(New York, N.Y.) – Australian government officials in Canberra on Monday designated the neo-Nazi group Sonnenkrieg Division (SKD) as a terrorist organization, making it the first far-right group to be banned in the country. Following the designation, Australian Minister for Home Affairs Mike Burgess stated, “SKD adheres to an abhorrent, violent ideology that encourages lone-wolf terrorist actors who would seek to cause significant harm to our way of life and our country.” According to the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO), far-right groups accounted for 40 percent of the country’s terrorism investigations in the past year.
SKD formed in 2018 as a British offshoot of the U.S.-based Atomwaffen Division (AWD), a neo-Nazi organization that sought the creation of a National Socialist government through a violent “white revolution,” and believed that a race war is inevitable. The United Kingdom banned SKD in February 2020. AWD disbanded later that year.
SKD follows a neo-Nazi ideology promoted by James Mason, a former American Nazi Party member and a follower of cult leader Charles Manson. During the 1980s, Mason wrote a series of pro-Manson and pro-Nazi newsletters that he called Siege and later compiled into a book of the same name. Users on the now-defunct fascist web forum IronMarch formed AWD after discovering Siege. They based AWD’s ideology on Mason’s ideas of autonomous terror cells fighting a guerilla war against “the system.”
SKD has not claimed credit for specific violent activities, but members have been linked to calls for violence. Private messages exchanged online by SKD group members in 2018 labeled the United Kingdom’s Prince Harry a “race traitor” for marrying a mixed-race woman and called for him to be shot. In other private online messages, alleged leader Andrew Dymock called for police officers to be raped and killed. Group members have also called for white women who date non-white men to be hanged.
To read CEP’s Sonnenkrieg Division resource, please click here.
To read CEP’s Australia resource, please click here.