Friday, November 23, 2007

From Columbine to Kaarst: the new nihilistic terror wave

We, the real people who send our children to school don't have any ECHELONs, CTUs, SD-6s or 8200s units to inform us when a new type of threat emerges, but we still have to realize the sad news: As if we didn't have enough of them already, a new form of anomic or nihilistic terror came into our world. It is very different from the common political / religious / military ones we know, it uses common Internet communication platforms as YouTube channels and Chat rooms. And its targeting our children when they are in school.

According The Guardian, following a tip-off from the Finnish police still investigating the murder of eight people at a school in Tuusula, Finland by an 18-year-old on November 7, 2007, German authorities closed a secondary school in Kaarst, Düsseldorf yesterday after being warned about:

"evidence on a closed internet chatroom conversation between several parties which pointed to plans for an attack in Germany [...] a plan to carry out a massacre, in the latest of a string of violent plots believed to have been hatched by students in internet chat rooms."

No evidenced link between the Finland case and the plot in Germany was reported but it does clear that both attacks appear to be "inspired by the 1999 Columbine shooting in Colorado". Now I don't know if you happen to watch Michael Moore's excellent documentary Bowling for Columbine (if you haven't I suggest you should), but to me, it becomes pretty much clear that we are dealing with a phenomena which will only become stronger over time.

The Internet as we know it was at its early stages when the Columbine terrorists, seen in the above security camera picture (source:, had done their did but the message was still strong enough to get through. Pekka-Eric Auvinen could already post his plans on the web before going on a rampage at his school. Under the YouTube pseudonym Sturmgeist89, he posted a video entitled "Jokela High School Massacre - 11/7/2007" in which he pretty much informed us all about his plans. In addition to a YouTube channel, Sturmgeist89 was also posting to a MySpace page prior to his fatal attack. It should not be so hard to believe that if such an Internet platform was already active, it would obviously might have changed a lot for many Finnish families that don't feel safe anymore.

They say there is some good and bad in just about everything and at least in Germany, where - for the good and the bad - they always have been a model for efficiency, a new Internet platform is now reported to be in planning process, aiming to allow the public sharing information about possible attacks of the new nihilistic terror wave type. I am not sure how much would this system really be a transparent user data sharing / collaboration platform, or just a new way for people to deliver information to police authorities. I hope it's the first, rather than the later, but anyway I am glad its happening and hope this would turn into a global effort, not just a German one. If you are not convinced yet, perhaps you should spend 5 minutes watching the above video posted by YouTube user phoenixgenesis.

The worst school attack in Germany's history took the lives of eighteen people - fourteen teachers, two students and a policeman - in Gutenberg high school in Erfurt, eastern Germany Friday April 26, 2002, but it seems that what this attack didn't do, the recent events do.

The "Not for Public Use" photos above courtesy of


  1. I had the change to read all the material Pekka-Eric Auvinen put in the net before the massagre. In my opinion only one of the messages was alarming and that one he posted an hour before he started his mission. His case is very complicated and he would have needed professional help. Just reporting things like that to police does not benefit at all when individuals like him are concerned.
    This is very complicated and unfortunately all the public discussion in this case has been more or less off track. Finns are really excellent when we want to find out who is to be blamed!!
    I don't really believe in a Finnish terrorist group. Our introvert nature makes that very improbable. Even Auvinen wanted HIMSELF to be the "hero".

  2. It seems to be our duty to report anything that seems out of the way to the proper authorities. It may seem a little "Big Brother" but the responsibility lies with each one of us. Who do we report to, though? It's nice to know that there will be 'Internet Police'. Here, we have 'spoof' groups (such as PayPal) who spot trouble in their own networks. It is helpful to be aware of such. But we do need a larger organization and easy access to it.


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