Czech MP spreads disinformation alleging that Florida school shooter was an Antifa member
A week ago today, Nikolas Cruz, a 19-year-old racist, shot and killed 17 people in Parkland, Florida, USA. Cruz attacked a school that he had been expelled from the year before for disciplinary reasons.
The gunman fired at people both inside and outside the school and was later arrested in the nearby town of Coral Springs. The former student has confessed to murder and is a member of a racist organization, Republic of Florida (ROF), that espouses neo-Nazi opinions.
ROF is against so-called "race-mixing" and gay marriage and believes in the alleged superiority of the European, white ancestors of contemporary Americans. Cruz was inducted into the group by another member and then attended its paramilitary training.
In response to Cruz's crime, the ROF has said they were surprised he did not target a Government building for attack. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) informed the media of Cruz's ROF involvement.
Jordan Jereb, the leader of the ROF, told the ADL that Cruz had attended an ROF meeting in Tallahassee. He claims that no order to carry out the attack was ever given by the ROF to the gunman.
"He probably made use of what he learned during our training," Jereb said. He also said he believed somebody from the ROF had bought Cruz a weapon.
"I think somebody bought him a Mosin-Nagant, but that's a repeater rifle. At the school he had a semi-automatic," Jereb said.
The ROF leader also said he believes Cruz may have concealed the repeater rifle in a hideout intended for surviving attack as the group recommends to its members. He characterized the ROF as an organization that "does not want to be a part of the modern world".
The white supremacists have also said they believe it is no coincidence that Cruz chose Valentine's Day for his crime and referenced his problems in a relationship with a girl. The ROF first came to public attention in 2015 when its members attended a counter-demonstration to a protest during which Florida University students set fire to the Confederate flag because they consider it to symbolise the USA's slave era.
Jereb wrote online at the time that in order to achieve his aims it would be enough to get just "1 % of the population" on his side. The group's website uses as its motto a saying from David Lane, an advocate of white supremacy who died more than a decade ago: "That race whose males will not fight to the death to keep and mate with their females will perish."
The ROF website includes instructions for how to join and establish an ROF cell, as well as posts entitled "Signs of a Dying Nation" or "Alpha Males versus Beta Males". The Tallahassee Democrat newspaper reported in 2016 that Jereb had been prosecuted for extorting money from a member of the Office of the Governor of Florida.
Jereb alleged that the son of the official owed him money. He left the official a voicemail message saying "Don't play with me and and don't play with the ROF."
The Heavy.com website has also reported on the racially-motivated crime of William Atchison, who killed two students and them himself last December at a school in New Mexico after regularly contributing to the racist website The Daily Stormer using the nickname "Future Mass Shooter". He was interrogated in 2016 by the FBI and asked about his plans to procure weapons for such a crime.
Atchison told the FBI that his online rants had just been a way to blow off steam. News server Daily Beast reported that Atchison had apparently been obsessed with school shooters.
The ADL characterizes the ROF group in Florida as one that wants to establish a whites'-only state. The group's website says it does not cultivate hatred of minorities "given that we ourselves are a minority" and that it does not cultivate hatred for those who are not white, but that ROF members want to live concentrated in "urban areas where most of the citizens are white".
Czech MP Radek Koten, a member of the extremist-populist "Freedom and Direct Democracy" (SPD) group chaired by Czech MP Tomio Okamura, disseminated untrue information about Cruz during a recent Czech Television broadcast. Koten erroneously alleged that Cruz was a member of Antifa, an anti-fascist extreme left movement, despite the fact that news servers abroad and in the Czech Republic have reported that he was a member of the extremist neo-Nazi ROF group.
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