Members of the Australian neo-Nazi group National Socialist Network.

Far-right extremists still downloading Christchurch massacre footage

Dozens of Australians are still downloading vision of the Christchurch terrorist’s attack and manifesto along with other far-right extremist material, according to a counter-terror probe.

A confidential federal police online tracking project examining right wing radicalisation and peer-to-peer websites estimated that almost three quarters of the most popular extremist files shared involved abhorrent right-wing content.

Most of those were linked to the Christchurch terrorist attack in March 2019.

The findings support remarks this week by ASIO director-general Mike Burgess that Australia’s neo-Nazi cells and other ideologically inspired groups are growing, fuelled by online propaganda about race and COVID-19.

The proliferation of extremist material in the dark corners of the internet also raises questions about the effectiveness of the federal government’s efforts to force tech companies to remove and report extremist material from their online platforms.

The rise of the white supremacy movement and neo-Nazism in Australia was exposed this week after The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald and 60 Minutes published the first part of an eight-month investigation. It included an undercover operation to infiltrate the nation’s largest white supremacist group, the National Socialist Network.

It also revealed the network’s support for the Christchurch terrorist and domestic terror suspects, and their use of encrypted platforms such as Telegram to recruit and organise.

Read the article by Nick McKenzie and Joel Tozer in The Age.