For immediate release | Monday, March 23, 2020

Extremist Content Online: White Supremacist Group Green Brigade ‘Disbands’ Itself, Part Of Dubious Trend

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Neo-Nazi Environmental Group Follows Two Other Groups Who Have Made Similar Announcements

(New York, N.Y.) – The Counter Extremism Project (CEP) reports weekly on the methods used by extremists to exploit the Internet and social media platforms to recruit followers and incite violence. This week, the neo-Nazi environmental group, Green Brigade, claimed on Telegram that they were disbanding due to the disappearance of key members. Additionally, ISIS supporters on the RocketChat platform celebrated COVID-19 for killing Americans, Europeans and Iranians. CEP also located a profile for the German Atomwaffen Division on the Gab social media platform. Also, the cofounder of the neo-Nazi Rise Above Movement, Robert Rundo, posted a video to YouTube defending the violent white supremacist group. In addition, CEP located a copy of the Christchurch terror attack video that has been viewed more than 40,000 times on Telegram. Finally, the leader of the neo-Nazi Nordic Resistance Movement (NRM), Simon Lindberg, recently posted a blog on the NRM website aiming to recruit members amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and economic hardships.

Neo-Nazi Green Brigade Claims To Be Disbanding, Declares That Cells Are Ready, Urges Action

On March 18, the neo-Nazi environmental group the Green Brigade announced on their Telegram channel that they were disbanding, due to the “sudden” and “prolonged disappearance of certain key members including the founder.” The Green Brigade further claimed to have members around the world, and warned that even though they were dissolving, activities from their members would continue and that they have “created cells in multiple locations who now have the capacity to go dark and complete their objectives without compromising their activities by alerting people online.” The group ended their communication by stating that their members would take “a proactive approach off the radar,” and urged their subscribers to do the same. The channel had 1,156 subscribers on March 19.

“Given the Green Brigade’s previous threats of violence, links to other neo-Nazi accelerationist groups, and their assertion that activities by cells will continue, the group continues to pose a danger even if they claim to have disbanded,” said CEP researcher Joshua Fisher-Birch. “Their foreboding claim that they would take a ‘proactive approach off the radar’ suggests they will continue to find alternative ways to promote their ideology and encourage violent acts, and therefore they should continue be monitored and treated with caution.”

The group’s leader and membership size are unknown, however the Green Brigade has been alleged to have had ties with the accelerationist neo-Nazi group the Base. The group has previously threatened at least one journalist and one member is alleged to have set fire to a mink farm near Sölvesborg, Sweden on October 30, 2019. The group has described themselves as “accelerationist eco-extremists,” and have praised Ted Kaczynski and promoted neo-Nazism. The Green Brigade is one of the only groups to have defended the Base’s leader Rinaldo Nazzaro, a.k.a. Norman Spear/Roman Wolf, after his identity and location in Russia were exposed.

The Green Brigade has either posted propaganda flyers or claimed to have members in six locations: Scotland and London in the UK, Nacka in Sweden, and Florida, New Hampshire, and Arkansas, in the U.S. The group’s claim to be dissolving comes after similar accelerationist groups the Atomwaffen Division (AWD) claimed to have disbanded on March 14, and the Feuerkrieg Division (FKD) claimed to have stopped functioning on February 8. While it is possible that AWD and FKD will either rebrand, or that their members will continue their activities either in new groups, or as individuals, the Green Brigade is the only accelerationist group to have recently disbanded that has explicitly stated that their cells will continue activity.

ISIS Online Supporters Praise Coronavirus

ISIS online supports on the RocketChat platform praised the coronavirus for killing Americans, Europeans, and Iranians. Users also stated that the coronavirus did not exist in ISIS controlled areas, implying that the group is impervious to infection. Official ISIS publications have warned their members of the coronavirus.

German Atomwaffen Division Gab Page Located

A profile allegedly made by the German Atomwaffen Division was located this week on the Gab social media platform. The page was created in March 2020, and their first post was on March 16. The page contains a link to an audio statement by the group where they declare that the German branch of the Atomwaffen Division has not disbanded, and state that they’re getting ready for an upcoming conflict. The Gab page also contains holocaust denial propaganda. On March 19, the page only had two followers. The page was removed within 24 hours after it was reported.

Founder Of The Neo-Nazi Rise Above Movement Posts Video To YouTube Defending The Organization

On March 17, Robert Rundo, the cofounder of the Rise Above Movement (RAM), posted a video on YouTube defending the group. Rundo, who was in Belgrade, Serbia in the video, claims that RAM is not a terrorist group, and that none of their victims have testified against them. Rundo goes on to defend the Ukrainian Azov Division, criticize U.S. Representative Max Rose for comparing RAM to foreign terrorist organizations, and state that the FBI is on a “wild witch hunt.” After being online for two days, the video had over 260 views. YouTube has previously declined to remove propaganda videos made by the violent neo-Nazi gang from their platform. RAM operated a clothing store on Instagram that the platform eventually removed after being exposed by the Huffington Post.

RAM is a white supremacist street fighting crew from southern California whose members were involved in physical assaults at protests in California and Charlottesville, Virginia. In July 2019, three RAM members were given prison sentences of 27, 33, and 37 months respectively, after pleading guilty to charges related to attacking counter-protestors in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017. Prior to his founding of RAM, Rundo served 20 months in a New York state prison for stabbing a rival gang member in 2009. Rundo fled the U.S. after several RAM members were arrested in October 2018. He was eventually brought back to California and charged with crimes related to perpetrating violence at demonstrations, but had his charges dismissed by a judge. The Department of Justice has stated that RAM members have previously “documented and promoted their white supremacy ideology through postings on various internet platforms.” RAM members have traveled to Europe to participate in far-right gatherings.

Christchurch Terror Attack Video Viewed Over 40,000 Times On Telegram

A copy of the Christchurch terror attack video on Telegram has been viewed over 40,000 times as of March 19, 2020. The video was uploaded shortly after the attack on March 15, 2019. The channel that uploaded the video had over 3,600 subscribers on March 19, 2020, and has praised and glorified the alleged Christchurch attacker, and urged similar attacks. Telegram has refused to take action against the channel, or the spread of the Christchurch attack video on their platform.

Nordic Resistance Movement Seeks To Recruit Amidst Coronavirus And Economic Downturn

Simon Lindberg, the leader of the neo-Nazi Nordic Resistance Movement (NRM) posted a blog on March 16 stating that long term effects of the coronavirus could benefit his group. While stating that he was sorry for the deaths caused by the coronavirus, and the economic damage to Scandinavian workers, Lindberg also expressed his “great excitement” regarding the effects of the coronavirus, including the economic fallout, because it could lead to a “national uprising.” Further, he urged his readers to withdraw their money from banks and join the NRM. The NRM website uses Cloudflare as their name server.