'Unprecedented' surge in online violent extremism after Christchurch terror attack

The Christchurch terror attack has led to a surge in online extremism among both white supremacist and jihadist groups, according to analysis by a US intelligence company.

Fifty peaceful worshippers were brutally killed when a gunman attacked two mosques in the South Island city in March. Now Rita Katz, director of the SITE Intelligence Group, says the attack has triggered "barrages of propaganda" from extremists.

"For these violent groups and communities, such tragedies are mutually beneficial events," Katz wrote for the Daily Beast.

"Each of these events adds more fuel to extremists' delusions of 'Crusades' and ethnic 'invasions'."

The first of the shootings, at the Al Noor mosque, was livestreamed on Facebook and quickly shared on sites used by far-right extremists like Stormfront and 8chan, as well as so-called free-speech social media platforms like Gab.

Katz says the attack has led to an "unprecedented response" from right-wing extremists.

"Attacks always spark reactions from different extremist communities, but when it comes to the far-right, there was never anything like the response to the Christchurch attack," she told the Sun-Herald.

"If you compared it to jihadist attacks, it was like the 9-11 of far-right terrorists. Even the horrific Norway attacks by Anders Breivik didn't amass this level of universal approval by the far-right."

Many white supremacists continue to praise the gunman's actions and call for similar attacks.

"A month after his attack, those in the far-right still talk online about their desire to [make the killer proud] by committing acts of violence and share endearing artwork of him," Katz said.

"Many of these posts and images likewise incite for violence against Muslims."

At the same time, Katz says the terror attack in New Zealand has spurred Islamic State (IS) and al-Qaeda's online recruitment efforts, with both groups calling for revenge attacks.

The administrators of an IS-linked Telegram channel wrote the attacks were an "example why the Crusaders deserve no mercy at all, and why they should be massacred whenever an opportunity arises".

Another message from Muslim extremists called for revenge attacks against Australians.

"If you find... kuffar travelers from the land of Australia, then stab him!" one message said, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

"If you find they are on the beach, then kill them! If you find those kufr immigrants coming to your country and setting their dirty foot, then kill him!"

The 28-year-old Australian man accused of carrying out the Christchurch terror attack is currently remanded in custody after being charged with 50 counts of murder and 39 of attempted murder.