On Wednesday, Austrian authorities reported that they found financial ties between the New Zealand mosque shooter and white nationalist group the Identitarian Movement. The organization that first originated in France has been frequently endorsed by prominent American conservatives including Iowa Representative Steve King, Fox's Tucker Carlson, and Youtuber Lauren Southern.
Prosecutors stated that alleged gunman donated approximately $1,700 to the Identitarian Movement in early 2018. There is now an investigation looking for criminally relevant links between the white nationalist group and the suspect, a spokesman added.
Leader of the Identitarian Movement of Austria Martin Sellner said that although he had “passively received a donation” from the alleged perpetrator, he had no other relation or contact with him. Sellner has had legal troubles in the recent past. In May 2018, along with 16 other members, he was arrested and charged with hate speech from racist demonstrations organized over several years. All 17 including Sellner were eventually acquitted.
Although no evidence has been released yet that connects the Identitarian Movement to the New Zealand attack, the connection shows how far-right ideology can inspire and provoke violent white supremacists.
In September 2018, King was interviewed by Caroline Sommerfield, a prominent figure within the Identitarian Movement. He talked extensively about the "Great Replacement," arguing that nonwhite immigrants are replacing white populations—a notion that was a key tenet of the suspected shooter's manifesto.
Fox News host Tucker Carlson defended Sellner when he and his girlfriend were banned from visiting the U.K. in March 2018.On his primetime news show, he asked why "radical Muslims, more than 4,000 former ISIS fighters, were welcomed" to the U.K., but they were not.