British man who inspired racist Buffalo massacre faces possible extradition to US

British man who inspired racist Buffalo massacre faces possible extradition to US

A British man may be extradited to the US after a UK court convicted him of publishing extremist material that inspired the gunman behind a mass shooting that left 10 people dead in Buffalo, New York.

The Times reports that Daniel Harris, 19, made videos that praised right-wing extremists, celebrated acts of ideological violence, and promoted insurrection and terrorism.

One of Harris’s regular viewers was Payton Gendron, 19, who would go on to kill 10 people — all Black — shopping at a Topps grocery store in May.

Investigators did not have to look far to establish the link between Gendron and Harris; the former included screenshots of the latter’s videos in a manifesto he created. The video included calls for white Europeans to carry out a "genocide" against people of colour living in Europe.

During Harris’s trial, the court was told that he celebrated the Buffalo mass shooting in a video he posted just hours after the attack.

Gendron left a comment for Harris on one of his videos, assuring him that "you are not alone my friend," with a smiling emoticon.

Harris was ultimately found guilty of one terrorism charge and acquitted of another. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison and may now be extradited to the US.

Prosecutors in that case did note that Harris was "not necessarily aware" that his content had "encouraged and in part motivated" Gendron.

A judge said even if he did not know, however, the fact that his videos did inspire a violent attack was a "matter of considerable concern in any event."

On Monday, Gendron pleaded guilty to 25 counts brought against him by the state, including 10 counts of first-degree murder and domestic terrorism charges. Under New York state law pleading guilty to a first-degree domestic terror charges results in an automatic life sentence.

Erie County District Attorney John Flynn issued a statement after the hearing saying his office would “request that the court impose the maximum sentence.”

In addition to the state charges, Gendron also faces federal hate crime charges, which carry a possible death penalty sentence if he is convicted.