1/ I was losing track, so I thought I would type out everything we know about London attack suspect Nathaniel Veltman so far.

Bringing all the info into one place because the reporting is scattered across different outlets:
2/ (a)The day after the attack, London police said: "There is evidence that this was a planned, premeditated act and that the family was targeted because of their Muslim faith". The suspect did not know the victims.
3/ (b)He has been charged with 4 counts of first-degree murder and 1 count of attempted murder; police are considering additional charges.
(c)So far, he has no known ties to hate groups
(d)He was arrested 7km from the site. He pulled up behind a parked taxi.
4/ The taxi driver says he was wearing body armor, a military-style helmet and clothing that may have had swastikas on it – basically all reporting says he was wearing body armor at the time of his arrest. Some reporting says he had swastika patches as well.
5/ According to the cabbie, Veltman told the taxi driver to call the police, because he “just killed someone”. The taxi driver saw a police car drive by and flagged it down. He said the driver was laughing as he was arrested.
6/ (e)All of his friends and colleagues interviewed by different outlets say he was not islamophobic, racist, or heard him say anything negative about any group. Several friends went fishing with him a few weeks ago and they say he was happy.
7/ (f)Another friend said his new truck – a 2016 Dodge Ram purchased 3 weeks before the attack - was having trouble steering. His great grandmother had passed away the Friday before the attack and a coworker said he seemed “broken up over it”.
8/ The usual neighbor comments about him being “shy and quiet” also being reported.

(g)All reporting says he was Christian – some say he was “very Christian”, read the Bible all the time, and others say he wasn’t an “extreme Christian”.
9/ Still a lot of gaps in reporting here obviously, and I'll update this thread as more stuff comes out. /end
10/ CTV obtained docs filed in Veltman’s parents’ 2016 divorce:

-make no mention of racism or radicalization
-portray someone prone to anger and who was medicated for mental illness.
-parents agreed not to leave him unsupervised with his younger siblings ctvnews.ca/mobile/canada/…

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More from @AmarAmarasingam

9 Apr
1. "Regardless of intent or ignorance of a second meaning". I'm done with y'all.

I found myself just staring at Mia’s initial comments a few hours ago, wondering what state of mind I would need to be in to call someone who mildly critiqued my work a bitch and a whore.
2. And what got me was the audacity and insecurity of it all. @nimmideviarchy critique was sharp, but also one that had been made countless times: that Western writers often bring the “white feminist framework into her probe of female extremists abroad.” lareviewofbooks.org/article/eviden…
3. The proper response to this, one would think – for an adult and tenured professor who has been in the game for a few decades – was to write a response showing where the critique is wrong. An article or tweet thread should suffice. This is how this shit works.
Read 15 tweets
24 Mar
Someone asked whether COVID impacted mass shootings in the US

Not according to the Gun Violence Archive (which defines mass shooting as "4 or more people shot or killed in a single incident, not involving the shooter")

2015: 336
2016: 382
2017: 346
2018: 336
2019: 417
2020: 611
In terms of school shootings, which is defined broadly in the @K12ssdb (see highlight), COVID did have an impact (only 1 active shooter situation in 2020, down from 7 in 2019 and 11 in 2018). chds.us/ssdb/
Read 5 tweets
5 Mar
1/ Some of the discussion so far about QAnon and Evangelicals has been a bit simplistic and ahistorical.

Short thread on some of the mistakes I’ve seen: First, the term "evangelical" in the US means you are talking about around 100 million people.
2/ They are not a homogenous glob moving in tandem. The better term for the precise issue we are talking about is probably "Christian nationalists".
3/ Christian nationalism is an ideology that fights for a fusion of religion and politics, that American civic life needs to be "Christian again". While there's some overlap between evangelicals and Christian nationalists, it's analytically useful to look at them separately.
Read 11 tweets
18 Jan
1. Was making a QAnon reading list for a journalist friend of mine, and thought the rest of you might find it useful as well – especially this week. Enjoy.
2. On origins, @QOrigins did a good summary piece a few weeks ago: bellingcat.com/news/americas/…
3. On spread outward, great piece by @BrandyZadrozny and @oneunderscore__ nbcnews.com/tech/tech-news…
Read 17 tweets
15 Jan
1. I know social media activists are trying to help identify a lot of the people that were at the Jan 6 insurrection, but I’m curious how people feel about this so-called “crowd sourced investigations”? Here’s a short thread on several instances where this has gone wrong:
2. To start, there’s the famous case of Sunil Tripathi from Boston, a young man struggling with depression, who had gone missing in mid-March 2013. After the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013 he was misidentified by social media users as a potential bomber npr.org/sections/codes…
3. There’s also a great documentary about his case: helpusfindsuniltripathi.com
Read 10 tweets
10 Jan
1. (THREAD) So, it seems like the deplatforming debate is once again kicking off, so I thought I would introduce some of the earlier work that was done in this area back when ISIS was buck wild on social media. What have we learned over the last six years might be useful today:
2. One of the earliest studies that discussed the impact of suspensions of ISIS accounts was @intelwire and Morgan's piece: The ISIS Twitter Consensus.

They found that suspensions did have an impact on replies and retweets and overall dissemination. brookings.edu/wp-content/upl…
3. After suspensions, the die-hard supporters dedicated themselves to creating new accounts, but others whittled away: “it appears the pace of account creation has lagged behind the pace of suspensions”
Read 18 tweets

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