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Sikh temple shooter hoped to inspire a wave of hate crimes

Published time: August 07, 2012 17:22
Edited time: August 07, 2012 21:22
Members of Wisconsin's Sikh community conduct a candle-light vigil for six people killed in an attack the day before on a Wisconsin Sikh temple on August 6, 2012 in Brookfield, Wisconsin (AFP Photo / Mira Oberman)

Members of Wisconsin's Sikh community conduct a candle-light vigil for six people killed in an attack the day before on a Wisconsin Sikh temple on August 6, 2012 in Brookfield, Wisconsin (AFP Photo / Mira Oberman)

Investigators say that the man responsible for the massacre at a Sikh temple outside of Milwaukee this weekend urged other white supremacists to take action in lieu of a more passive approach in regards to advancing their ideologies.

Before Wade Michael Page opened fire at an Oak Creek, Wisconsin Sikh temple on Sunday, authorities say he was active in online communities frequented by other alleged white supremacists and members of the Hammerskins Nation faction. In the communication he had with other like-minded individuals over the Web, authorities say Page made a point of telling others to aggressively advance their cause.

"If you are wanting to meet people, get involved and become active," the Associated Press reports Page wrote on the Web last year. "Stop hiding behind the computer or making excuses."

At one point a member of two metal bands considered part of the “hatecore” movement, Page implored his peers, "Stand and fight, don't run," in another post.

"Passive submission is indirect support to the oppressors. Stand up for yourself and live the 14 words,” Page wrote elsewhere, referring to a slogan adopted by other white supremacists and white nationalists first popularized by David Lane, a founding member of a separation hate faction called The Order. In full, the 14 words reads, "We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children."

In an interview with GQ from 2001, a former bandmate of Page is quoted as calling the child he and his partner were expecting as “a little Adolf junior.” The band, Definite Hate, preached pro-white anthems that included lyrics such as “Our heritage is growing / Our people fighting back,” which they emphasized refrains of “Sieg heil!”

Two days after Page’s rampage left seven worshipers dead, investigators say they have yet to turn up any manifesto or other materials that would outline exactly why he targeted a Sikh temple but have uncovered a plethora of online correspondence that introduces them into his world of Internet hate chats.

"We have a lot of information to decipher, to put it all together before we can positively tell you what that motive is — if we can determine that," Oak Creek Police Chief John Edwards tells the press.

On Monday, a senior law enforcement official speaking on condition of anonymity told the Los Angeles Times that Page had been “looked at” by federal investigators for several years but did not provide further information about what agency was interested.

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