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Posts Indicate Suspect in Toronto Attack Was Radicalized on 4chan

Photo: Screenshot via CBC News

In Toronto yesterday, authorities say Alek Minassian drove a van into a crowded area, killing ten people. Minassian was arrested at the scene and has been charged on multiple counts of murder and attempted murder. In the aftermath of his attack, a recent post on Minassian’s Facebook shed light on why he might have committed the crime.

Yesterday afternoon, Minassian wrote:

Private (Recruit) Minassian Infantry 00010, wishing to speak to Sgt 4chan please. C23249161. The Incel Rebellion has already begun! We will overthrow all the Chads and Stacys! All hail the Supreme Gentleman Elliot Rodger.

Facebook has confirmed the message as authentic. “Sgt 4chan” obviously refers to 4chan, the anonymous message board that incubates hate speech and misogyny online. The “incel rebellion” refers to an uprising of involuntary celibates, people that nobody will have sex with. In addition to 4chan, self-declared incels also congregated on Reddit’s r/Incels board. In incel vocabulary, “Chads” are conventionally attractive men and the only type of men that “Stacys” pay attention to.

“Supreme Gentleman Elliot Rodger” refers to Elliot Rodger, the mass shooter who, in 2014, killed six people, motivated by wanting to punish women who ignored him and the men they preferred. He has become something of a martyr and taboo joke within the 4chan ecosystem.

The posts point to a young man whose worldview was heavily influenced by the grievance culture that defines message boards like r/Incel and certain sections of 4chan. Reddit shut down the Incels board last November, saying that the forum violated the site’s rules prohibiting content that “encourages, glorifies, incites or calls for violence or physical harm against an individual or group of people.” It was not uncommon for users on the forum to condone sexual assault, and the sentiment that women use men via sexual manipulation was universal among posters.

Suspect in Toronto Posts About ‘Incel Rebellion’