The right wing, white supremacist group cited in the online ‘manifesto’ believed to be that of Charleston suspect Dylann Roof, has suggested it would have allowed the 21-year-old to have joined its ranks.

The right wing, white nationalist group cited in the online ‘manifesto’ believed to be that of Charleston suspect Dylann Roof, has suggested it would have allowed the 21-year-old to have joined its ranks.

An online document, believed to be the world of Mr Roof and currently being investigated by federal agents, mentions the Missouri-based Council of Conservative Citizens (CofCC) and claims the group drew his attention to so-called black-on-white crime.

The is said to have an active chapter in South Carolina. Among other things, its Statement of Principles says that it opposes all efforts to mix the races of mankind.

The Southern Poverty Law Centre, which monitors hate crimes and extremism in the US, said on its website that the group was the modern reincarnation of the old White Citizens Councils, which were formed in the 1950s and 1960s to battle school desegregation in the South.

“The group, which initially tried to project a “mainstream” image, has evolved into a crudely white supremacist group whose website has run pictures comparing the late pop singer Michael Jackson to an ape and referred to black people as “a retrograde species of humanity”,” it said.

The organisation, described as a hate group by many civil rights campaigners, has said it “unequivocally condemns Roof’s murderous actions”.

Yet the group has said is stands behind the information posted on its web site about crimes committed by black people.

Spokesman Jared Taylor told The Independent that America did not want to talk about “black on white crime” while claiming it was more than happy to discuss slavery, which ended more than 150 years ago.

“There is a real problem with black on white crime that no one dares to talk about,” he said.

Many organisations have dismissed the CofCC has a hate group, something that Mr Taylor denied. He said the organisation has “thousands” of members and had previously included Hispanic members, though he did not know of any black people who had joined.

Asked if Mr Roof could have joined the group, he said: “We are open to anyone who wants to join. We would rather not have criminals, but there is no litmus test.”

On Monday it was reported by the Guardian that the leader of the CofCC, 62-year-old Earl Holt III, donated tens of thousands of dollars to Republican presidential campaigns, including 2016 candidates such as Ted Cruz, Rick Santorum and Rand Paul.

A spokesperson for candidate Mr Cruz, who received $8,500 in donations from Mr Holt, told reporters that his campaign would be “immediately refunding all those donations.”

Mr Taylor said he could not comment on whether or not Mr Holt had made personal contributions. But he said the CoCC had not made any political donations.

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