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A white supremacist Web site frequented by killers

Anders Behring Breivik, Wade Michael Page, Richard Poplawski. (Photos by AP)

Anders Behring Breivik was convicted of mass murder after killing 77 people in two attacks in Norway.

Wade Michael Page killed six people at a Milwaukee Sikh temple before killing himself, police said.

Richard Andrew Poplawski was sentenced to death for killing three Pittsburgh police officers.

All three men had something in common: They were all allegedly prolific posters on the white supremacist Web site Stormfront.

These killings make up the bulk of the nearly 100 people who were murdered over the past five years by registered users of Stormfront, claims a report released Thursday by the nonprofit civil rights organization Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). The report states the forum acts to nurture budding killers and give them moral support — a claim the site’s creator calls “ludicrous.”

SPLC Intelligence Project director Heidi Beirich said, “Stormfront is the murder capital of the racist Internet. It has been a magnet for the deadly and deranged.”

She said a similar forum, Vanguard News Network (VNN), was almost as bad. It was allegedly used by former Ku Klux Klan “grand dragon” Frazier Glenn Cross, who was charged with killing three people outside two Jewish community centers near Kansas City, Kan., this week. The report states he posted some 12,000 messages on VNN, whose slogan is “No Jews, Just Right.”

According to the study:

Though on any given day, fewer than 1,800 registered members log on to Stormfront, and less than half of the site’s visitors even reside in the United States, a two-year study by the Intelligence Report shows that registered Stormfront users have been disproportionately responsible for some of the most lethal hate crimes and mass killings since the site was put up in 1995. In the past five years alone, Stormfront members have murdered close to 100 people. The Report’s research shows that Stormfront’s bias-related murder rate began to accelerate rapidly in early 2009, after Barack Obama became the nation’s first black president.

Don Black, a former Ku Klux Klan member and the founder of Stormfront, told the number of killings associated with those on his Web site is high only because it included Breivik who, he said, posted only a few times on the site before he was banned from it.

“We have had a few people who have gone on shooting sprees,” he said. “Most were domestic issues that didn’t have anything to do with politics.”

Black also told that Stormfront is a forum for white nationalists to “discuss the truth as we see it” and, if anything, may deterrent such behavior.

“The kind of people that are more likely to go out and do something and go on a shooting spree are by themselves typically,” he said. “If they become part of our community they are less likely to do something because they have a support group.”

Black, 60, has been involved in the white nationalist movement since he was 15, according to the SPLC.

Lindsey Bever is a general assignment reporter for The Washington Post. Tweet her: @lindseybever



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