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Al Jazeera has not yet been able to confirm whether Roof is the author of the manifesto. His attorney, public defender Ashley Pennington, was not immediately available for comment. Roof’s father, Ben Roof, told Al Jazeera he did not know if the website belonged to his son and declined to offer any further comment.
However, according to a historical domain registration search conducted by Al Jazeera, lastrhodesian.com was registered to Dylann Roof on February 9, 2015. A day after the initial registration, privacy protections were placed on the registration record, obscuring his identity.
"I was not raised in a racist home or environment," the manifesto states. But the writer says that the Trayvon Martin case awakened a sense of political awareness. “White people are being murdered daily in the streets,” it continues. The manifesto, written in plain text on one unadorned web page, continues with several paragraphs describing the writer's opinions of various communities in the United States, including African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Jews and Hispanics.
One of the photos on the website appears to show Roof at the Museum and Library of Confederate History in Greenville, South Carolina. A man who answered the phone at the museum but refused to give his name tells Al Jazeera that the museum had 14,000 visitors last year. He said they don't have a register, so he could not confirm whether Roof had visited. "If he was here, I’m sorry that he was," the man said. "He doesn’t represent the values of the Sons of Confederate veterans, nor the purpose of the museum."
“In my opinion he was evil,” he added.
The website features multiple images and references to films on white supremacy, including American History X, a 1998 blockbuster featuring Edward Norton as a reforming white supremacist.
It concludes with a section alluding to the writer's motivations for actions, although without specifying what those actions are. “I see all this stuff going on, and I don’t see anyone doing anything about it. And it pisses me off,” the author wrote, quoting “American History X.”
“Well someone has to have the bravery to take it to the real world, and I guess that has to be me,” the website states. “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.”
The manifesto includes no signature, and ends with an apology: "Please forgive any typos, I didnt [sic] have time to check it."
David Douglas, Leslie Perrot, Robert Ray and Stephen Turnham contributed reporting.