The Hanau shooter took far-right talking points to their fatal conclusion

A photo of the scene outside the scene of the shooting in Hanau.

In the manifesto and YouTube videos left behind by the Hanau terrorist, the patterns we are all familiar with emerge once again. The 43-year-old man allegedly killed nine people at two shisha bars in Hanau earlier this week after killing his own mother. But before this he uploaded to the Internet a 24-page letter which details his views and paranoia. 

And, like other terrorists who targeted People of Colour, his manifesto is a mixture of lies, delusion, and far-right talking points that have become popularised online. 

Genocide

The Beacon has seen his letter. In it he writes about his early life, his belief that movie studios stole his ideas, and that intelligence services are not only monitoring his thoughts, but can control people’s minds. But he also goes on to write that migrants living in Germany shouldn’t just be deported. 

He argues that, in fact, certain countries in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, along with their inhabitants, “must be completely destroyed”. He writes:

If there was a button I could press to make this happen I would press it immediately

In the letter he justifies the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, saying that the two countries “are the centre of evil and backwardness, both politically and geographically”. As a result, if it is not possible for the populations of both countries to “evolve” after the wars, “their total annihilation [is] legitimised”.

But all of this is part of a wider plan involving ridding the world of undesirables. It entails carrying out a “fine cleansing” of the countries in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East not already destroyed by the so-called “crude cleansing”. Once this is done attention can be turned to the American continent. 

Germany is also in need of his attention. He declares that “not everyone who possesses a German passport is purebred or worthy”. And given this, he writes that he “can imagine halving the population”. All of this he defends on the basis of an Aryan-influenced economic ideal of strength, independence, and success. 

Conspiracy theorist

This appears to be part of the reason for his attack on the shisha bars. He wrote that it was a “double strike” against the secret intelligence services and the supposed “Degeneration” of Germany’s population. 

According to Professor Peter Neumann, an expert on terrorism, the Hanau terrorist comes across as someone heavily influenced by conspiracy theories one can find online. Professor Neumann wrote that, based on the letter the left behind, the shooter seems “like someone who spends all night watching conspiracy videos on YouTube”. 

Not the first

Of course this is not the first time that the German far right has targeted innocent people. The neo-Nazi National Socialist Underground (NSU), which was active in the early 1990s and early 2000s, has been linked to roughly 360 crimes. Included in this is the murder of ten people, nine of whom were of Turkish, Kurdish, and Greek origin. 

Just five days before the Hanau attack German police raided a number of locations around the country in an operation aimed at disrupting a far-right terrorist cell. Its targets were “politicians, asylum seekers and Muslims”. According to prosecutors, by targeting these groups the group wanted to create a “a civil-war-like situation”. 

Far-right threat

German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer has said that “the biggest security threat facing Germany” comes from the far right. Public feeling echoes this assessment.

In a poll carried out by the Bild am Sonntag after the Hanau attack, it found that 49% of Germans believe that far-right extremists pose the biggest threat to the country. On top of this, 60% of people believe that far-right party Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) is partly responsible for the attack and others like it. 

Given the history of the far right in Germany this isn’t surprising. And now, hopefully, the German authorities will begin to treat the far right as seriously as they should. If they don’t, then another Hanau is just around the corner. 

Featured image via YouTube – Screenshot