Prosecutors say Dylann Roof ‘self-radicalized’ online, wrote another manifesto in jail

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Source: The Washington Post

By Mark Berman

The man accused of killing nine black parishioners in a historic Charleston, S.C., church last year “self-radicalized” online, absorbing violent white supremacist beliefs from the Internet, according to federal prosecutors.

Rather than adopting such convictions “through his personal associations or experiences with white supremacist groups or individuals or others,” prosecutors said these viewpoints were self-taught from material found online and elsewhere.

Dylann Roof, 22, could face a death sentence in the federal case against him as well as in the state’s parallel case stemming from the shooting. In the state’s case, he has been charged with nine counts of murder and three counts of attempted murder for the June 2015 massacre at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. Roof, who is white, was also indicted on federal hate crime charges not long afterward for attacking people “because of their race and in order to interfere with their exercise of their religion,” Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch said.

In a court document filed Monday, authorities said they intended to call experts to outline how Roof’s comments, writing and the media he consumed “are consistent with the adoption of a white supremacy extremist ideology, including a belief in the need to use violence to achieve white supremacy.”

Prosecutors said Roof’s “self-learning process” led him to adopt the thinking “that violent action is necessary to fight for white people and achieve white supremacy … and that the choice of targets and execution of violent action should be conducted in a manner that promotes these objectives, to include publicizing the reasons for those actions to inspire others to engage in violent action to further white supremacy.”

In addition, federal authorities said they had found two handwritten manifestos and a list of churches — and that one of these manifestos was found in Roof’s jail cell.

Attorneys for Roof declined to comment on the new filing.

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