Neo-Nazis, White Supremacists Move Underground Due To Government Pressure – Setting The Stage For Emergence Of Radicalized Offshoot Ideologies Such As 'White Jihad'

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June 24, 2021

By: Steven Stalinsky and R. Sosnow*

Table of Contents

Introduction: "White Jihad" – An Islamic Religious Dimension To Neo-Nazism And White Supremacism

Cases Of Individual Neo-Nazis And White Supremacists With A Jihadi Connection: U.S., U.K., Germany, International

  • Examples of Neo-Nazi and White Supremacist Jihadi Social Media Posts

  • Calls For "White Jihad," "Holy War," And Jihadi-Style Violence

  • Admiration For Jihadis – Including Jihadi Beheadings

  • Glorifying Martyrdom And Jihad

  • Sharing Al-Qaeda Guide For Guerilla War, Manuals For Building Homemade Weapons Used By Jihadis  

  • References To "Martyrs"

  • References To "Sharia" And Islam

  • Videos With Islamic Nasheeds (Songs) – Like ISIS Videos

Neo-Nazi And White Supremacist Support For Hizbullah, A Shi'ite Jihadi Terrorist Organization

 

Introduction: "White Jihad" – An Islamic Religious Dimension To Neo-Nazism And White Supremacism

In recent years, as neo-Nazism and white supremacism are emerging into become a growing transnational movement, some elements in these groups are showing an attraction to jihadism. This is reflected in posts by these groups and their followers online.

Arrested neo-Nazis have been found with Islamic State (ISIS) videos and ISIS monthly infographics featuring attacks carried out against U.S., French, and British "Crusaders" in Syria and Iraq, the numbers of enemy casualties, and the damage done to vehicles and buildings on their computers, in addition to speeches by Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and other Al-Qaeda materials such as its English-language Inspire magazine.

A recent example underlining this threat was the May 28, 2021 arrest of neo-Nazi Coleman Blevins, aka Korb, in Kerrville, Texas on a warrant for a "terroristic threat to create public fear of serious bodily injury," including planning a mass shooting at a Walmart.[1] Blevins, a neo-Nazi "clerical fascist,"[2] is the leader of an extreme right organization that incorporates and promotes a range of extremist religious ideologies including neo-Nazism, clerical fascism, Order of Nine Angles (O9A) Satanism, and Salafi-jihadism.

Authorities said that the search of Blevins' residence turned up "firearms, ammunition, electronic evidence, concentrated THC, and radical ideology paraphernalia, including books, flags, and handwritten documents." It added that he was on "active felony probation and is prohibited from possessing firearms."[3]


Photo from Kerr County Sheriff's Office announcement of the arrest on Facebook. Source: Facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=4367463569952275&id=489002431131761, May 30, 2021.


Items seized at Blevins' residence. Left to right on table: a Quran, extremist literature including Harassment Architecture by Mike Ma, The Turner Diaries by the late leading American neo-Nazi William Luther Pierce, and Revolt Against The Modern World by Julius Evola, along with psychiatrist Carl Jung's The Red Book. Along the back wall are a neo-Nazi flag with an othala rune and a sonnenrad, a Confederate flag, a Saudi flag, and a Falangist flag. The black flag along the bottom features the Calvary Cross of the Russian Orthodox Church. Photo from Kerr County Sheriff's Office announcement of the arrest on Facebook. Source: Facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=4367463569952275&id=489002431131761, May 30, 2021.

It is noteworthy that violent anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant groups and individuals, including former members of the U.S. military, are expressing admiration for jihad and jihadis and their skill at killing and for their hatred of the U.S. government, and are incorporating elements of this ideology into their own.

One example is the MoonKriegDivision **OFFICIAL** Telegram channel, which identifies itself as "strictly national socialist," that issued a call for "White Jihad Now" along with a call to bomb the headquarters of an airline company. It shared the shahada, the Islamic declaration of faith, in Arabic: "Ashhadu Alla Ilaha Illa Allah Wa Ashhadu Anna Muhammad Rasulu Allah."

Western governments are cracking down on domestic terrorist groups. These governmental measures include the UK's ban on the violent neo-Nazi Atomwaffen Division as terrorist,[4] the U.S. designation of the white supremacist Russian Imperial Movement and three of its leaders as Specially Designated Foreign Terrorists,[5] and Canada's declaration of the Proud Boys as terrorist. Other actions include letters to the State Department by Congressmen, both earlier this year[6] and as far back as March[7] and October 2019,[8] urging the designation as terrorist of various actors, including the Ukrainian volunteer Azov Battalion that is known for attracting foreign extreme-right and neo-Nazi members.

Over the past two years, the MEMRI Domestic Terrorism Threat Monitor (DTTM) research team has been documenting numerous cases of discussion of "white jihad" among neo-Nazis and white supremacists. The team found that these neo-Nazis and white supremacists are praising jihadis and pointing out and emphasizing similarities with them.

They are lauding beheadings and embracing ISIS executioner Jihadi John, sharing images of mass executions carried out by ISIS, promoting martyrdom, citing jihadis' use of explosive belts, using the one-finger upward-pointing gesture that jihadis use to indicate Islamic monotheism, reiterating the slogan "Death to America," using Islamic nasheeds (religious songs) in their videos like ISIS does, calling for "jihad," and expressing admiration for how ISIS instilled fear in the West and for their methods of "urban warfare."

Neo-Nazis and white supremacists have also expressed support for anti-Israel terror organizations such as Hamas and Hizbullah, which endorse and promote jihad, and also express admiration for mujahideen, i.e. jihad fighters.

Government officials are noting that while extremists were once easily classified into distinct categories, that is no longer the case, and "blended ideologies" are becoming more evident. At a March 2, 2021 Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, FBI Director Christopher Wray underlined that terrorism has been "metastasizing" into "blended ideologies": "One of the things that we struggle with, in particular, is that more and more the ideologies ... that are motivating some of these violent extremists are less and less coherent, less and less linear, less and less easy to kind of pin down. And in some cases it seems like people [are] coming up with their own sort of customized belief systems... maybe combined with some personal grievance."[9] Whatever the ideology, however, the radicalization process is the same.[10]

Leading media members who have long focused on jihadi terrorism recently noted the similarities between its adherents and neo-Nazis and white supremacists, and even QAnon. Jim Sciutto, CNN anchor and chief national security correspondent, stressed in a recent op-ed that both domestic extremism and jihadi terrorism are "driven by alienation from the political system and a resulting breakdown in social norms," leading in some cases to "violence they see as justified to achieve political ends." He added that both are "drawn to a cause greater than themselves that gives them a shared identity and a mission to correct perceived wrongs" and have a "profound sense of victimization and humiliation" and "feel compelled to take matters into their own hands, even by acts of violence."[11]

In another recent op-ed, Brent Giannotta of the Los Angeles Times wrote that having spent five years researching the psychology of ISIS foreign fighters who went to Iraq and Syria to join the organization, he had seen parallels between their mentality and the mentality of conspiracy theory proponents who participated in the January 6, 2021 Capitol riot. While ISIS ideology is "not widely considered a conspiracy theory," he stated, "its main objective, to militarily destroy the West," is highly unlikely to come to pass.[12] 

Additionally, as early as March 2019, counterterrorism experts were saying that neo-Nazis and other extremists in Britain were accessing and downloading materials for planning attacks published by their ideological enemies, ISIS.[13] The kind of mass vehicle ramming attacks popular with Islamic extremists have been adopted by the violent and extreme right.[14]

One U.K-based group that is now banned, National Action, consciously copies the language and imagery of ISIS and other jihadi propaganda, blending neo-Nazi ideology and white jihadi training methods. Its leaders have travelled across Europe building alliances and joining hardline protests.[15] The international violent neo-Nazi group Feuerkrieg Division, established in Estonia in 2018 by a 13-year-old boy, calls for "white jihad"; the group has spread across Europe and particularly the U.S., and has been linked to numerous criminal investigations and convictions.[16] At the trial for one U.S. man sentenced in 2018 to 15 years in prison for material support of a terrorist organization and obstruction of justice, an expert testified about eight cases involving neo-Nazis who had embraced militant Islam and engaged in violence or terror support.[17]

Another development concerning similarity between neo-Nazis/white supremacists and jihadis is that both are being removed from social media platforms – and jihadis have advice for them. In its April 14, 2021 issue, the Al-Qaeda Ummah Wahida ("One Ummah") magazine advises this unexpected audience to follow in Al-Qaeda's and other jihadis' footsteps and benefit from their knowledge when mainstream social media removes their accounts: "...Learn from the experience of the jihadi fighters who faced these risks and how they avoided them... Find answers in [Al-Qaeda's English-language] Inspire magazine."[18]  


Cover of April 14, 2021 issue of Al-Qaeda's Ummah Wahida magazine

As MEMRI analysis pointed out in 2019, there are fundamental similarities between Muslim jihadi terrorists and white supremacist terrorists. Both pursue a quest for meaning in their lives, finding it in the form of a mission – for example, eliminating threats to the group with which they identify and/or avenging its humiliation, or rectifying a perceived injustice. Such a motive is stated explicitly in the manifesto written by Poway, California synagogue shooter John Earnest: "My act of defense is... the statement that I made. There is at least one European man alive who is willing to take a stand against the injustice that the Jew has inflicted upon him. That my act will inspire others to take a stand as well." Neo-Nazis and white supremacists are, like jihadis, fanatical and sincere believers and perceive themselves as acting in self-defense – and this is key to understanding their state of mind and the depth of their ideological commitment. Also like jihadis, they generally operate in "online packs" across the Internet, where they find social support from others who share their beliefs and where their convictions are strengthened.[19]

Also two years ago, MEMRI analysis pointed out neo-Nazi and white supremacist discussion of the ideology of "white sharia," which was introduced in 2017 by Andrew Anglin, operator of the Daily Stormer white supremacist website; he proposed it as a means for controlling women and restoring white masculinity. On Gab, users have called for whites to convert to Islam and follow shari'a law. User "White Sharia" explained the appeal of Islam to whites as emphasizing high birthrates and a traditional family structure, and opposing mass immigration and Jews. He wrote: "High fertility rates (the true salvation of the White race); Nuclear families; Tradition; Prayer; A perfect legal system; Interest free banking; No usury; Jews are to be eradicated, as per the Quran; End Times is signaled by the death of Jewry, then peace reigns on Earth." He added that European women are converting to Islam because "women long for the Sharia treatment." User Anointedaryan argued that the Jews are the reason for the need for "white sharia"; "Jews have demonized healthy white masculinity while casting Islam in a positive light in the west... It's truly evil how Jews have erased every aspect of whites' identity so that they seek it out in other cultures, then criticize them for appropriation!"[20]

The MEMRI DTTM team has identified a significant rise in neo-Nazis' and white supremacists' discussion of "white jihad," and evidence of admiration of and sympathy for jihadi terrorists. Counterterrorism efforts need to study further developments in this area – especially when groups that promote this concept go underground.

The following report highlights cases of neo-Nazi and white supremacists calling for "white jihad" and expressing admiration for ISIS and other jihad groups, mostly on the encrypted messaging app Telegram. They include members and supporters of Atomwaffen Division, the Boogaloo movement, the outlawed UK-based National Action, the Ku Klux Klan, the U.S.-based neo-Nazi Traditionalist Worker Party, the international violent neo-Nazi Feuerkrieg Division, and neo-Nazi and white supremacist channels based in the U.S., U.K, Brazil, and other countries.

This report is an abridged version of the full MEMRI DTTM report. Key information has been omitted for security reasons. To obtain a full copy, send an email to [email protected] with your request in the subject line; please include your full credentials.

 

I. Well-Known Cases Of Neo-Nazis And White Supremacists With A Jihadi Connection

U.S.-BASED

Minnesota, North Carolina Members Of Boogaloo Movement Group 'Boojahideen' Arrested On Terrorism Charges For Trying To Work With Hamas: "We Want A War Against The Government"

Two Boogaloo movement supporters, Michael Robert Solomon of New Brighton, Minnesota, and Benjamin Ryan Teeter of Hampstead, North Carolina, were arrested and charged with conspiring and attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization (Hamas), on September 3, 2020.[21] The extremist Boogaloo movement comprises organizations preparing for a coming American Civil War, and includes neo-Nazi and white supremacist elements;[22] the Boojahideen, whose name is a play on "mujahideen" – jihad fighters – is a Boogaloo subgroup; its members went into the streets with weapons in Minneapolis during the protests that broke out following the May 25 killing of George Floyd in police custody.

According to the affidavit, Solomon and Teeter met with a Confidential Human Source (CHS) whom they believed to be a member of Hamas and expressed that "Hamas shared anti-U.S. government views that align with their own anti-U.S. government views. Expressing their wish to work as "'mercenaries' for Hamas as a means to generate cash for the Boogaloo Bois/Boojahideen movement," they also discussed their need for funds to recruit members and for the purchase of land for a compound to train Boogaloo and Boojahideen members. Teeter said that he and the Boojahideen could "'make a statement' by destroying monuments." The CHS told Teeter that Hamas could "support their efforts to make the government look 'weak'" by working together, and, according to the affidavit, "Teeter said that people would 'take notice' if he 'took out' a historical site that was 'soft.'"

Teeter added: "'I'm not in a position where I can start hitting hard targets." However, Solomon and Teeter "explained that they were delaying the plot to demolish a courthouse so they could continue to build their relationship with Hamas." Solomon explained how he and Teeter would be an asset to Hamas: "We've got to be pretty valuable because two American-born white boys... We can move around like nothing.'" Solomon also stated: "I'm also a redneck, nobody notices a redneck," adding: "'we've got the ideas." Teeter added, "'and we have a network'" and that they could "'manufacture unmarked parts for guns and create unregistered and untraceable weapons.'"[23] In an August 27, 2020 tweet, Teeter wrote: "We want a war against the government."[24]

 

*Steven Stalinsky is MEMRI Executive Director; R. Sosnow is Lead Editor at MEMRI.

 

[2] An offshoot of fascism rooted in Christianity.

[4] Independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/atomwaffen-division-terror-neo-nazi-uk-b1833755.html, April 19, 2021.

[5] Hstoday.us/subject-matter-areas/counterterrorism/united-states-designates-russian-imperial-movement-and-leaders-as-global-terrorists, April 7, 2020.

[6] The full "Suggested List of WSE [White Supremacist Extremist] Groups to Consider for Designation in the April 5, 2021 letter by Elissa Slotkin, Chairwoman, Committee on Homeland Security's Subcommittee on Intelligence and Counterterrorism included Atomwaffen Division Deutschland, Azov Battalion (foreign affiliates and members), Blood & Honour, Combat 18, Feuerkrieg Division, Generation Identity, Hammerskins (foreign affiliates and members), National Action Group, aka System Resistance Network, Nordic Resistance Movement, Northern Order, Order of Nine Angles, Rise Above Movement (foreign affiliates and members), and Sonnenkrieg Division, S3.documentcloud.org/documents/20615179/rep-slotkin-letter-on-foreign-terrorist-orgs.pdf, April 5, 2021.

[7] The March 28, 2019 letter by Eliot Engel, Chairman, House Foreign Affairs Committee formally requested that the State Department designate the Christchurch, New Zealand mosque shooter as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist. Foreignaffairs.house.gov/_cache/files/6/f/6ff890c9-b371-4d6a-9e78-2c6c594fe9a9/6BC314F0F22E11B7915F78137417A1E8.ele-to-pompeo-white-nationalism---signed-002-.pdf, March 28, 2019.

[8] The October 16, 2019 letter by Rep. Max Rose, also appealing to the State Department, focused on the Azov Battalion, the Christchurch mosque shooter, and others. It was cosigned by 40 other Democratic Members of Congress. Twitter.com/RepMaxRose/status/1184518558392504321, Twitter.com/RepMaxRose/status/1184518558392504321/photo/1, Twitter.com/RepMaxRose/status/1184518558392504321/photo/2 October 16, 2019.

[9] Thehill.com/opinion/criminal-justice/542418-whats-behind-the-blended-extremism-surfacing-today, March 11, 2021.

[10] Npr.org/2021/03/15/972498203/a-tale-of-2-radicalizations, March 15, 2021.

[11] Washingtonpost.com/outlook/capitol-riot-terrorism-islam-violence/2021/02/19/6d4b499a-7222-11eb-85fa-e0ccb3660358_story.html, February 19, 2021.

[12] Latimes.com/opinion/story/2021-02-24/what-i-learned-about-islamic-state-applies-to-qanon-too, February 24, 2021.

[13] Bbc.com/news/uk-47746271, March 30, 2019.

[14] Newsweek.com/london-finsbury-park-attack-ramming-technique-627355, June 19, 2017; Nytimes.com/2020/06/08/us/virginia-kkk-leader-harry-rogers.html, June 8, 2020

[15]Cst.org.uk/news/blog/2020/05/13/white-jihad-jack-renshaws-journey-from-a-far-right-student-to-would-be-terrorist; Cst.org.uk/public/data/file/6/0/Jack%20Renshaw%20-%20White%20Jihad.pdf, May 17, 2020; Bbc.com/news/uk-england-lancashire-48306380, May 17, 2019; Mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/boyfriend-miss-hitler-wanted-spark-22175917, June 11, 2020; Channel4.com/news/national-actions-zack-davies-guilty-of-attempted-murder, June 25, 2015.

[16] Dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9211625/Neo-Nazi-Feuerkrieg-Division-run-Estonian-boy-13-calls-rape-Hitlers-name.html, Bbc.com/news/uk-england-cornwall-55891140, February 1, 2021; Independent.co.uk/independentpremium/news-analysis/feuerkrieg-division-terrorist-group-ban-neo-nazis-uk-a9618221.html, July 14, 2020. See also MEMRI DTTM report Telegram Channel Of International Neo-Nazi Group Led By 13-Year-Old Estonian – With Recruits In Philadelphia, NY, NJ, Texas, Midwest, Canada, UK, Italy, Netherlands – Is Still Active; Group Planned To Bomb Synagogue, U.S. News Network, April 16, 2020.

[17] Cnn.com/2018/10/31/politics/nazi-sympathizer-cop-police-officer-jail-aid-isis/index.html, October 31, 2018.

[21] Justice.gov/opa/pr/two-self-described-boogaloo-bois-charged-attempting-provide-material-support-hamas, September 4, 2020.

[23] Justice.gov/opa/press-release/file/1313661/download, accessed September 10, 2020.

[24] See MEMRI DTTM report Minnesota, North Carolina Members Of Boogaloo Movement Group 'Boojahideen' Arrested On Terrorism Charges For Trying To Work With Hamas – Twitter And Keybase Accounts Remain Active: 'We Want A War Against The Government'memri.org/dttm/domestic-terrorism-threat-monitor-%E2%80%93-account-review-dttm-ar-minnesota-north-carolina-members#_ednref3

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