI Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 1457, Online Non-Jihadi Terrorism: Identifying Potential Threats, May 30, 2019.

Ideology

In his manifesto, the El Paso shooter states that he was inspired by Tarrant's manifesto to target the Hispanic community. Like Tarrant, he views immigration as an "invasion," and an attempt to replace the white race. He states: "This attack is a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas. They are the instigator, not me. I am simply defending my country from cultural and ethnic replacement brought on by an invasion." Hispanics, he continues, "will turn Texas into an instrument of a political coup which will hasten the destruction of our country." He states that the main idea he wishes to convey in his manifesto is that "Inaction is a choice. I can no longer bear the shame of inaction knowing that our founding fathers have endowed me with the rights needed to save our country from the brink [of] destruction." Europe is similarly under attack, he believes, but there people do not have "the gun rights needed to repel the millions of invaders that plague their country." He goes on to state that America can only be destroyed from the inside, and that should it fall, it will be the fault of traitors. This is why he believes his actions to be 'faultless' – not an act of imperialism, but an act of preservation.

People who attribute racist motives to his attack are hypocritical, he states, "because they support imperialistic wars that have caused the loss of tens of thousands of American lives and untold numbers of civilian lives". He adds, "the argument that mass murder is okay when it is state sanctioned is absurd. Our government has killed a whole lot more people for a whole lot less."

Regarding his choice to target Hispanics, the writer states that even if other non-immigrant targets would have a greater impact, he could not bring himself to kill other Americans, including Americans who seem hell-bent on destroying their country, who he refers to as "shameless race mixers, massive polluters, haters of our collective values.." He declares his long-time objection to "race mixing" as based in his belief that it "destroys genetic diversity and creates identity problems." He argues that racial diversity will disappear as either race mixing or genocide will take place. Nevertheless, he claims that the idea of murdering all non-whites is horrific because many of them have been in the country for at least as long as whites, and have done a lot to help build the country.

He goes on to state that at this time the best solution will be to divide America into a confederacy of territories, with at least one territory for each race, arguing that physical separation will almost completely eliminate race mixing, and thus improve social unity by granting each race the right of self-determination in their own territory.

Political, Economic, And Environmental Reasoning

According to the manifesto, both the Democratic and the Republican parties in the U.S. have been failing the American public for decades due to their complacency and due to the "takeover of the United States government by unchecked corporations, one of the biggest betrayals of the American public in history." He predicts that the U.S. will soon be controlled by the Democrats in a one-state country because of the demise of the baby-boomer generation, the anti-immigration rhetoric of the right, and the growing Hispanic population in the U.S. He claims that Democrats intend to implement open borders, provide free healthcare to illegal immigrants, grant them citizenship, and carry out a political coup, "importing and then legalizing millions of new voters." This, he believes, will transform Texas into a Democratic stronghold held by the Hispanic population. Republicans, meanwhile, are also culpable in the replacement of the white race, as so many Republican factions prioritize corporate interests, thus encouraging immigration as a cheap labor force.

The manifesto also addresses the automation of the work force, which the writer believes to be one of the most pressing issues of our time: "In under two decades, half of American jobs will be lost to it [automation]." He argues that the "invaders," who have very high birthrates compared to other ethnicities, will take up American jobs, thus exacerbating the effect of automation on job opportunities. On the other hand, he argues that automation may have a positive effect as it will eliminate the need for migrants who fill unskilled jobs that "Americans can't survive on anyway." Migrants do the "dirty work," he says, yet their children typically do not: "They want to live the American Dream which is why they get college degrees and fill higher-paying skilled positions." He argues that corporations attempt to maintain a cheap work force by lobbying for more illegal immigrants to enter the country. Furthermore, these corporations, he states, lobby for visas to be issued for skilled foreign workers, which in his view, is aimed at keeping wages low.

Another perceived threat he describes in the manifesto is environmental damage led by corporate interests that will negatively impact future generations. To him, this too is an anti-immigration argument. He states that since Americans are not willing to change their materialistic, consumerist lifestyle, "the next logical step is to decrease the number of people in America using resources. If we can get rid of enough people, then our way of life can become more sustainable." Likewise, he states, the welfare system can become more effective if tens of millions of recent immigrants are removed.

Preparing For The Attack

The manifesto discusses the reason for choosing to attack with a semi-automatic AK47 rifle. The author states that he did not spend a lot of time preparing for the attack, estimating that he spent less than a month preparing, due to the urgency of his need to take action. He states: "I have to do this before I lose my nerve. I figured that an under-prepared attack and a meh manifesto is better than no attack and no manifesto." He also states that he expects to die in the attack: "If I'm not killed by the police, then I'll probably be gunned down by one of the invaders. Capture in this case is far worse than dying during the shooting because I'll get the death penalty anyway. Worse still is that I would live knowing that my family despises me."

A Message To Those Planning Similar Attacks

Addressing those who may decide to carry out similar attacks, Crusius advises against attacking heavily guarded areas in a way that would serve to fulfill a "super soldier COD [Call of Duty video game] fantasy" but rather to attack low security targets.

The manifesto concludes with a further expression of allegiance to what he believes is a growing movement: "Many people think that the fight for America is already lost. They couldn’t be more wrong. This is just the beginning of the fight for America and Europe. I am honored to head the fight to reclaim my country from destruction."

*Michael Davis is a Research Fellow at MEMRI.

 

[1] Nytimes.com/2019/08/03/us/patrick-crusius-el-paso-shooter-manifesto.

[2] 017qndpynh-flywheel.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/manifesto.jpg.

[3] On March 15, 2019, Tarrant shot and killed 51 people and wounded dozens more in two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.

[4] Nytimes.com/2019/08/06/us/politics/grand-replacement-explainer.

[5] In 2011, Anders Behring Breivik carried out two terrorist attacks in Norway. The first was a van bomb which killed eight people in Oslo in July; in the second, he shot and killed 69 campers at a Norwegian Labour Party youth summer camp on the island of Utøya.

[6] On October 27, 2018, Bowers shot and killed 11 people and wounded six at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA.

[7] For more on John T. Earnest, see MEMRI Inquiry and Analysis No. 1454, The Anti-Jewish Manifesto Of John T. Earnest, The San Diego Synagogue Shooter, May 15, 2019.