‘They Instruct You To Build Bombs’: ARD Documentary Reveals How OEZ Killer Radicalized Himself
Before his attack on the Olympia shopping center in Munich, David Sonnebule exchanged views with other potential right-wing terrorists on the Internet. Now two young filmmakers have delved into the internet networks that radicalize young people to this day.
Germany was in shock when, on Friday afternoon in July 2016, the first media reported the shooting of the Olympia shopping center in Munich. To this day, six years later, the question remains how a young man could kill nine people. For a disturbing contribution on Monday night in the first, documentary filmmakers Luca Zug and Alexander Spuri have been closely involved with offender David Sonboli. The movie “Like. Hate. Kill.” (available at ARD Media Library) shows just how severe the threat from right-wing terrorism remains today.
For their documentary, the 20-year-olds at the time of filming didn’t just deal with direction, script, and research together. In order to be able to search online for potential right-wing terrorists faster, Zug and Spöri also developed their own algorithm that combs selected websites for specific terms.
There, on the Internet, David Sonpuli also became an extremist. For example, in chat groups on the Steam gaming platform, which often serve as a gathering place for misogyny, extremism, fantasies of violence and terrorism. “The problem with the scene is that you don’t know how many people are being sarcastic and how many are serious,” said an insider on the film. More than 60 million users are active on Steam every day, and the majority of users don’t even deal with planning an attack.
From a potential killer to the scene of the leak
So how can investigators track down chat groups that are about murder, hate, and hate speech? For example – as Zug and Spöri have shown admirably – by becoming undercover active in the same networks that Sonboly once confirmed in his deadly plan.
This is how the directors came across a young man from Baden-Württemberg who agreed to speak anonymously in the film. “Paul”, as he was called, had contact with the Munich killer in 2016 via corresponding chat rooms. He himself planned to blow up his school: “The more I spend in the online community, the more willing I am to kill. It was like the mission I did: to kill people just to do something.”
Today, as Paul emphasized in the film, he sees himself as a school dropout. He warned against the extremism of only young people who were particularly encouraged to perpetrate acts of violence online by right-wing terrorists. In an interview with Zug and Spöri, extremism researcher Julia Ebner also emphasized that prevention should start online. “Many of these people are anonymous or using pseudonyms and you won’t be able to take them offline immediately in a de-radicalization programme,” she said. It is extremely important to put an end to those at risk as soon as possible.
“They direct the construction of the bombs and help plan attacks”
The problem with this is that violent right-wing extremists are well connected to the internet. As Zug and Spori discovered, communications ranged from Germany and Austria to Poland, the USA and Sweden to South America. “They recruit young men, direct them to make bombs, and help plan attacks,” the duo said. So far, their chat partners have not been contacted by the authorities – although many potential right-wing terrorists are still sharing information online.
So, intriguingly, Alexander Spörri’s online activities prompted investigators to take action: While users with account names like “Ivan der Judenjäger” continue to help plan the attacks, German state security confiscated cell phones, laptops, and hard drives while no The film is still being filmed by the Munich filmmaker. Spori was informed that the tip came from the FBI. An indictment of the skills of local investigative authorities on the Internet? In any case, one thing is clear in the film: “There is a lot of catching up in Germany and also in other European countries,” as was the sobering conclusion of extremism researcher Ebner.
The original origin of this post “ARD Documentary Reveals How an OEZ Killer Radified Himself” comes from Teleschau.