A collection of images of Charleston church gunman Dylann Roof posing with a gun have surfaced online.
Dylann Storm Roof, 21, shot dead nine people at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina on Wednesday, June 17.
The pictures discovered on a website also show Dylann Roof burning the US flag and visiting a slave plantation.
In one image Dylann Roof is shown staring down the camera while sitting on a chair in camouflage trousers holding a gun.
It is unclear who posted the images on the site, which was found on June 20.
The website with a white supemacist manifesto was taken offline on the same day shortly after it was discovered. Internet records suggest its domain was registered in February to a Dylann Roof in Eastover, South Carolina, but it is unclear who was behind it.
It is not clear who wrote the words and who took the pictures, but the manifesto appears to trace the evolution of the author’s racist worldview and concludes with a section labeled “An Explanation”.
The manifesot reads: “I have no choice. I am not in the position to, alone, go into the ghetto and fight. I chose Charleston because it is most historic city in my state, and at one time had the highest ratio of blacks to Whites in the country. We have no skinheads, no real KKK, no one doing anything but talking on the internet. Well someone has to have the bravery to take it to the real world, and I guess that has to be me.”
Data from the images show many of them were taken in April and May 2015.
Many of the photographs show Dylann Roof posing with the Confederate flag, a symbol used in the US south during the civil war when southern states tried to break away to prevent the abolition of slavery.
It is viewed by many as symbolizing the white supremacy advocated by those states at the time.
The website was discovered by two Twitter users who used a tool to find any domain names registered to Dylann Roof.
Dylan Roof was arrested on June 18 and charged with the murders of nine African-Americans at the Emanuel African Methodist Church in downtown Charleston.
Police said Dylann Roof spent an hour sitting with parishioners inside the church before opening fire on them.
Crowds gathered outside the historic church on June 20 to hear pastors from across the US lead prayers.
The Emanuel AME Church is due to reopen on Sunday, June 21, for a service at 09:00 local time.
President Barack Obama has condemned racism as “a blight” on the American society after white supremacist Dylann Roof killed nine African-Americans in a South Carolina church.
Police are treating the killings at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston on June 17 as a hate crime.
Dylann Roof, 21, appeared in court on June 19 to face nine murder charges.
He showed no emotion as relatives of the victims addressed him directly.
“I forgive you” said one victim’s daughter, fighting back tears.
Speaking in at the US Conference of Mayors in San Francisco, President Barack Obama said: “The apparent motivations of the shooter remind us that racism remains a blight that we have to combat together.
“We have made great progress, but we have to be vigilant because it still lingers.
“And when it’s poisoning the minds of young people, it betrays our ideals and tears our democracy apart.”
The president also praised the families of the victims for the forgiveness they had shown.
Barack Obama said it was “an expression of faith that is unimaginable but that reflects the goodness of the American people”.
He also called for a new debate on gun control, and pushed Congress to follow public opinion.
“It’s not enough for us to express sympathy; we have to take action,” the president said.
A previous proposed bill banning assault weapons failed to win backing in the Senate.
At a Charleston sports arena, thousands gathered on June 19 to remember the victims with prayers. They joined hands to sing We Shall Overcome.
Ahead of the vigil, Charleston Mayor Joseph Riley said: “A hateful person came to this community with some crazy idea he’d be able to divide, but all he did was unite us and make us love each other even more.”
A steady stream of people also brought flowers to place at a memorial in front of the church.
Dylann Roof family earlier released a statement through their lawyer.
“Words cannot express our shock, grief and disbelief as to what happened that night. We are devastated and saddened by what occurred,” the family wrote.
“We have all been touched by the moving words from the victims’ families offering God’s forgiveness and love in the face of such horrible suffering.”
In court in Charleston on June 19, Dylann Roof spoke to confirm his name, age and address and said he was unemployed.
Then relatives were invited by the judge to come forward and speak.
Charleston’s Emanuel AME Church shooting suspect Dylann Storm Roof had recently been given a weapon as a birthday present, according to the gunman’s uncle.
Dylann Roof’s uncle, Carson Cowles, told Reuters that Dylann’s father gave him a .45-calibre handgun.
Carson Cowles said he tried to mentor his 21-year-old nephew, who had no job or driver’s license, but Dylann Roof was not receptive to this idea.
Describing a phone call around the time of Dylann Roof’s birthday in April, Carson Cowles said: “I actually talked to him on the phone briefly for just a few moments and he was saying well I’m outside target practicing with my new gun.”
Dylann Roof’s jacket in a photo on his profile page prominently bears the flags of South Africa and Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, from when the African nations were ruled by the countries’ white minorities.
Richard Cohen, president of Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Alabama, says Dylann Roof wasn’t known to his organization, and it is unclear whether he is connected to any of the 16 white supremacist organizations SPLC has identified as operating in South Carolina.
He says Dylann Roof appears to be a “disaffected white supremacist” based on his Facebook page.
According to the suspect’s Facebook page, he went to White Knoll High School in Lexington, South Carolina, a two-hour drive from Charleston. It says he lives in the state capital Columbia.
A woman who answered a mobile phone belonging to his mother, Amelia Roof, declined to comment to Reuters.
“We will be doing no interviews ever,” she said, before hanging up.
Dylann Roof’s childhood friend, Joey Meek, alerted the FBI when he saw the grey top he was wearing, according to Meek’s mother, Kimberly Kozny.
She told the Associated Press that Roof had worn that sweatshirt over to their house many times as they played Xbox videogames in recent weeks.
Dylann Roof reportedly displayed a Confederate flag on his car license plate.
Court records in South Carolina show he was facing a drug charge and had previously been arrested for trespassing.
Police identified Dylann Roof after receiving tip-offs from friends and family who claimed to recognize him in surveillance footage from the church.
Officials circulated the image, appealing for help finding a suspect in a grey sweatshirt, blue jeans and Timberland boots.
The DoJ says it is investigating the shooting at the Emanuel AME Church as a hate crime.
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