New Zealand officials say anti-immigration sentiment drove terror attack

The mayor of Christchurch, New Zealand holds a press conference, and Professor Khaled Beydoun explains how white supremacy is a "uniformed movement" that emboldens violence.
11:45 | 03/15/19

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Transcript for New Zealand officials say anti-immigration sentiment drove terror attack
Happy Friday welcome to the briefing are coming give the Washington bureau of ABC news I'm John San Suu Kyi alongside Katherine falters and our Chief Justice correspondent Pierre Thomas and peers with us today he is we're starting off with that horrific terror attack. In New Zealand we've just gotten the latest numbers. 49 dead 41 injured here you in the teen have been watching this overnight when we first learned of this horrific attack what do we know right now. Well US law enforcement officials are deeply concerned about it because of the scale and the nature of these the attack. White supremacy is the leading indicator for motivation right now law enforcement officials have seen rise in hate crimes here at home. 2017. There was a 17% increase in the number of hate crimes reported compared to the previous year. 8000 victims in 58% of those cases. Race was the motivation when he 2%. Religion was a motivation. That the suspect also. John has some connections to the United States in terms of motivations. He specifically references Dylan roof. Who killed all those people in that black church in South Carolina. A few years ago. He also makes reference as being as part Brett Anderson revenue Anders remic is a white supremacist. Who killed 77 people in Norway. And 2011. Again white supremacy being the motivation. A few weeks ago we had a lieutenant in the Coast Guard. Who was accused of plotting to kill and many democratic politicians here in Washington. His inspiration project as well. Totally. I'm on blue Lee Carroll that I know rain and the big thing there was much he'll force essentially copycats and that's something that we were gonna bring question to our ABC news contributor former us Department of Homeland Security deputy secretary John colonies joining us. Right now John I I know you've been advising our team here is we're trying to figure out the motive here this attack but but right the year John I mean when we. First here he's a tax writing ways carries mentioning different governments around the world are worried about copycats in this scenario. S army has the care mentioned. I mean this is a horrible tragedy for the people of New Zealand. But this is not another in a growing list of attacks in Europe a New Zealand Australia in the United States. Where individuals who are motivated by extreme white supremacist views. Conduct an attack or an act of targeted violence. Again somebody whose debut. As saying as as somebody who. I is antithetical to their ideological viewpoint so law enforcement agencies across the country right now are reaching out to faith leaders. Members of the of immigrant communities. Who. May feel fear as a result. Of this incident New Zealand they're trying to ensure them that -- safe. But they're also keeping their lines of communication open with intelligence organizations and other law enforcement organizations to ensure that there isn't a copycat type of attack. And John I'm learning ran out of the mayor of Christ church museum was actually speaking right now let's take a quick listen to the mayor. Tri-State places because it's close to the hospital very tight so the hospital and said there is sad degrees can make shunned. With the people whose lives have been lost. And we night that the police still had cordoned summitry mosques and we do want to ask people to stay away from nice places. We will ensure that size tributes. Might of trying to pull to the community Asian appropriate time. Tom could make things base. Has come straight as strong desire both sides to contribute money. There are people whose offering financial support. They want to help passed on nice days sounds victim support had seized up in a media as. Help line funds for supporting the fame Amy knows. The victims. Also is terrible I take. And the crash H foundation which has been recently established for the whole side sees up a fund because. That wind just before with the immediate aftermath of what we've experienced some massaging but it will fade. About rebuilding communities three bill would end what has been mosque. And ensuring that the communities or I won't be well supporters into the future and that will be announced by the crushing each foundation. Found this morning. And step all of the flakes are flying at half mile stone counsel are in buildings today aimed until fate and our chefs. Sosa's. An expiration of so that support for the communities. And the law should have been experienced. And so many of being so that we can tipping case so does well. Some of them will be ninety you'll really the cricket to step ahead of the arrival between New Zealand and fun but dish what shots thank. As powerful segment tough. Supporters from buy side salts. The united says they're exporting for Tuesday that would get that here in the city for an important guy in. Two out of her speak to not play that kind today. The Bryan Adams concerts will not presage a and old sported hatred. Just canceled until fear that marshals. And came. And we've been listening right there to the mayor of Christ church New Zealand the end bill will of course Wrenham keep watching the mayor's press conference we'll update as we're learning morbid Catherine back United States. The president actually present in trump just made remarks from the Oval Office about this Terry. When he says he did and we haven't seen the video of this yet it's just breaking now from our Terry Moran who is in there. What the president he said he spoke to the prime minister of New Zealand to express condolences to the entire nation. He promised the prime minister any US assistance he says what are going there was terrible and we will be with them. Under percent or so in Sudan a. And you know as we just start to unpack a little more of what happened in New Zealand over the last several hours did you want to bring in Collette buoyed on she's the author. Islamic phobia understanding the roots and rise of fear also a law professor at the university of Detroit professor a great to have you with us. This out here appreciate you taking the time hum I'm wondering sir if you can you just give us your thoughts. I'm on today in a little bit of what I'm Pierre Thomas and Jon Cohn we're just talking about on the rise of these sorts attacks are seen across the globe. Yes before I talk about you know part of it that the the political real legal ramifications are almost americanized Muslim Pamela numbers Friday. All the holy gaidar's. Sincerest it's like you first eagle with your family members going to show worse or. In the mosque. Bombs go off on oh emotionally. And psychologically trap in which everything that can place. I'm very personal. I guess you back as as you this is saying there mean obviously minutes into the personal connection for you here but it is in New York research series is you've written about this aunt had a view. What common trends have you found. Or unless the reason we obviously think about the rise in social media. And people voicing their anger. Well I think there's finally knowledge mint or eighty emerging acknowledgment that whites are friends the aids they eat. Consolidated. Uniformed universal movement. Next the terrorist New Zealand Rick that terrorists. Like Dylan roofs with armories Frederick in Europe and not coincidentally. Odds are sleazy arms cited those so individuals. Inspirations of its. I'm so it's important to acknowledge that and this is an act of terrorism the manifesto. Clearly in next yeah idea that white supremacy while I was. And are those deviate actors you know I would venture to say that white supremacy is not Britain's. The fact that he cited presidents from as an inspiration. You know also concerns you eat out you know the political discourse is also emboldening that's kind of whites are friends violence as well. There and then here we were actually talking earlier about. Political discourse in this country and around the world how that is a fuel. Right now for many people who are unfortunately. Expressing their anger in these horrific violent ways. Oh let's just go back a couple months if you look at the mass killing at the synagogue in Pittsburgh. That suspect as well. Had very. Radical views about immigration. And that he wrote about on line. And in disgusted so we're seeing a convergence of politics with senior conversions of politics and hate him and in law enforcement officials I can tell you. Are very concerned that despite it we're seeing into isn't it from the rhetoric and then victims. Of this kind of of hate. He's going to turn into more violence and why you see them alerting of people around the country you're seeing the longhorns is stepping up their presence and mosques today and Los Angeles. San Francisco New York. Also Baltimore and Jon Cohen lastly do you before we move on sir you know EU and they've been these positions John in these situations happen. Having a monitor. They know that the response obviously but just. In the lead up to attacks like this John what are folks at the Department of Homeland Security what are we doing as far is monitoring social media and other forms of communication online and as people are expressing their political views. Well I think it's a tricky situation. A very complicated because on the one hand. Particularly people in this country have a right a constitutional right to have it extreme Stotts and to say extreme and hateful things. It's the transition from thought to violence that is the focus from law enforcement organizations like the FBI and local police. So they'll work with the community they will look for people to report. Suspicious behaviors and unusual activity whether it's on social media or in the community. And increasingly were saying law enforcement turned to. I'm threat management strategies are working with the community the mental health. Profession. In order to stop these types of attacks. And professor lastly you on this are I mean you mentioned discern tribute that state is obviously you the most holy day for Muslims around the world. What do you think is running. Through people's minds today. When they woke up to learn the news that happening Christ church. Well real clear they're reassessing whether it's wise treatment under walked into the mosques. Today at a workshop and I think that's one of heat and the objectives and its terrorist act is just then it's important thing about injuring more than just Chile's nine PDT you know. The broader collateral objective is in this individual wanted Muslims to rethink. Practicing their state I'm in reassess whether its stake in western countries to be much the. For press surveyed are and the university of Detroit thank you sir we appreciate you this afternoon Jon Cohen thank you Pierre you're gonna have a full recap on this sound world news that the team. Jeff was will be watching sad story that is in horrible story and. And a really wonderful place New Zealand isn't just a family there actually and I just know that it's deeply upsetting some pesos. Here thank you have more and that's I don't worldnews ten night.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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