Friday, November 23, 2007

Colombine style shootings go Global

You can add school yard massacres to the United States' contribution to global culture. Apparently in the wake of the recent Finnish school attack, authorities have uncovered chatrooms where disaffected youth encouraged one another to plan and carry out their own bloodbaths.

On Friday, police in Cologne [Germany] apparently foiled another plot by two students to launch a massacre in their school using crossbows, air guns and molotov cocktails, which was also planned to coincide with the Emsdetten anniversary. The police have come under criticism for sending the two students home after questioning. The younger boy later committed suicide by throwing himself under a tram.

German police and education authorities have pointed to a worrying growth in copycat incidents as well as a sharp rise in the number of pupils sharing information on the internet, and goading and inspiring each other into carrying out attacks.

The Finnish killer Pekka-Eric Auvinen was believed to have been in touch via the internet with a Pennsylvania teenager who had been planning a Columbine-style attack. This week a British woman alerted police in Norway to a massacre threat against a school in Askoey near Bergen after seeing a suspicious video of on YouTube.

The Columbine massacre in Littleton, Colorado, in which two students killed 13 people before killing themselves, has served as a catalyst for a series of attacks across the United States and abroad, particularly in Germany.

"The phenomenon of massacres by young people in schools in Germany has only existed since Columbine," said Frank Robertz, a Berlin criminologist and author of a book on violence in schools.|School Massacre Plots Hatched on Internet - Guardian| (emphasis added)
From my CERT training and the law enforcement periodicals that I read, I know that police are concerned about terrorist attacks on schools, but it really makes things more complex if the terrorists are students at those schools.

Loren Coleman discusses the pattern of school shootings (including some I had not heard of) over at his blog Copycat Effect.

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