Statements in “Der Spiegel” after the lone wolf-terrorism in Halle/Germany (11/11/2019)

Far-Right Terrorism Deadly Attack Exposes Lapses in German Security Apparatus

The 27-year-old German man who went on a shooting spree during the Yom Kippur holiday was out to kill Jews. He apparently self-radicalized in the darkest corners of the internet, beyond the reach of police or intelligence officials, who are woefully unprepared for this new breed of terrorism. By DER SPIEGEL Staff


Far-Right Terrorism. Deadly Attack Exposes Lapses in German Security Apparatus

German political scientist Florian Hartleb wrote a book about this new kind of right-wing terrorism. In it, he takes a closer look at perpetrators’ personalities. He notes that they’re all men between the ages of 18 and 30 who spend a lot of time in front of their computers, consuming violent video games and self-radicalizing by lapping up conspiracy theories and developing a hatred for Jews, migrants or women. What’s more: Their actions often have a political slant. “You also find these patterns in the perpetrator in Halle,” Hartleb said.

In order to penetrate virtual spaces more effectively, Hartleb said, a specific kind of personnel is required. “These must be people who feel at home in these online spaces, in the truest sense. After all, perpetrators often spend 16 to 18 hours a day there,” the extremism researcher said. This is one way online investigators could recognize prospective attackers: “The perpetrators look for like-minded people online and spend a lot of time preparing for their attacks or procuring weapons or similar items. All of this leaves traces,” Hartleb said.

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