WORTHINGTON, Ohio (WCMH) – Did the man who allegedly gunned down 9 people in a Charleston church exchange hate messages on a neo-Nazi website based here in central Ohio?
According to experts, the answer is yes.
A neo-Nazi website filled with anti-Jewish, anti-black messages began in Worthington.
It’s so popular among white supremacists that evidence now shows that even the notorious Charleston shooter posted comments here before he allegedly killed 9 people in South Carolina.
The Daily Stormer is named after the former propaganda paper of Nazi Germany, called “DerSturmer.”
It’s filled with messages of hate.
The man behind it? Thirty-one-year-old Andrew Anglin..who, up until recently, lived in Worthington.
Mark Pitcavage, director of investigative research for the Anti-Defamation League, has tracked Anglin for years.
“Andrew Anglin is one of the more energetic young white supremacists in the United States who has really dedicated his entire life, once he made the decision to spreading messages of hate across the country and beyond,” Pitcavage said.
Anglin’s Daily Stormer is so popular among white supremacists, it appears even Dylann Roof, the alleged gunman behind the carnage in Charleston, was a contributor to it.
“I think few people in central Ohio would have thought there could be any connection between the Charlestown shootings and the Columbus area,” said Pitcavage.
Pitcavage said websites like this are certainly responsible for racist violence.
“White supremacist websites, many of which have implicit suggestions of violence or at the very least demonize various individuals or communities of people…might make someone want to target them because they are the enemy,” he said. “They definitely play a role in the decision-making process that causes some people to become violent.”
The Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups and white supremacists, took a racist manifesto written by Roof and searched the web to find similarities. They found Roof’s writing posted repeatedly on the Daily Stormer, using the name AryanBlood1488.
The language is nearly the same as Roof’s, and one section is identical to what’s in his manifesto.
There are similarities in other posts, too.
Pitcavage said he believes Roof wrote these posts.
“I think the best way to put it is that there was enough of a connection in the ideas embodied in Andrew Anglin’s Daily Stormer website and Dylan Storm Roof’s own twisted beliefs that Dylann Roof felt comfortable in actually creating an account and posting messages to that site,” he said.
NBC4’s Duane Pohlman tracked an address in Dublin tied to Andrew Anglin, and found his mother.
She didn’t want to talk.
While she didn’t want to talk, his uncle tells NBC4 the family hasn’t heard from Andrew in months-and even they don’t know where he is right now.
Wherever he is, he continues to operate that website, where messages of hate are exchanged every day.