Noah Esbensen: Why did 22 year old shoot 3 dead in Copenhagen Field’s Mall in Denmark. Police decline to state motive while social media is awash in theory amid ongoing nationalist rhetoric and anti immigration lore across Europe.
Why did he do it? In the hours since a 22 year old ‘Ethnic’ Danish national (white Danish man) shot dead 3 and injured 3 others, social media has been awash in theory as to what prompted the allegedly Christian nationalist gunning down shoppers at Field’s Copenhagen shopping mall Sunday early evening.
While police declined to name the gunman, in accordance with Danish privacy laws, social media immediately tied Noah Esbensen seen in video trolling the mall with a Scandinavian Target Rifle as the same man who only days earlier uploaded a series of videos of himself on YouTube where he pointed a rifle to his head, the same one used on Sunday.
Speaking to press, Soren Thomassen, an inspector with the Copenhagen police, offered little of the gunman, except to say he was 22 of Danish white ancestry and had acted alone. The fatalities the inspector said included a man in his 40s and two young people along with three critically wounded local Danish media reported.
While declining to say what motivated the gunman, Thomassen stressed that the initial investigation did not point towards a racist motive or otherwise.
Of note, Esbensen according to witnesses shot randomly and did not appear to be singling out his victims as video captured the man hunkering a large rifle over his shoulder as he went from location to location .
Denmark: Mass shooting in a shopping center in Copenhagen on Sunday, left 3 dead and 3 wounded.
According to eyewitnesses, he was chasing Muslims in the mall.
A 22-year-old Danish man has been arrested in connection with the shooting and police have not yet revealed a motive. pic.twitter.com/yo07mjWE21
— Abdul Quadir – عبد القادر (@Journaltics) July 4, 2022
This is insane. Video of Copenhagen shooter Noah Esbensen pic.twitter.com/xaiv6OeHko
— Fait Accompli XY KPSS (@Arachoid666) July 3, 2022
Terrorist? Christian? White Supremacist? Nationalist?
Nevertheless that didn’t hold back speculation on social media, with claims that Noah Esbensen was a Danish ‘white Christian terrorist’ affiliated with alleged anti Muslim group and far-right Danish political party Stram Kurs– a claim that has not been validated.
That though didn’t discourage further partisan claims.
Posted one user on social media: ‘According to the manifesto of the Danish White Christian terrorist Noah Esbensen, non-white Christians were “stealing & destroying” Christianity they are to blame for the churches of Europe losing “Christian believers” non-whites need hell.’
To date no known manifesto was found or validated by authorities who continued to remain tight lipped as social media bounced from theory to theory as to what may have compelled the 22 year old gunman to go on a mass shooting spree in Denmark. A sight and occurrence rare by European standards, while common place in the United States – but albeit for primarily different reasons.
Other users nevertheless posited that the gunman was influenced by previous white terrorist mass shootings as evidenced in Christchurch, New Zealand and other racially motivated attacks and was devoutly anti-Muslim.
Posted one commentator in a widely upticked post: ‘Today, white supremacist Noah Esbensen went on a shooting rampage in #Copenhagen. His manifesto echoed #ElPaso, #Cristchurch & #Pittsburgh’s terrorist attacks. He called himself a “crusader fighting to cleanse of Muslim invaders.” Right wing rhetoric is inspiring terrorism.’
Implicit was the seething notion of discontent of the ongoing immigration of Arabic and Muslim nationals in Northern Europe, where often such integration has led to a collision of cultural values and accusations of racism, sexism and discrimination. Rhetoric which continues to be exploited in ongoing French national elections as well as tapped on by other national politicians and groups across Europe.
Copenhagen shopping mall Mass shooters Noah Esbensen YouTube channel #Denmark #Copenhagen #Fields #FieldsShooting #fieldsmall #fieldsmalldenmark #fieldsmallshooter #fieldsmallshooting #JaylandWalker #JusticeForJaylandWalker #SayHisName #videomattpresents #OffTopicShow pic.twitter.com/VyZwiFDFdu
— Off Topic Podcast with Host Video Matt (@OffTopicShow2) July 3, 2022
🚨🇩🇰Copenhagen #Fields shooting Update:
The incident was NOT Terror Related. Suspect Noah Esbensen was thinking he was hunting down demons. He kept repeating “they’re not real”!
Danish Police do Not let the media know the details of the incident or the exact number of victims. pic.twitter.com/dKpdGzKZL4
— Terror Alarm (@terror_alarm) July 4, 2022
Failure of integration
Read a recent release from the Brookings Institute: ‘Today, fear of and opposition to Islam or Muslims provides a connective thread uniting otherwise disparate political parties. In Europe, nearly every major right-wing populist party emphasizes cultural and religious objections to Muslim immigration. The bigger issue is that the immigrants in question are Muslim, not that they are immigrants. Importantly, anti-Muslim sentiment also affects Muslims who are already citizens. The ongoing debate then is less about immigration and more about integration.’
Others continued to debate whether Esbensen was a white supremacist, Christian or simply an atheist bent on terrorizing the community whether on religious, ideological or racial grounds. While others suggested the 22 year was simply mentally ill and had sought infamy off the back of his recent YouTube uploads (since removed) of him pointing rifles to his own head.
While authorities did decline to say what ultimately motivated Sunday’s attack, it was understood that the mass shooting underscored a breach in the normally peaceful country, with Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen saying Denmark had suffered a ‘cruel attack.’
What remained to be seen was whether Sunday’s mass shooting on European soil was a ‘one off’ or the culmination of ongoing agitation, political and media rhetoric and posturing, inspiring disillusioned and displaced individuals to seek solace and understanding in a world that no longer made sense to them – at any cost.