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Tuesday, May 30, 2023

The Lineage of Violence: Saints Culture and Militant Accelerationist Terrorism

This ‘Saints Culture’ has emerged as a prominent vector for radicalization and mobilization to violence within the militant accelerationist ecosystem.

In the aftermath of the March 2019 Christchurch attack in New Zealand, shooter Brenton Tarrant was quickly ‘sainted’ by militant accelerationist subcultures online, who depicted him in visual propaganda as a Christian saint in the style of a religious painting (Fig.1). Since then, a collection of so-called ‘Saints’ has expanded, as the community has anointed other far-right terrorists as ‘Saints’, bestowing upon each new attacker a quasi-religious character. This deification is deliberate; it is meant to encourage further attacks by glorifying terrorist violence and sanctifying its perpetrators as martyrs – whether they are living or dead. Today, this ‘Saints Culture’ has emerged as a prominent vector for radicalisation and mobilisation to violence within the militant accelerationist ecosystem.

This Insight will analyse the phenomenon of Saints Culture, examining its evolution and situating it within the context of the broader milieu of militant accelerationist subcultures. In doing so, it will examine the lineage of these Saints and assess their significance as drivers of both online radicalisation and offline violence within online communities that promote militant accelerationism and the glorification of violence.

Read more at the Global Network on Extremism and Technology

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The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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