Photos that appear to be mass-murder suspect Dylann Roof posing with weapons at Confederate grave sites and burning an American flag have turned up on website the includes a white supremacist manifesto, The New York Times
Authorities late Saturday afternoon confirmed the site belonged to Roof, the Washington Post reported.
It's not clear who took the photos, when the manifesto was written, or whether the author is Roof, who is charged with the murder
of nine African-Americans gunned down in a Charleston, South Carolina, church on Wednesday.
The site's domain, lastrhodesian.com, was registered in Roof's name in February, according to the Times. The Associated Press reports that Internet registry records show the registration was made through a Russian registry service — a common tactic used to obscure personal details or hide the identity of those behind a website.
The sentiments expressed in the 2,500-word essay are in line with what Roof told friends and what he said before allegedly opening fire in the church.
"I have no choice. I am not in the position to, alone, go into the ghetto and fight," the manifesto says. "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. We have no skinheads, no real KKK, no one doing anything but talking on the internet. Well someone has to have the bravery to take it to the real world, and I guess that has to be me."
The unsigned manifesto was last updated at 4:44 p.m. ET on Wednesday, the day of the church shootings, the Times reports. "At the time of writing I am in a great hurry,"” it says.
The 60 pictures on the site include a close-up of a .45-caliber pistol. He is accused of using a similar handgun in the church shooting.
The website surfaced as mourners arrived in Charleston from around the United States on Saturday to pay their respects to those killed.
The massacre was the latest in the series of bloody mass shootings in the United State that have reignited a debate over gun control in a country where the right to own firearms is constitutionally protected.
Services were planned throughout the day ahead of a rally in Columbia, the state capital, later in the evening.
Charleston was an important port city during the American Civil War in the 1860's, pitting the breakaway Confederate states against the Union Army under the control of the U.S. federal government.
The main issue dividing the country was slavery, with the rebel Southern states of the Confederacy insisting on their right to decide for themselves whether to allow a practice that was seen as vital to their plantation economy.
Crowds gathered at the Emanuel African Methodist Church from early on Saturday. At the memorial site in front of the church, the oldest African-American congregation in the southern United States, flowers were laid six feet (two meters) deep in places.
Placards and signs offered words of solace and prayer but also frustration at another act of gun violence.
Monte Talmadge, a 63-year-old U.S. Navy veteran, drove nearly 300 miles (480 km) overnight from Raleigh, North Carolina, and sat in a camping chair across the street from the church.
"There was an overwhelming feeling that made me drive here," he said. "A church is a place of worship, not a place for killing."
At a weekly farmers market in Charleston's Marion Square park, a few hundred yards (meters) from the church, residents sat shaded from the sun to eat lunch. Live music was played from a stage. Earlier a group of about 75 people gathered to for gospel singing and prayer in the park.
Residents from across the area were expected to gather in the early evening on the Ravanel Bridge, one of Charleston's main thoroughfares, connecting the city with Mount Pleasant across the Cooper River. Local organizers hoped some 3,000 people would join hands along the bridge's footpath.
A march was also planned for Saturday evening, starting at Wragg Square and ending at the Emanuel AME church a few blocks away.
The first demonstration since the shooting was scheduled for 6 p.m. in Columbia. Activists were calling for the removal of the Confederate battle flag from the grounds of the state house because of what some people see as its racist associations.
The flag was removed from the roof of the state house in 2000 and placed on a monument to the confederate soldier near the legislature. Calls were growing for its removal.
Republican State Representative Doug Brannen has said he will introduce legislation to remove the flag. Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney tweeted that it was a "symbol of racial hatred" for many, and should be removed.
The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.
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