Website shows manifesto of Charleston shooting suspect

The website belonging to Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof contains white supremacist writings and dozens of photos in which he is seen holding firearms.

A photograph posted to a website with a racist manifesto shows Dylann Roof, the Charleston church massacre suspect, posing with a confederate flag and a gun. Handout via Reuters
Powered by automated translation

CHARLESTON // A website appearing to belong to accused Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof contains white supremacist writings and dozens of photographs in which he is seen holding firearms.

It also offers a motive for the crime, one of the most shocking multiple murders of recent years, in a nation familiar with mass shootings.

“I chose Charleston because it is most historic city in my state, and at one time had the highest ratio of blacks to Whites in the country,” a text on the website reads.

US media became aware of the online manifesto only on Saturday, although it appears to have been in existence before the horrific massacre that has stunned the nation.

It was not clear who wrote the unsigned text filled with spelling mistakes, or who took the pictures of Roof, who has been charged with fatally shooting nine African Americans at a black church in the Charleston.

However, US media said the website was registered in February in the name of Dylann Roof, the 21-year old white man who has been charged with the murders of nine African-Americans at the Emanuel African Methodist Church in Charleston, South Carolina, on Wednesday.

The website showed dozens of photographs of Roof holding weapons, burning an American flag and visiting plantations and other sites that appeared to harken back to the slavery-era US South.

“We are told to accept what is happening to us because of ancestors wrong doing, but it is all based on historical lies, exaggerations and myths,” the author writes in the text of the site.

A section of the manifesto, titled “an explanation”, reads: “I have no choice. I am not in the position to, alone, go into the ghetto and fight.”

It went on: “We have no skinheads, no real KKK, no one doing anything but talking on the internet. Well someone has to have the bravery to take it to the real world, and I guess that has to be me.”

In the photographs, Roof is shown wearing a black jacket with flags from apartheid-era South Africa and Rhodesia.

Roof also is seen posing with wax reproductions of slaves in other photographs, holding a 19th-century Confederate flag from southern states where slavery was practised, standing at the site of a slave plantation, and pointing a handgun at the camera.

He appears alone in all of the pictures.

The website surfaced as mourners arrived in Charleston from around the United States to pay their respects to the victims of the attack. Services were planned throughout the day ahead of a rally in South Carolina’s state capital, Columbia, later in the evening.

Crowds began to gather at the Emanuel African Methodist Church early on Saturday.

At the memorial site in front of the church, the oldest African-American congregation in the southern United States, flowers were laid two metres deep in places.

Placards and signs offered words of solace and prayer but also frustration at another act of gun violence.

The killings in Charleston have renewed a national debate between advocates of tighter controls on gun possession and supporters of unfettered access to firearms, which they assert is protected under the US constitution.

* Agence France-Presse and Reuters