How outsiders become assassins | DW Documentary

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On 9 October 2019, Neo-Nazi Stephan Balliet set out on a killing spree. His target was the Jewish community in Halle in eastern Germany. A well-locked synagogue door prevented dozens of murders on the holiest day of the Jewish year, Yom Kippur.

The assassin was described as a lone wolf. Not a single security authority had the right-wing extremist on their radar. Stephan Balliet shot two people dead and injured two others during the attack, which he live streamed online using a helmet camera. He managed to prepare for the attack completely undetected. There’s been a sharp rise in so-called "lone wolf terrorism" in recent years. Individual perpetrators become radicalized online and justify their murders with fascist manifestos.

In Christchurch, New Zealand, a far-right assailant killed 51 people in two mosques and injured 50 more, some of them seriously. The mass shooting near Munich’s Olympia shopping mall in 2016 followed a similar pattern.

The "lone wolves" and their followers socialize in anonymous internet forums. The manner of their attacks is constantly evolving, for example with the use of live streaming. But how deep does this network run? Security forces are often poorly positioned in the virtual world, and they’re forced to work at a regional or national level to try to tackle the global phenomenon. This documentary delves into the world of the lone wolves and explores the mechanisms behind this radicalization.


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