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Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Slovak Who Attacked Gay Bar Credits Buffalo Shooter with Giving Him ‘Final Nudge’

"Since 2019, I have slowly been preparing," states manifesto attributed to killer, declaring he received "new inspiration" after this May's supermarket mass shooting.

The gunman who targeted the LGBT community in last week’s Bratislava attack cited the Buffalo supermarket shooter as “the final nail in the coffin” who compelled him to commit extremist violence.

On Wednesday, a gunman opened fire outside the Teplaren bar in Slovakia’s capital Bratislava shortly after 7 p.m., killing two people and wounding a third. Shortly afterward, a Twitter account believed to be that of the shooter, 19-year-old Juraj Krajcik, tweeted the hashtags “#bratislava #hatecrime #gaybar,” and tweeted with the #bratislava hashtag “feeling no regrets, isn’t that funny?” Krajcik’s body was found by police the following morning; he reportedly died of a self-inflicted gunshot.

“I strongly condemn a murder of two young people shot dead in Bratislava last night by a radicalised teenager,” Prime Minister Eduard Heger wrote on Twitter after the attack. “No form of white supremacy, racism and #extremism against communities, incl. #LGBTI, can be tolerated. We will fight disinfo channels spreading hate &protect minorities.”

Slovak investigators classified the shooting as a terrorist attack Monday, motivated by hatred of the LGBT community.

On Aug. 15, Krajcik tweeted a selfie standing across the street from Teplaren, with the bar in the background. In September, he tweeted, “I don’t expect to make it. In all likelyhood [sp] I will die in the course of the operation,” followed two days later by, “Race first. Always.” On Oct. 11, he tweeted, “I have made my decision”; the next day he tweeted, “It will be done.”

Shortly before the attack, the account linked to a 65-page manifesto that had been uploaded to various file-sharing sites. The author of the manifesto doesn’t include his name but says he is of Slovak origin and was born in July 2003; the last section of the document is dated Aug. 24 and signed “JK”.

The manifesto begins by declaring “it’s the jews,” and “the jews responsible have names and addresses.” In an echo of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooter (though not mentioned by name), the author blames blames Jews “for the unchecked rise in non-White immigration to Europe and the US,” and echoing a more recent conspiracy theory blames Jews for COVID-19 vaccinations that he calls “a form of complete social control.” The virulent antisemitism in the first several pages of the manifesto includes calling for “total eradication of all jews, to the last man, woman and child” in acts requiring “a huge amount” of violence. 

The manifesto promotes accelerationism and lists a multitude of suggested targets centered around destroying the “Zionist Occupied Government” including politicians, courthouses, voting booths, bankers, anyone working in the entertainment industry, media, immigrants or ethnic areas, COVID vaccine manufacturers or vaccine distribution sites, employers who hire ethnic minorities, the LGBT community, “race mixers,” and critical infrastructure — “electricity, water supply, sanitation, fiber-optic cables, cell towers” — in non-white or Jewish areas. “You could even say that if they give out the shot, they should be willing to take a shot as eagerly. Maybe even a few boosters, just in case,” he later writes of doctors who give COVID vaccines.

“Target city pigs; target them at work and after work; target their families; target their children. Destroy the police stations; destroy their materiel; destroy their databases. If possible, strike deals with rural cops – you leave them alone, and they leave you alone. If not possible, the same as for city cops applies,” the manifesto continues. “…Target military bases; target recruitment centers; raid armories and depots if you have the manpower.”

The shooter describes himself as spending “quite some time on the Internet” with anti-Islam sentiment being “probably my first ‘politically incorrect’ thought” and “an interest in the men’s rights movement” as a young teen. “I was a kid cruising the Internet, picking up shit along the way and throwing it away just as quickly,” he wrote. “It all changed in May of 2019. My main two inspirations to carry out an operation, and the main reason I even opened my eyes to the k***s and their plans and decided to resist them, were Brenton Tarrant and John Earnest.”

Tarrant livestreamed his attacks on two mosques in Christchurch, N.Z., leaving behind a manifesto that still is readily accessible online today even as censors attempt to block distribution of the video and manifesto on social media and file-sharing sites. Krajcik wrote that Tarrant’s video “felt ‘different’ to most other content that I had seen before,” and after Earnest attacked a synagogue in Poway, Calif., the next month Krajcik said he then became immersed in 8chan “and from there on I was never the same.”

“Since 2019, I have slowly been preparing: gathering targets, researching and monitoring them, reading about tactics and strategies,” the manifesto continued, with Krajcik stating he received “new inspiration” after this May’s mass shooting at a Buffalo supermarket. 

Payton Gendron, 18, of Conklin, N.Y., allegedly drove about 200 miles to a Tops grocery store in Buffalo and initially opened fire on people in the parking lot before entering the store and continuing to shoot. Ten people were killed and three were wounded. One of the deceased was a retired police officer who was employed as a store security guard; officials said he fired at the shooter but the round did not penetrate the shooter’s body armor.

The shooting was livestreamed via a helmet camera on Twitch. In a 180-page manifesto posted online in conjunction with the attack, the author identifies himself as Gendron and calls himself a populist, fascist, white supremacist, and antisemite. The manifesto declared that Tarrant’s livestream “started everything you see here.” The writer said he started “browsing 4chan in May 2020 after extreme boredom” and digested racist replacement theories “through infographics, shitposts, and memes,” adding that it was at 4chan’s /pol/ that he first saw a GIF of Tarrant’s attack. He said he then located and watched the full livestream and read Tarrant’s manifesto, then “found other fighters, like Patrick Crucius, Anders Breivek, Dylann Roof, and John Earnest.” The writer said he felt “awakened” and decided he “would follow Tarrant’s lead and the attacks of so many others like him.”

Krajcik said that he began writing his own manifesto the month of the Buffalo attack. “Saint Gendron gave me the final nudge, allowing me to overcome my own indecision and begin seriously working towards carrying out an operation,” he wrote, using the terminology in which accelerationists “canonize” white killers who meet certain criteria including deliberate intent, motive, inflicting at least one death, and having a neo-Nazi, white nationalist, or far-right anti-system worldview; Krajcik was quickly labeled a “saint” by accelerationists.

“The final nail in the coffin was Payton Gendron. His livestream gave me new inspiration, a new impulse to do what had to be done after years of procrastination,” Krajcik wrote. “And in Gendron, I saw myself – a young man with his whole life ahead, who decided to fight for something bigger than himself, who fought for what he believed in. He had the same feeling that many others before him, and he took it.”

He later quotes the manifesto attributed to Gendron on why the Buffalo shooter chose the market as a target, and Krajcik proceeds to argue that “enough attacks like this, or individual attacks on a large enough scale against a small enough group, can easily uproot an entire community.”

Slovak officials said they believe Krajcik returned home between the time of the shooting and when he took his own life, and are investigating his parents for not alerting the police. The weapon used in the attack, which police said belonged to the shooter’s father, was reportedly recovered at the residence.

“It is questionable what information the parents had, it is extremely serious that they did not report the matter,” prosecutor Daniel Lipšic said. The gunman’s father, Juraj Krajcik, ran as a parliamentary candidate in 2020 on the ticket of the nationalist party Vlast (Homeland).

Bridget Johnson
Bridget Johnson is the Managing Editor for Homeland Security Today. A veteran journalist whose news articles and analyses have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe, Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor and a foreign policy writer at The Hill. Previously she was an editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and syndicated nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. Bridget is a terrorism analyst and security consultant with a specialty in online open-source extremist propaganda, incitement, recruitment, and training. She hosts and presents in Homeland Security Today law enforcement training webinars studying a range of counterterrorism topics including conspiracy theory extremism, complex coordinated attacks, critical infrastructure attacks, arson terrorism, drone and venue threats, antisemitism and white supremacists, anti-government extremism, and WMD threats. She is a Senior Risk Analyst for Gate 15 and a private investigator. Bridget is an NPR on-air contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, New York Observer, National Review Online, Politico, New York Daily News, The Jerusalem Post, The Hill, Washington Times, RealClearWorld and more, and has myriad television and radio credits including Al-Jazeera, BBC and SiriusXM.

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