Chris Harper-Mercer Was an Islamist Terrorist with Ties to ISIS-Fiction!
Summary of eRumor:
Chris Harper-Mercer, the 26-year-old man who murdered 10 people at a community college in Oregon, was an Islamist terrorist with ties to the terrorist group ISIS.
There’s been no indication that Chris Harper Mercer was motivated by Islamist terrorism to murder 10 people at Umpqua Community College in Oregon.
Those rumors surfaced shortly after authorities identified Chris Harper-Mercer as the gunman in the mass murder. It has since been reported that Harper-Mercer wasn’t affiliated with any religion and was opposed to the concept of organized religion, however.
Shortly after the mass shooting, the conservative blogger Charles C. Johnson published a report headlined, “Confirmed: Chris Harper-Mercer is 26 Year-old Muslim Killer.” The report, which had been shared nearly 70,000 times on Facebook, supposedly linked Harper-Mercer to Islamist terrorism through a MySpace profile that he had created.
After further review, however, Chris Harper-Mercer’s MySpace page would seem to indicate that he was not motivated by Islamist terrorism, not that he was. Harper-Mercer shared propaganda for the Irish Republican Army (IRA), a Catholic nationalist group, on his profile page:
Given that Catholic nationalists who wanted to push back against the Protestant majority in Northern Ireland established the IRA, it’s highly unlikely that someone with radical Islamic beliefs would spread the group’s propaganda.
Chris Harper-Mercer also identified himself as “not-religious, but spiritual” in a profile that he posted on a dating website, which would seem unusual for a man with radical Islamic beliefs:
Also, Harper-Mercer’s user name was listed on the site as“IRONCROSS45,” a reference to Nazism and symbol of white supremacy, according to the Anti-Defamation League:
In the United States, however, the Iron Cross also became one of several Nazi-era symbols adopted by outlaw bikers, more to signify rebellion or to shock than for any white supremacist ideology. By the early 2000s, this other use of the Iron Cross had spread from bikers to skateboarders and many extreme sports enthusiasts and became part of the logo of several different companies producing equipment and clothing for this audience. Consequently, the use of the Iron Cross in a non-racist context has greatly proliferated in the United States, to the point that an Iron Cross in isolation (i.e., without a superimposed swastika or without other accompanying hate symbols) cannot be determined to be a hate symbol. Care must therefore be used to correctly interpret this symbol in whatever context in which it may be found.
Then, later on, it was reported that a manifesto that Chris Harper-Mercer left behind on the science of the mass shooting made satanic references and said he would be “welcomed in Hell and embraced by the devil.”
Few details about the manifesto, or Chris Harper-Mercer’s motives were made clear in the days following the mass shooting. But Chris Harper-Mercer’s father is from Lancashire, England, and local media there spoke with a police spokesperson about the manifesto:
Last night a police source confirmed that Mercer – whose father Ian is from Preston, Lancashire – had left behind a typewritten manifesto along with a computer drive outlining his ‘motives’ for the massacre.
”He had a hatred of black people, women, everyone,’ the source said, adding: “The drive and manifesto are being analysed. There is a lot about his hatred of organised religion.”
There has been a lot of speculation about what motivated Chris Harper-Mercer to kill, but there’s no indication that he was an Islamist terrorist.