Abstract: Since 2015, the Atomwaffen Division has received the bulk of academic and media attention in coverage of the neo-fascist accelerationist movement. Atomwaffen’s criminal history, hyper-violent propaganda, and involvement with neo-Nazi ideologue James Mason gave it a particularly notorious reputation. As a result, many researchers and reporters have referred to Atomwaffen as a keystone group that has generated many affiliates and splinter groups throughout the world. However, evidence from Atomwaffen’s development and collapse reveals that it was not the apex of a hierarchy of groups, but rather one node in a larger network of violent accelerationists. This network is built on membership fluidity, frequent communications, and a shared goal of social destruction. This framework is vital to understanding how and why action against individual groups is not sufficient, and why the threat from Atomwaffen has not faded in spite of its reported “collapse.” The lesson to be drawn from the history of the Atomwaffen Division is that the current threat of neo-fascist accelerationism exists more in the evolution of the network as a whole, rather than in any one individual group.

On July 25, 2020, a blog post appeared on an extreme far-right website that announced the formation of the “National Socialist Order” (NSO), a new terrorist group situated within the broader neo-Nazi accelerationist milieu.1 a The NSO declared that it would “build an Aryan, National Socialist world by any means necessary”, and it would be led by some of the remaining membership of the Atomwaffen Division, a now-defunct U.S.-based group that had gained notoriety for a string of high-profile murders during the 2010s.2

The formation of the NSO out of the remnants of Atomwaffen represents one example of a much larger trend within neo-Nazi accelerationism around the world: the continual collapse, reshuffling, and reemergence of groups over time. A close look at the legacy of Atomwaffen shows that significant fluidity of membership, themes in branding, and shared goals tie its successor groups more closely together than may otherwise be apparent. However, it also reveals that Atomwaffen did not serve as an umbrella group for those that came after it; rather, it is but one node in a much larger global network of accelerationist activity.3

The accelerationist movement encompasses much more than just neo-Nazi and neo-fascist activists, but neo-fascist groups represent its most violent, dangerous, and extreme core: The vast majority of the groups presented in this article have been alleged to have either plotted or participated in violent activity.4 Although these groups generally never expand beyond a few dozen members, their demonstrated commitment to violence for the sake of sparking more violence indicates that investigating the network’s survival and operational strategies is increasingly important.

To advance understanding of how the network has developed, this article will first explore the history of the Atomwaffen Division. Then it will examine the expansive transnational network cultivated by its members and allies, before finally looking at the current state of the network’s activities following disruption efforts by law enforcement agencies. Along the way, it presents a novel way for conceptualizing the threat posed by neo-Nazi accelerationist communities.

The Rise and Fall of Atomwaffen
Emergence and Rise
The Atomwaffen Division was strongly networked with other groups, individuals, and movements from the moment it was founded. It emerged from the Iron March website,b an internet forum that was active from 2011 to 2017.5 Iron March was founded by a man named Alisher Mukhitdinov, who went by the alias Alexander Slavros online. While little is known about the personal life of Mukhitdinov, researchers believe that he is an Uzbek immigrant to Russia.6 He is possibly well-connected to various figures in extreme far-right politics and activism himself, and he claimed in a direct message on Iron March that notorious Russian ideologue Aleksandr Dugin had once recruited him for the Global Revolutionary Alliance.7

While running Iron March, Mukhitdinov played an active role in facilitating discussions, connections, and organization of the website’s members. According to analysis of the Iron March database, he sent nearly 700 direct messages and authored 7,600 forum posts.8 He also frequently assisted in the creation and distribution of propaganda and celebrated the organization of in-person groups, such as Atomwaffen and National Action.9

The result of Mukhitdinov’s efforts and the highly engaged Iron March user base was that the website gave rise to numerous different named groups, many of which went on to commit violence. For example, Matthew Heimbach, a prominent figure in ethnonationalist and accelerationist circles, recruited for the Traditionalist Workers Party in the Iron March forums.10 Heimbach is best known for participating in extensive networking efforts among extreme far-right movements, such as the short-lived Nationalist Front that united the Traditionalist Workers Party, National Socialist Movement, Vanguard America,c and League of the South under one banner.11 Heimbach also forged numerous transnational linkages to neo-fascist movements like Golden Dawn in Greece and the Russian Imperial Movement, which is now a U.S.-designated terrorist organization.12 Vanguard America and Patriot Frontd also originate from organizing efforts on the website.13

Yet Iron March’s most impactful legacy was facilitating the development of a transnational network of openly neo-fascist accelerationist groups. Many of these groups explicitly advocated for the violent overthrow of governments and the creation of totalitarian Aryan nations. After its inception, Iron March provided a natural consolidation point for a number of extant accelerationist subnetworks; members of historically important groups such as the Azov Battalion in Ukraine, CasaPound in Italy, and the transnational white supremacist group Blood and Honour had adopted the forum early on.14 Over time, Iron March increasingly became the de facto gathering place for the global accelerationist movement. The user base grew more strongly linked, and transnational relationships were developed.15

Even as users participated in in-person organizing, training, and activism, the center of gravity remained on Iron March. At its height, the website and the network it had facilitated allowed extremist and terrorist groups to outsource certain important infrastructural and developmental tasks to the crowd, such as the creation of propaganda materials and collaboration on organizational development.16 Users also shared tactical guidebooks alongside ideological and philosophical material, ranging from bomb-making manuals to Nazi tracts and occult books.17

Iron March users ultimately created a number of extreme far-right organizations, including the Australia-based Antipodean Resistance, the U.K.-based National Action,18 e and Atomwaffen Division. These groups boasted mutual support from the Nordic Resistance Movement, Greece’s Golden Dawn, CasaPound, Serbian Action, and Azov Battalion.19Atomwaffen Division thus arose in a cauldron of multinational, multicultural revolutionary fascism, and even in its nascent stages, it could not be easily distinguished from its various affiliations. Iron March data shows that Atomwaffen co-founder Devon Arthurs even reached out on Iron March to a member of the Azov Battalion. Two months before Atomwaffen was announced, Arthurs was actively attempting to get recruited into Azov and travel to Ukraine for training or action.20

Atomwaffen Division was officially unveiled to the Iron March community on October 12, 2015. Founders Brandon Russell and Devon Arthurs had been discussing the group for several months beforehand, and Russell claimed to have been actively organizing and recruiting for the group since at least 2012, although evidence supporting this is scant.21 He and Arthurs spent the next two years engaging with dozens of interested users from across the world, as well as leading in-person action like flyering and military training.22

Atomwaffen based its ideology and goals on infamous neo-Nazi James Mason’s book, Siege, which espouses a form of neo-Nazi accelerationism that emphasizes decentralized, small-cell terrorist violence over mass mobilization.23 Siege, a collection of Mason’s newsletters that was first published in book form in 1992, has been influential in extreme right-wing communities, resulting in the creation of Siegism and Siege Culture as specific threads within the neo-Nazi milieu.24 Throughout its heyday, Atomwaffen leadership required new recruits to read Siege before gaining membership in the group.25

During Atomwaffen’s Iron March era, it promoted the use of Siegism as a branding strategy in order to bring in new recruits while attempting to incite fear and uncertainty in outside observers. Siege and Siegist culture figured heavily into the branding of Atomwaffen. Its propaganda often uses hyper-violent imagery and Nazi iconography, and slogans promote revolutionary upheaval, genocide, and fascist governance.26

Iron March took on development of Atomwaffen propaganda in a crowdsourced fashion. Users who appear to never have taken an active role in the group helped create some of its first designs and slogans. Over the years, the aesthetic that became associated with Atomwaffen (such as certain markers like adding the Totenkopf symbolf to hide faces in photographs or the use of specific fonts) was adopted by various other groups to display alignment with the goals of both Atomwaffen and the greater Iron March network.27

Collapse and Reshuffle
In 2017, violent behavior by Atomwaffen’s members sparked the first widespread series of law enforcement action against the group. In May of that year, Devon Arthurs was charged with murdering two of his roommates, Atomwaffen Division members Jeremy Himmelman and Andrew Oneschuk.28 Arthurs attested that they had been mocking him for converting to Islam.29 g He has since been deemed unfit for trial, and he suffers from diagnosed schizophrenia and autism.30 During the murder investigation, law enforcement also arrested Atomwaffen co-founder Brandon Russell (who had been living with Arthurs, Oneschuk, and Himmelman as well), and they discovered a cache of explosive materials.31 Russell was subsequently charged with unlawful possession of unregistered explosives, to which he pleaded guilty. He is now serving a five-year prison sentence.32

In addition to the Atomwaffen co-founders, other members were arrested for violent acts as well. At the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017, Atomwaffen member Vasillios Pistolis—an active-duty lance corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps—assaulted an activist with a flagpole.33 Later that year, Atomwaffen member Nicholas Giampah allegedly murdered his girlfriend’s parents as a result of their disapproval of his neo-Nazi views.34 Then, in January 2018, Samuel Woodwardi was charged with the murder of Blaze Bernstein, a gay Jewish college student.35

These high-profile crimes brought notoriety to the group but also increased attention from law enforcement. With the arrest of Russell, Arthurs, and several other members, Atomwaffen underwent a leadership shuffle. John Cameron Denton, a member of Atomwaffen since its founding, assumed control of the group and instituted changes in ideology, posture, and branding, bringing in much stronger inspiration from violent occultism as well as a stricter focus on Siege-influenced insurrection.36 In 2017, a teenage Colorado-based Atomwaffen member developed a friendship with Siege author James Mason, who lives in Denver. Mason grew to have a large influence on the group, describing himself as an advisor.37 This connection to Mason was often exploited by Atomwaffen in order to build its reputation within the accelerationist milieu.38

Atomwaffen’s Networked Legacy
Following the high-profile violence of 2017 and early 2018, Atomwaffen’s worldwide reputation among neo-Nazi accelerationists rose dramatically. Denton’s ascension to power coincided with the creation of a number of new groups evoking the same “Siegist,” occultist, and hyper-militarized rhetoric and aesthetics of Atomwaffen. Most importantly, though, these groups often shared numerous members, resulting in a free flow of information and memes. It also resulted in intrinsically close alignment between Atomwaffen and these groups, to the extent that some have been called proxies for Atomwaffen.

At its peak in 2017-2018, Atomwaffen had cultivated a fairly large and geographically diverse presence organized in rough accordance with the tactics presented in Siege.39 At one point active in 23 U.S. states, it also cultivated relationships with a few overseas Atomwaffen-branded branches, most notably Atomwaffen Division Deutschland in Germany and Atomwaffen Division Russland in Russia. While the nature of the relationships is still unclear, the German branch was directly promoted and announced by Atomwaffen’s main social media presence, while the Russian branch was promoted by its German counterpart.40

While Atomwaffen-branded branches clearly attempted to evoke affiliation with the central group, evidence from leaked chat logs and reporting suggests that other groups often described as Atomwaffen affiliates or foreign branches had more implicit and less hierarchical ties.41 These groups generally maintain distinct identities and commanders, but often share many of the same members, ideological and aesthetic inspirations, and even communications channels.42 Relationships of this sort reflect how the Iron March network and its ideologues, including Mukhitdinov, encouraged localized autonomy and de-emphasized direct oversight, even while providing significant operational support. As a result, Atomwaffen and its connected groups have operated largely as nodes in an overarching neo-fascist accelerationist network, rather than proxies for Atomwaffen central. This article specifically focuses on three of the most prominent and violent nodes, which have themselves facilitated the creation of additional groups: the Sonnenkrieg Division, the Feuerkrieg Division, and The Base.

Sonnenkrieg Division
Sonnenkrieg Division emerged in early 2018 with a propaganda campaign on the online messaging platform Gab.43 Research on the group has frequently characterized Sonnenkrieg as an offshoot or branch of Atomwaffen; evidence for an explicit leadership link between the two, however, is scarce.44 What is known is that early Sonnenkrieg propaganda clearly mirrors Atomwaffen’s, from the use of the same font to the inclusion of the Siege Culture website URL.45 In addition, some Atomwaffen members on Gab changed their profile descriptions to include call-outs to Sonnenkrieg.46 Some Sonnenkrieg propaganda was designed by an artist going by the pseudonym “Dark Foreigner,” who has a long history of working with Atomwaffen.47 Finally, according to a BBC report, founder and leader Andrew Dymock has described Sonnenkrieg as “Atomwaffen Division with less guns,” and members from both groups are known to have communicated in the same chat groups.48 However, its “Siegist” aesthetics and rhetoric evoked a trend widely popular among the whole Iron March user base, rather than being exclusive to Atomwaffen.49

Sonnenkrieg appears to be the first example of splinters from existing groups breaking off to form closer relationships with Atomwaffen. Sonnenkrieg members Dymock, Oskar Dunn-Koczorowski, and Michal Szewczuk were all reportedly involved with U.K.-based terrorist group National Action50—which had itself cultivated ties to Atomwaffen, with leader Ben Raymond even meeting Atomwaffen co-founder Brandon Russell in person.51 Dymock, Koczorowski, and Szewczuk had participated in the System Resistance Network, which is generally considered an alias or spinoff of National Action.52 According to third-party reports, the System Resistance Network broke up due to infighting, leading to Dymock starting up Sonnenkrieg as a dedicated “esoteric National Socialist” organization with a core emphasis on violent occultism.53

During its relatively short existence from 2018-2020, Sonnenkrieg gave rise to several plots to commit violence and provided an outlet for the currents of violent occultism that had caused fractures within National Action. Soon after its creation, members called for the murder of Britain’s Prince Harry, violence against police officers, and execution of white women who date non-white men.54 In chat rooms, members also expressed adoration of and calls for the weaponization of sexual violence and pedophilia, which is heavily associated with violent occult communities.55 The advocacy group Hope Not Hate states that Sonnenkrieg members are facing allegations of carrying out some of those fantasies.56

In spite of some recruitment success in the United Kingdom, Sonnenkrieg struggled to expand elsewhere. The proscription of National Action in 2016 by the U.K. government likely contributed to the creation of Sonnenkrieg in the first place, but it also seems to have given British authorities leeway to target Sonnekrieg. In mid-2019, Koczorowski and Szewczuk were imprisoned for terrorism crimes, and Dymock was arrested on charges of terrorism in late 2019;j finally, in February 2020, the British government banned System Resistance Network and Sonnenkrieg Division.57

Since its designation by the U.K. government in February 2020, Sonnenkrieg Division activity has mostly disappeared from public view, although this does not mean that the group has fully collapsed. Further research and monitoring are needed to ascertain whether members continue to organize covertly under the Sonnenkrieg banner or if another linked group has absorbed them.

Andrew Dymock arrives at the Old Bailey, London, where he is appearing on terrorism charges, on January 3, 2020. (Aaron Chown/PA Wire URN:49327516/Press Association via AP Images)

Feuerkrieg Division
The neo-fascist accelerationist network’s reach was given a boost with the establishment in 2018 of Feuerkrieg Division, which rapidly recruited throughout Europe and North America.58 Much like Sonnenkrieg, Feuerkrieg also evoked the aesthetics of Siege Culture and Atomwaffen, clearly drawing inspiration from the American group. It nevertheless retained a separate identity, network of cells, and set of ambitions.59

Feuerkrieg emerged in the Baltic region in late 2018, founded and led by a person who went by the alias “Commander” and who would later be revealed as a 13-year-old Estonian boy.60 In spite of his youth, “Commander” spearheaded global recruitment, facilitated propaganda creation, and showed deep familiarity with neo-fascist doctrine.61 k Leaked chats also show that “Commander” had a deep knowledge of Siege and related literature.62

The group’s leadership initially intended to focus efforts in Central and Eastern Europe, but ambitions quickly grew. “Commander” and early members produced dozens of pieces of propaganda that were aimed directly at recruiting people from across the world.63 Anti-fascist activists who infiltrated Feuerkrieg chats state that the group was designed to be geographically dispersed, and membership only required ideological commitment. Members were not forced to carry out physical action.64 The author’s own review of leaked Feuerkrieg chats revealed significant transnational communication and frequent calls for violence. Feuerkrieg’s social media accounts frequently posted recruitment calls to action, seeking to establish or grow cells in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, Canada, and especially the United States.65

Knowing well that Atomwaffen also had transnational ambitions and extant Atomwaffen cells operated across Europe and North America, these recruitment initiatives suggest that Feuerkrieg may have been trying to develop alongside U.S.-based accelerationists. From the onset, “Commander” appears to have felt invested in making sure that the Feuerkrieg identity remained independent from and equal to Atomwaffen. Feuerkrieg’s chats reveal that “Commander” frequently lashed out at members who suggested that they merge or even directly affiliate with Atomwaffen.66 He expressed particular frustration when journalists referred to his group as Atomwaffen’s Baltic cell.67 “Commander” stressed allegiance to higher ideas, namely “Siegist” culture and the accelerationist doctrine.68

The strained relationship between “Commander” and his Atomwaffen Division counterparts reached a zenith in mid-2019, when American Atomwaffen member Richard Tobin reached out with an offer to completely absorb Feuerkrieg.69 Under this deal, “Commander” would run Atomwaffen Europe but would report to American leadership, while all American Feuerkrieg members would be transferred to Atomwaffen. “Commander” vehemently rejected this proposal.70

“Commander’s” frustration reached a point where he even officially forbade Feuerkrieg members from joining other groups.71 Members, however, ignored this order. Feuerkrieg membership has frequently overlapped with other neo-Nazi accelerationist groups, and the boundaries between them are increasingly blurry. There are numerous instances of people holding joint membership in Atomwaffen and Feuerkrieg, such as Taylor Parker-Dipeppe, who took charge of Feuerkrieg Division following “Commander’s” exit from the group in January 2020. It is likely that this exit coincided with Estonian authorities taking action to prevent “Commander” from continuing to lead the group. Although his youth prohibits the Estonian government from talking specifically about what action the authorities took, “Commander” was no longer the leader of Feuerkrieg as of early 2020.72

During its most active period, Feuerkrieg members were arrested for multiple attempted or thwarted attacks across Europe and the United States. In Europe, Feuerkrieg took responsibility for a failed bombing of Western Union offices in Lithuania in October 2019.73 In addition, a 16-year-old boy from Durham, England, who was linked to Feuerkrieg, planned arson attacks against English synagogues in September 2019; in Feuerkrieg chats, this arrest sparked anger, discussion of calling in bomb threats, and death threats against a police officer.74 In December 2020, Feuerkrieg member Luke Hunter was convicted of terrorism charges for promoting and propagandizing accelerationist violence. He was involved in the social media campaign targeting the police officer who arrested the Durham youth.75

In the United States, federal authorities prevented several other Feuerkrieg attacks. In 2020, Conor Climo admitted to discussing a plan to commit arson against a Las Vegas synagogue, plotting to attack the Anti-Defamation League, and making explosive devices. In a search of his residence, the FBI also discovered explosive precursors, components, and firearms.76 Jarrett William Smith, a 24-year-old soldier, was arrested in September 2019 and pleaded guilty for planning to attack anti-fascist activists and plotting a bombing of a major U.S. news station’s headquarters.77 Notably, Smith was a bridge to at least one additional accelerationist group, as he was in close contact with National Socialist Movement member and attempted terrorist Timothy Wilson. Wilson and Smith had shared information about bomb-making in furtherance of their neo-fascist accelerationist goals; Wilson was later killed in a shootout with the FBI in early 2020 while trying to bomb a hospital.78

Feuerkrieg’s success at establishing such a geographically dispersed presence also resulted in numerous ex-Feuerkrieg members surfacing in a number of other “Siegist” groups in the last two years. Although explicit Feuerkrieg activity has waned since the arrest of Taylor Parker-Dipeppe in February 2020, membership has migrated toward other groups much like Atomwaffen’s did in early 2018.79 In line with accelerationist efforts to target pre-teen and young teen recruitment, teenaged ex-Feuerkrieg members have sometimes set up youth-oriented groups. For example, the American neo-fascist group Iron Youth has operated since at least 2019 and has largely run alongside other, more prominent groups. In February 2021, FBI charged Iron Youth members Christian Mackey and Caleb Nathaniel Oliver with weapons crimes.80 Mackey’s social media accounts show that he was involved in Feuerkrieg recruiting, as was a teenage New Hampshire Iron Youth member, who also participated in The Base.81

The Base
The most obvious example of Atomwaffen’s role as a node in a larger network emerged in 2018 when Rinaldo Nazzaro, going by the alias Norman Spear, began recruiting for an organization called The Base.82 Arising entirely after the demise of Iron March, The Base’s structure and strategies in effect filled some of the same roles for neo-fascist accelerationists. Rather than fashioning itself as a distinct group, The Base from the beginning operated as a decentralized network of “survivalism and self-defense” training camps. It also retained comms channels with many members in Atomwaffen Division.83

Very little is known about Nazzaro. Reports have revealed that he is an American who moved to Russia from New York in the late 2010s, and that he was contracted with the Department of Homeland Security in the past and reportedly the Department of Defense and U.S. Special Forces previously as well.84 No investigations have found an Iron March account owned by Nazzaro. However, his intentions for The Base were clear. According to leaked chats and audio, Nazzaro wanted to recruit members from all over the world to establish Base cells.85 He also frequently asserted that membership in other groups was welcome.86

As a result of this permissive attitude and narrow focus on connecting neo-fascist accelerationists, Nazzaro’s group greatly appealed to members of Atomwaffen and Feuerkrieg, as well as many other similar groups. For example, Feuerkrieg’s leader “Commander” was reportedly in touch with and solicited advice from Nazzaro87 and American Atomwaffen member Tobin. The latter had previously attempted to absorb Feuerkrieg into Atomwaffen and reportedly coordinated The Base’s synagogue vandalism campaign in 2019.88

The Base also provided a bridge between serial founders of smaller groups and the wider community of neo-fascist accelerationists. The aforementioned teenager from New Hampshire spent his high school years involved in a wide array of extreme far-right organizational efforts. He was a member of Feuerkrieg until the February 2020 arrest of Feuerkrieg leader Parker-Dipeppe, and he claimed to also be active in Invictus Youthl and Iron Youth.89 Nazzaro commended the New Hampshire teen for joining The Base following the crackdown against it in early 2020 (which is described in greater detail below).90 In addition, The Base proved to be a welcoming umbrella organization for Green Brigade, a violent eco-fascistm group that had members in Oregon and Sweden.91 Green Brigade was initially only linked to The Base, but later merged with The Base and became its eco-fascist wing.92 It continued to operate as an autonomous cell of The Base throughout its existence.n Although Green Brigade never had more than a handful of members, it nonetheless allegedly carried out the only known example of successful real-world violence by The Base’s network, when two Swedish members burnt down several buildings at a mink farm in Sweden.93

Finally, leaked chats have also revealed that The Base has helped forge further connections between the extreme Siege-focused accelerationist groups like Atomwaffen and groups with less explicit interest in apocalyptic violence, such as Patriot Front94 and fight clubs like Nationalist Social Club 131 (NSC-131).95 Chris Hood, for instance, who led the New England chapter of Patriot Front, was seemingly the first Patriot Front member to seek admittance to The Base. Hood later founded and now leads NSC-131.96 NSC-131 itself developed a network of cells and affiliates, with “NSC”-branded chapters in the southern and midwestern United States, as well as the Rhine-Hesse region of Germany.97 The German chapter has since claimed to have disbanded due to raids,98 and NSC-Dixie has been rebranded the Appalachian Brotherhood; the core New England chapter has stated that it will no longer support other affiliates or cells.99

Situating Atomwaffen in the History of Accelerationism
The pattern of group development shown by Feuerkrieg, Sonnenkrieg, The Base, NSC-131, Patriot Front, and Green Brigade, among others, challenges the conventional wisdom of Atomwaffen as a root, umbrella, or dominant group in the accelerationist network. In the scope of development of the global network, Atomwaffen was and remains important. It played the role of a “Siegism” catalyst, bringing James Mason back to the forefront of accelerationist activity and fully embracing the operational strategies laid out in Siege. To a significant extent, Atomwaffen popularized “Siege culture” and demonstrated to the Iron March community that “Siegism” could succeed in recruitment, radicalization, and mobilization to violence.100

However, Atomwaffen’s strategies, structure, and doctrine were not novel. They emerged from a community on Iron March that had already helped facilitate the development of the like-minded and like-branded group National Action.101 In addition, this community had been nurtured by established groups like Azov Battalion, Nordic Resistance Movement, and Golden Dawn, which provided inspiration and explicit guidance for Atomwaffen.102 Even “Siegist” aesthetics and rhetoric are products of Iron March as a whole, rather than Atomwaffen alone.103 Feuerkrieg, Sonnenkrieg, and The Base similarly emerged from ecosystems of more mature, hardened accelerationists communicating and sharing strategies to destroy Western civilization. As such, when compared to treating Atomwaffen as an umbrella group, concentrating on the network of individuals tied together by common aesthetics, goals, and philosophies is likely better for both researching and responding to accelerationist violence.

The Evolution of the Network
High-profile and widespread action from law enforcement agencies and governments worldwide have disrupted the first wave of recruitment and in-person activities from some nodes in the neo-fascist accelerationist network. Many of the most influential Atomwaffen members have been arrested on suspicion of crimes ranging from illegal weapons possession to murder; some, including founder Brandon Russell, are now in prison.104 In addition, Western governments have increasingly designated Atomwaffen and the National Socialist Order as terrorist organizations, allowing for more extensive law enforcement action to take place.

Law enforcement has made progress in cracking down on the second wave of accelerationist activity as well. The FBI carried out a large disruption effort against The Base in early 2020, which resulted in the virtual collapse of the first iteration of the group.105 Between January and April 2020, federal authorities charged eight members with animal cruelty in connection with a now-infamous “ritual sacrifice” of a ram on a member’s property in Georgia.106 The event included members from both Maryland and Georgia cells of The Base, as well as an ex-Canadian Armed Forces member named Patrik Mathews. Mathews, who served as a recruiter for the group and had illegally jumped the border into the United States, provided paramilitary training at the gathering.107 Mathews and two Maryland-based members had also been charged with weapons-related crimes in early 2020,108 and three Georgia-based members had been indicted for conspiracy to commit murder soon after that.109 Then, in October 2020, the FBI also arrested self-proclaimed Base leader Justen Watkinso and member Alfred Gorman, who participated in a Michigan-based cell, and charged them in connection with an attempt to intimidate a podcaster at their home.110

Feuerkrieg, too, has waned in activity following arrests of some of its members. Parker-Dipeppe, who had reportedly assumed leadership of the group following the disengagement of “Commander,” pleaded guilty to federal conspiracy charges in connection with a harassment campaign in 2020.111 A wave of similar arrests against transnational members resulted in Feuerkrieg declaring that it was disbanding in February 2020.112

However, the aftermath of the first “collapse” of the Atomwaffen Division in late 2017 should dissuade claims that the network itself is defunct. Feuerkrieg, Sonnenkrieg, and The Base, alongside an array of smaller groups, all demonstrated a fluidity of membership, an ease with which new groups and brands are created, and continually open lines of communication via encrypted messaging apps.113 Together, these created a network that does not rely on any one leader or group, and instead persists beyond periodic disruptions. Members even purposefully use this disband-and-rebrand cycle to try to evade prosecutions under terrorism designations abroad, such as National Action’s schisms into multiple aliases after its proscription by the U.K. government in December 2016.114 As a result, the network does not depend on the survival of any one leader, group, or “brand,” but rather relies on its own decentralization and fluidity for resilience.

In fact, the neo-fascist accelerationist network is currently in a reshuffling phase, and evidence is just recently appearing about new efforts to organize. Nazzaro, still living in Russia, has indicated that he intends to reforge The Base’s transnational cells115 and recently worked on recruiting in Australia.116 Some of his recruitment targets included members of the Lads Society, a neo-fascist group with membership links to Antipodean Resistance and its successor, National Socialist Network.117

In addition, reports about the collapse of Atomwaffen likely overstate the impact that arrests have had. It is true that public activity under the Atomwaffen Division name in the United States has largely ceased,118 but as this article has shown, its transnational and cross-group linkages remain powerful forces for continuing terrorist activity. The Atomwaffen brand continues to be used in Europe in particular, and in April 2021, it was reported that a group of far-right extremists had started organizing “Atomwaffen Division Europe.” This cell has no proven link to original Atomwaffen members, but it evokes the same “Siegist” imagery and symbolism.119 Atomwaffen Division Europe’s founding members largely appear to be youth connected to the accelerationist network via Telegram chats.120

Original Atomwaffen members have not disappeared either. As noted at the beginning of this article, in 2020, ex-Atomwaffen members launched a direct successor group, called the National Socialist Order, specifically aiming to continue where Atomwaffen left off. NSO is closely collaborating with the administrators of a fascist website that also publishes James Mason.121 The website, alongside NSO, has begun publishing a series of essays written by Brandon Russell from prison.122 NSO also announced a recruitment push on the website in March 2021.123

Finally, accelerationists have pushed for new online gathering locations to replace Iron March. Fascist Forge, for instance, was created by a member of The Base explicitly aimed to be the new Iron March,124 and leaked user lists reviewed by the author show that several known accelerationists used the site. Fascist Forge itself went defunct in 2020,125 and individuals and groups now generally rely on Telegram, Wire, and an array of other encrypted and alternative apps for communication. Many small cells and groups still seemingly propagandize openly on public Telegram channels.126

Reports show that increased attention from law enforcement has had an effect on the organizational strategies of neo-fascist accelerationists. On Telegram, where this network interacts most openly, users suggested that the age of public brands and propaganda is over, and that accelerationists should focus on small-cell, clandestine, in-person organization.127 However, the biggest risk that counterterrorism authorities face is that a network of recruitment, radicalization, and organization is already established, and a focus on specific groups may not be tackling the root of the issue. Enforcement against individuals and groups is necessary but not sufficient for mitigating the threat posed by neo-fascist accelerationists. As its legacy shows, Atomwaffen was one node in a dynamic network spanning the globe—and treating it as such may allow for more comprehensive, preventative action.     CTC

Alex Newhouse is the Deputy Director of the Center on Terrorism, Extremism, and Counterterrorism at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies. He is a researcher of far-right extremism and a data analyst, and he specializes in analyzing digital and real-world social networks. Twitter: @alexbnewhouse

© 2021 Alex Newhouse

Substantive Notes
[a] “Accelerationism is an ideologically agnostic doctrine of violent and non-violent actions taken to exploit contradictions intrinsic to a political system to ‘accelerate’ its destruction through the friction caused by its features.” Jade Parker, “Accelerationism in America: Threat Perceptions,” Global Network on Extremism & Technology, February 4, 2020.

[b] Iron March was taken down from the internet in 2017, but anonymous anti-fascists obtained the website’s entire database and published it online in 2019. Researchers are now able to access the raw data, which is hosted on archival sites, or they can use activist-run searchable sites. In this article, Iron March data is cited with the author, type of message (either forum post or direct message), and date of post. These citations do not include web links to avoid amplification.

[c] Vanguard America is a neo-fascist organization that is led by Dillon Hopper. Members participated in the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017. James Fields, who committed a terrorist attack at Unite the Right, marched with the group. Vanguard America splintered in 2017-2018, resulting in Patriot Front and the National Socialist Legion. See “Vanguard America,” Anti-Defamation League.

[d] Patriot Front is a neo-fascist group that arose from infighting within Vanguard America. It is led by Thomas Rousseau and is active in flyering and stickering campaigns across the country. See “Patriot Front,” Southern Poverty Law Center.

[e] National Action founder Benjamin Raymond was an administrator of Iron March, and the web forum helped the group recruit and propagandize. However, National Action also arose during the decline of British far-right political parties, and it served as a bridge between the era of the British National Party and English Defence League, and the era of Iron March and more violent Siegist groups. For more on National Action and its co-founders, see Graham Macklin, “‘Only Bullets Will Stop Us!’ – The Banning of National Action in Britain,” Perspectives on Terrorism 12:6 (2018): pp. 104-122.

[f] The Totenkopf is a skull-and-crossbones symbol that had been used by the German/Prussian military since the early 19th century. It was adopted as an insignia of the Nazi SS, which led to its resurrection by white power and accelerationist movements following World War II. See “Totenkopf,” Anti-Defamation League.

[g] Arthurs’ conversion to Islam is not as unusual as it might seem on its face. Neo-fascist accelerationists have not infrequently professed idolization for Islamism and especially jihadism, resulting in the coining of the term “White jihad.” While many accelerationists originally used “White jihad” ironically or exclusively to gain media attention, some have since taken it more seriously. These observations are based on the author’s research on Iron March conversations.

[h] Giampa will stand trial as an adult, as decided in a preliminary hearing in September 2019. See Justin Jouvenal, “Va. teen accused of killing girlfriend’s parents to be tried as an adult,” Washington Post, September 24, 2019.

[i] Woodward has pleaded not guilty. His trial is tentatively scheduled to begin in 2021. See Sean Emery, “After pandemic-related delays, high-profile Orange County court cases looming in 2021,” Orange County Register, December 30, 2020.

[j] Andrew Dymock pleaded not guilty to terrorism and hate charges. He is currently on trial. See “Bath Student Denies Neo-Nazi Terrorism Offences,” BBC, May 18, 2020, and “Andrew Dymock: Accused said Hitler was ‘greatest feminist,’” BBC, May 12, 2021.

[k] Estonian media reporting, leaked materials, and a personal Facebook account support the allegations that “Commander” was 13 years old when he founded Feuerkrieg Division. The Feuerkrieg chats suggest that he considered himself its leader, controlled much of its interactions with other groups, and was thought of as the leader by many of its members. As revealed in the chats, “Commander” clearly believed he controlled the Feuerkrieg brand and spearheaded recruitment worldwide. However, considering Feuerkrieg’s decentralized structure, the Estonian newspaper Eesti Ekspress cautions ascribing leadership to “Commander.” See Michael Kunzelman and Jari Tanner, “He Led a Neo-Nazi Group Linked to Bomb Plots. He Was 13,” Associated Press, April 11, 2020.

[l] Little is known about Invictus Youth beyond the leaked chats where the New Hampshire teen references it. It is likely that it is or was a small, Siege-inspired group with only a few members. Author’s analysis of screenshots of purported leaked chats obtained and published by the activist outlet Eugene Antifa.

[m] Eco-fascism is a strand of far-right extremism that focuses on environmental concerns and climate change as justification for extreme nativism, white supremacy, and accelerationist violence. Eco-fascism is heavily influenced by niche fascist sub-currents, such as Esoteric Hitlerism. For analysis on contemporary eco-fascism, see Alex Amend, “Blood and Vanishing Topsoil,” Political Research Associates, July 9, 2020, and Alexander Reid Ross and Emmi Bevensee, “CARR Research Insight Series: Confronting the Rise of Eco-Fascism Means Grappling with Complex Systems,” Centre for Analysis of the Radical Right, July 7, 2020.

[n] The sheer number of different named cells and splinter groups has the effect of inflating the number of members involved in the accelerationist network. In reality, groups like the Green Brigade and Iron Youth generally have fewer than 10 members involved, while larger groups like Atomwaffen and Feuerkrieg number in the dozens. In spite of this, the hardened beliefs and desire for violence mean that these groups pose significant threats to public safety.

[o] Watkins claimed at the time to be the current leader of The Base, although these claims are difficult to reconcile with the active role Nazzaro had at the time. See Mack Lamoureux and Ben Makuch, “A Leader of Neo-Nazi Terror Group the Base was just Arrested in Michigan,” Vice News, April 19, 2020.

[1] Ben Makuch, “Neo-Nazi Terror Group Atomwaffen Division Re-Emerges Under New Name,” Vice News, August 5, 2020.

[2] Name of website withheld for public safety reasons.

[3] For examples of coverage and research referring to various neo-Nazi groups as Atomwaffen spinoffs and affiliates, see “The Atomwaffen Division: The Evolution of the White Supremacy Threat,” Soufan Center, August 2020; Jon Lewis, Seamus Hughes, Oren Segal, and Ryan Greer, “White Supremacist Terror: Modernizing Our Approach to Today’s Threat,” George Washington University, Program on Extremism, April 2020; Joe Sexton, “Las Vegas Man Arrested in Plots Against Jews Was Said to Be Affiliated With Atomwaffen Division,” ProPublica, August 2019; “Intel Brief: Atomwaffen Goes Global,” Soufan Center, August 2020; Tim Hume, “The German Branch of a U.S. Neo-Nazi Group Has a ‘Kill List’ of Left-Wing Politicians,” Vice News, November 2019; and “Recognizing the global threat transnational white supremacist extremism presents to America and its interests,” H.R. 884, 116th Cong., 2nd sess., introduced in U.S. House of Representatives, March 2020.

[4] For high-level descriptions of Atomwaffen, Sonnenkrieg, and Feuerkrieg violence, see “Atomwaffen Division/National Socialist Order,” Mapping Militant Organizations, Stanford Center for International Security and Cooperation, February 2021. For information on the participation of Vanguard America members (some of whom would become Patriot Front founding members) in the Unite the Right rallies in Charlottesville, Virginia, see “Alleged Charlottesville Driver Who Killed One Rallied With Alt-Right Vanguard America Group,” Southern Poverty Law Center, August 13, 2017. Vanguard America leader Dillon Hopper also frequently attempted to escalate violence in Feuerkrieg discussions. See Chris Schiano, “LEAKED: Neo-Nazi Terrorist ‘Feuerkrieg Division’ Organizing Chats,” Unicorn Riot, March 20, 2020. The Base members have been arrested on suspicion of plotting a murder of anti-fascist activists. See Mack Lamoureux, “FBI Arrests Members of Neo-Nazi Cell Whose Plot to Murder Antifa Couple Was Foiled By a Bad Back,” Vice News, January 17, 2020. Green Brigade members were charged in connection with arson attacks. See Mack Lamoureux, Ben Makuch, and Zachary Kamel, “‘Eco-Fascist’ Arm of Neo-Nazi Terror Group, The Base, Linked to Swedish Arson,” Vice News, January 29, 2020. For more on Unicorn Riot, the “media collective” whose reporting is cited in this and other endnotes, see Baynard Woods, “How Unicorn Riot covers the alt-right without giving them a platform,” Columbia Journalism Review, November 1, 2017, and Troy Patterson, “The Tiny Media Collective That is Delivering Some of the Most Vital Reporting from Minneapolis,” New Yorker, June 3, 2020.

[5] “Atomwaffen Division/National Socialist Order.”

[6] Michael Edison Hayden, “Visions of Chaos: Weighing the Violent Legacy of Iron March,” Southern Poverty Law Center, February 15, 2019.

[7] Alexander Slavros, direct message on Iron March, May 19, 2014.

[8] Author’s analysis of Iron March data.

[9] Examples of Mukhitdinov’s strong support of Atomwaffen and National Action include forum posts on March 13, 2013; March 17, 2016; June 9, 2016; June 22, 2016; and July 4, 2016.

[10] Matthew Heimbach, forum post on Iron March, February 7, 2017.

[11] “Nationalist Front (formerly known as the Aryan Nationalist Alliance),” Anti-Defamation League.

[12] “Matthew Heimbach,” Southern Poverty Law Center; “Inside the Russian Imperial Movement,” Soufan Center, April 2020.

[13] Torsten Ove, “Pittsburgh becomes a ‘hub’ for white supremacists, FBI analysts say,” Morning Call, November 12, 2020; “Meet ‘Patriot Front’: Neo-Nazi network aims to blur lines with militiamen, the alt-right,” Southern Poverty Law Center, December 12, 2017.

[14] Jacques Singer-Emery and Rex Bray, “The Iron March Data Dump Provides a Window Into How White Supremacists Communicate and Recruit,” Lawfare, February 27, 2020.

[15] The observations are based on the author’s research on Iron March.

[16] James Poulter, “The Obscure Neo-Nazi Forum Linked to a Wave of Terror,” Vice News, March 12, 2018.

[17] These observations are based on the author’s analysis of the Iron March database and research into which links and titles were shared on the forums.

[18] For more on National Action, see Graham Macklin, “The Evolution of Extreme-Right Terrorism and Efforts to Counter It in the United Kingdom,” CTC Sentinel 12:1 (2019).

[19] Poulter.

[20] Devon Arthurs, direct message on Iron March, August 26, 2015.

[21] Brandon Russell, forum post on Iron March, October 12, 2015.

[22] “Atomwaffen Division,” Southern Poverty Law Center.

[23] Jacob Ware, “Siege: The Atomwaffen Division and Rising Far-Right Terrorism in the United States,” ICCT, July 9, 2019.

[24] “James Mason,” Southern Poverty Law Center. For more on Siegism, see “James Mason’s Siege: Ties to Extremists,” Counter Extremism Project.

[25] Brandon Russell, direct messages on Iron March; Ware.

[26] These observations are based on the author’s research on Atomwaffen, which includes review of propaganda posted to Iron March and Atomwaffen’s website between 2015-2017.

[27] James Hardy, “‘Siege Culture’ and the Radical Right,” Centre for Analysis of the Radical Right, March 2, 2021; “‘Sonnenkrieg Division’: New Atomwaffen Division-Inspired Propaganda Points to New Group,” American Odyssey, August 12, 2018.

[28] A.C. Thompson, “An Atomwaffen Member Sketched a Map to Take the Neo-Nazis Down. What Path Officials Took Is a Mystery,” ProPublica, October 20, 2018.

[29] Amy Wang, “A neo-Nazi converted to Islam and killed 2 roommates for ‘disrespecting’ his faith, police say,” Washington Post, May 23, 2017.

[30] Dan Sullivan, “One-Time Neo-Nazi Deemed Unfit For Trial in Tampa Murders,” Tampa Bay Times, May 18, 2020.

[31] Ibid.; “Atomwaffen Division/National Socialist Order.”

[32] Niraj Chokshi, “Neo-Nazi Leader in Florida Sentenced to 5 Years Over Homemade Explosives,” New York Times, January 10, 2018.

[33] A.C. Thompson, Ali Winston, and Jake Hanrahan, “Ranks of Notorious Hate Group Include Active-Duty Military,” ProPublica, May 3, 2018; A.C. Thompson and Ali Winston, “U.S. Marine to Be Imprisoned Over Involvement With Hate Groups,” ProPublica, June 20, 2018.

[34] Justin Jouvenal, “Va. teen accused of killing girlfriend’s parents to be tried as an adult,” Washington Post, September 24, 2019.

[35] Priyanka Boghani, Marcia Robiou, and Catherine Trautwein, “Three Murder Suspects Linked to Atomwaffen: Where Their Cases Stand,” PBS Frontline, June 18, 2019.

[36] “Atomwaffen Division/National Socialist Order.”

[37] See the reporting of journalist Nate Thayer. Information about Mason’s involvement with Atomwaffen is corroborated by the group’s own statements. See “Atomwaffen Division,” Southern Poverty Law Center. For more on Mason’s involvement with Atomwaffen, see Ben Makuch, “Audio Recording Claims Neo-Nazi Terror Group Is Disbanding,” Vice News, March 14, 2020.

[38] Poulter.

[39] “Atomwaffen Division,” Southern Poverty Law Center.

[40] “Atomwaffen Division/National Socialist Order;” “Atomwaffen Division — Germany Announces Preparations for ‘Last Long Fight’ in Latest Video,” American Odyssey, June 2, 2018; “The Atomwaffen Division: The Evolution of the White Supremacy Threat.”

[41] For information on Feuerkrieg Division’s leadership, see Schiano. For information on Sonnenkrieg Division’s leadership, see “Sonnenkrieg Division,” Australian National Security.

[42] Shared communications between accelerationist groups have been reported in “The Base,” Southern Poverty Law Center, and in Schiano. For information on shared aesthetics, see “‘Sonnenkrieg Division’: New Atomwaffen Division-Inspired Propaganda Points to New Group;” “Feuerkrieg Division Attempts to Recruit in the United States, Announces Creation of More ‘Cells,’” American Odyssey, August 8, 2019; and “The Base,” Southern Poverty Law Center.

[43] “‘Sonnenkrieg Division’: New Atomwaffen Division-Inspired Propaganda Points to New Group.”

[44] For claims of affiliation or allegiance from Sonnenkrieg to Atomwaffen, see “The Atomwaffen Division: The Evolution of the White Supremacy Threat;” Lewis, Hughes, Segal, and Greer; “Sonnenkrieg Division,” Counter Extremism Project; and Jamie Grierson, “UK to ban neo-Nazi Sonnenkrieg Division as a terrorist group,” Guardian, February 24, 2020.

[45] “‘Sonnenkrieg Division’: New Atomwaffen Division-Inspired Propaganda Points to New Group.”

[46] Ibid.

[47] Ibid.

[48] Daniel Sandford and Daniel De Simone, “British Neo-Nazis suggest Prince Harry should be shot,” BBC, December 5, 2018.

[49] These observations are based on the author’s research on Iron March propaganda threads.

[50] Lizzie Dearden, “Teenage neo-Nazis jailed for inciting terror attacks on Prince Harry and other targets,” Independent, June 18, 2019; Sandford and De Simone; “Andrew Dymock: Student ‘Sought to Stir Up Race War,’” BBC, May 6, 2021.

[51] Matthew Collins and Robbie Mullen, “Nazi Terrorist: The Story of National Action,” HOPE Not Hate, 2019, p. 264.

[52] Dearden, “Teenage neo-Nazis jailed for inciting terror attacks on Prince Harry and other targets;” Sandford and De Simone.

[53] “‘Sonnenkrieg Division’: New Atomwaffen Division-Inspired Propaganda Points to New Group;” “State of Hate 2019,” HOPE Not Hate, February 17, 2019, p. 48.

[54] “Sonnenkrieg Division,” Counter Extremism Project.

[55] Nick Lowles, “Order of Nine Angles,” HOPE Not Hate.

[56] Ibid.

[57] Grierson.

[58] “Feuerkrieg Division,” Anti-Defamation League.

[59] “Feuerkrieg Division Attempts to Recruit in the United States, Announces Creation of More ‘Cells.’”

[60] “Feuerkrieg Division,” Anti-Defamation League.

[61] These observations are based on the author’s review of leaked Feuerkrieg chat logs.

[62] These observations are based on the author’s review of leaked Feuerkrieg chat logs.

[63] “Feuerkrieg Division Attempts to Recruit in the United States, Announces Creation of More ‘Cells.’”

[64] See the reporting of Eugene Antifa. Eugene Antifa is an activist entity with an apparent agenda against what it perceives to be the far-right, so caution is required with regard to the information it presents.

[65] “Feuerkrieg Division Attempts to Recruit in the United States, Announces Creation of More ‘Cells.’”

[66] See the reporting of Eugene Antifa. Eugene Antifa is an activist entity with an apparent agenda against what it perceives to be the far-right, so caution is required with regard to the information it presents.

[67] See the reporting of Eugene Antifa. Eugene Antifa is an activist entity with an apparent agenda against what it perceives to be the far-right, so caution is required with regard to the information it presents.

[68] These observations are based on the author’s review of Feuerkrieg chat logs.

[69] Schiano.

[70] Ibid.

[71] See the reporting of Eugene Antifa. Eugene Antifa is an activist entity with an apparent agenda against what it perceives to be the far-right, so caution is required with regard to the information it presents.

[72] Colin Drury, “‘Commander’ of Feuerkrieg far-right terror group unmasked by police as Estonian boy, 13,” Independent, April 30, 2020.

[73] Daniel De Simone, “Neo-Nazi Group Led By 13-Year-Old Boy to be Banned,” BBC, July 13, 2020.

[74] Daniel De Simone, “Durham Teen Neo-Nazi Became ‘Living Dead,’” BBC, November 22, 2019; Schiano.

[75] Daniel De Simone, “Newcastle Neo-Nazi Extremist Jailed for Terror Offences,” BBC, December 23, 2020; “Luke Hunter: Profile of a Nazi Terror Propagandist,” HOPE Not Hate, December 23, 2020.

[76] “Las Vegas Resident Conor Climo Sentenced for Possession of Bomb-Making Components,” KTNV Las Vegas, November 13, 2020.

[77] Phil Helsel, “Soldier Who Discussed Attack in U.S. Pleads Guilty to Distributing Bomb Instructions,” NBC News, February 10, 2020.

[78] Pete Williams, “Missouri Man Planned to Bomb Hospital During Pandemic to Get Attention for White Supremacist Views,” NBC News, March 30, 2020.

[79] Joe Atmonavage, “20-year-old alleged Neo-Nazi from N.J. charged by feds for plot to intimidate activists, journalists,” NJ.com, February 28, 2020.

[80] “Two Neo-Nazis, Including ‘Jew Slayer,’ Arrested on Weapons Charges,” Anti-Defamation League, February 22, 2021.

[81] Christian Mackey, Twitter post, December 8, 2019; author’s analysis of screenshots of purported leaked chats obtained and published by the activist outlet Eugene Antifa. Eugene Antifa is an activist entity with an apparent agenda against what it perceives to be the far-right, so caution is required with regard to the information it presents. Beyond this general note of caution, the author has no specific reason to doubt the authenticity of the screenshots in question.

[82] Mack Lamoureux, Ben Makuch, and Zachary Kamel, “How One Man Built a Neo-Nazi Insurgency in Trump’s America,” Vice News, October 7, 2020.

[83] Ibid.

[84] Jason Wilson, “Revealed: the True Identity of the Leader of an American Neo-Nazi Terror Group,” Guardian, January 23, 2020; Daniel De Simone, Andrei Soshnikov, and Ali Winston, “Neo-Nazi Rinaldo Nazzaro running US militant group The Base from Russia,” BBC, January 24, 2020; Ben Makuch and Mack Lamoureux, “Neo-Nazi Terror Leader Said to Have Worked With U.S. Special Forces,” Vice News, September 24, 2020; Daniel De Simone and Ali Winston, “Neo-Nazi Militant Group Grooms Teenagers,” BBC, June 22, 2020; Makuch, “Department of Homeland Security Confirms Neo-Nazi Leader Used To Work For It,” Vice News, February 17, 2021.

[85] Lamoureux, Makuch, and Kamel, “How One Man Built a Neo-Nazi Insurgency in Trump’s America.”

[86] Mack Lamoureux, Ben Makuch, and Zachary Kamel, “How a Terror Group Recruited Budding Neo-Nazis,” Vice News, November 24, 2020.

[87] Schiano.

[88] Jason Wilson, “Prepping for a Race War: Documents Reveal Inner Workings of Neo-Nazi Group,” Guardian, January 25, 2020.

[89] Author’s analysis of screenshots of purported leaked chats obtained and published by the activist outlet Eugene Antifa.

[90] Ibid.

[91] Lamoureux, Makuch, and Kamel, “How a Terror Group Recruited Budding Neo-Nazis.”

[92] Lamoureux, Makuch, and Kamel, “‘Eco-Fascist’ Arm of Neo-Nazi Terror Group, The Base, Linked to Swedish Arson.”

[93] Lamoureux, Makuch, and Kamel, “‘Eco-Fascist’ Arm of Neo-Nazi Terror Group, The Base, Linked to Swedish Arson.”

[94] For Hood’s connections to Patriot Front, see Jacqueline Tempera, “Attorney for one of the men accused of posting propaganda for white nationalist group Patriot Front around East Boston says it was just ‘youthful stupidity,’” MassLive, February 19, 2019. For more on Patriot Front, see “Patriot Front,” Southern Poverty Law Center.

[95] Lamoureux, Makuch, and Kamel, “How a Terror Group Recruited Budding Neo-Nazis.” For more on NSC-131, see Quentin Augusto, “New Far-Right Group ‘NSC 131’ Active in Germany,” Belltower News, September 18, 2020.

[96] Ibid.

[97] “Nationalist Social Club,” Anti-Defamation League.

[98] Augusto.

[99] “Nationalist Social Club,” Anti-Defamation League.

[100] These observations are based on the author’s research into Iron March and Atomwaffen Division propaganda.

[101] Poulter.

[102] Singer-Emery and Bray.

[103] These observations are based on the author’s research into Iron March propaganda threads. See also Singer-Emery and Bray.

[104] “Atomwaffen Division,” Southern Poverty Law Center.

[105] Ben Makuch, “Russia-Based Neo-Nazi Terror Leader Offers Training To American Far-Right,” Vice News, November 30, 2020.

[106] Lamoureux, “FBI Arrests Members of Neo-Nazi Cell Whose Plot to Murder Antifa Couple Was Foiled By a Bad Back;” John Bailey, “Five more people indicted in ram killing during white supremacist gathering,” Rome News-Tribune, April 15, 2021.

[107] Ibid.

[108] Kerri Breen, “FBI Arrests Patrik Mathews, Missing Ex-Reservist from Manitoba Accused of Neo-Nazi Ties,” Global News, January 16, 2020.

[109] Lamoureux, “FBI Arrests Members of Neo-Nazi Cell Whose Plot to Murder Antifa Couple Was Foiled By a Bad Back.”

[110] Caroline Linton, “Feds arrest alleged white supremacy group member who claimed to run ‘hate camp’ in Michigan,” CBS News, October 30, 2020.

[111] “Second Neo-Nazi Pleads Guilty to Threats Against Journalists,” King 5, September 21, 2020.

[112] Lizzie Dearden, “Why has Britain Banned a Neo-Nazi Terrorist Group That ‘No Longer Exists’?” Independent, July 14, 2020.

[113] Shared communications between accelerationist groups have been reported in “The Base,” Southern Poverty Law Center and in Schiano.

[114] Lizzie Dearden, “National Action: Factions of neo-Nazi terrorist group active more than two years after government ban,” Independent, April 27, 2019.

[115] Makuch, “Russia-Based Neo-Nazi Terror Leader Offers Training To American Far Right.”

[116] Alex Mann and Kevin Nguyen, “The Base tapes,” ABC News (Australia), March 26, 2021.

[117] National Socialist Order announcement article, name of website withheld for safety reasons.

[118] Ben Makuch, “Atomwaffen Division Leader Pleads Guilty to Terror-Related Crimes,” Vice News, April 8, 2021.

[119] Thilo Manemann, “Attempt to Reform Atomwaffen Division in Europe,” Belltower News, April 19, 2021.

[120] Ibid.

[121] Name of website withheld for public safety reasons.

[122] Name of website withheld for public safety reasons.

[123] Name of website withheld for public safety reasons.

[124] Daniel De Simone and Ali Winston, “Neo-Nazi Militant Group Grooms Teenagers,” BBC, June 22, 2020. For more on Fascist Forge, see Benjamin Lee and Kim Knott, “Fascist Aspirants: Fascist Forge and Ideological Learning in the Extreme Right Online Milieu,” Behavioral Sciences of Terrorism and Political Aggression, 2021.

[125] Joshua Fisher-Birch, “Will a Fascist Forge Successor Emerge?” Counter Extremism Project, October 28, 2020.

[126] These observations are based on the author’s monitoring of neo-fascist accelerationist chats, including several seemingly run by extant extremist groups.

[127] Ben Makuch, “The Far Right Looks to Small Cells and Lone Wolves After Capitol Fiasco,” Vice News, January 26, 2021.

Stay Informed

Sign up to receive updates from CTC.

Sign up