(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. Extremist groups and individuals online continue to focus on the Russian invasion of Ukraine. On Telegram, white supremacists encouraged thousands of followers to spread racist abuse in a Telegram channel created to help Nigerians fleeing fighting in Ukraine. Also on Telegram, a neo-Nazi channel that had previously encouraged their followers to travel to Ukraine as foreign fighters abandoned this position, stating that their followers would be a hindrance because they are mainly between the ages 16-18 years old and have no military training.
Also last week, the recently formed splinter Atomwaffen Division (AWD), that is thought to be a very small number of individuals, release a PDF calling for people to join neo-Nazi groups and help bring about the collapse of the U.S. government. CEP researchers located posts encouraging an individual forum member to commit acts of violence following racist statements on an imageboard accessible with Tor. In a blog post, American white supremacist Rodert Rundo called on Rise Above Movement (RAM)-inspired active clubs to recruit members at various events and locations. Finally, there were multiple uploads of the 25th issue of the pro-ISIS web magazine “Voice of Hind” released last week.
White Supremacist Telegram Channel Encourages Racist Trolling of Chat for Nigerians Fleeing Ukraine
On February 28, a white supremacist Telegram channel with over 13,000 subscribers encouraged their followers to spread racist abuse in a Telegram chat created to help Nigerians fleeing the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Several individuals entered the chat and posted trolling comments, racist slurs, and disinformation. The discussion had approximately 25 members on March 2, after multiple trolling accounts were removed. The white supremacist channel has reposted content from several American white supremacist organizations and has posted content supporting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Neo-Nazi Website and Propagandist No Longer Encouraging Americans to Become Foreign Fighters in Ukraine
An American neo-Nazi website that promotes the work of James Mason and supports the group National Socialist Order stated on their Telegram channel on March 2 that they were no longer encouraging their audience to travel to Ukraine to join the Azov Regiment because the site’s readership is frequently between the ages of “16-18” and does not have military training or experience. On January 19 and February 27, the neo-Nazi website encouraged their readers to join the Azov Regiment. Individuals cannot directly join the Azov Regiment but must enlist in the Ukrainian National Guard. The Telegram channel suggested their subscribers donate cryptocurrency to the regiment instead and stated that Ukraine would probably be defeated in several weeks, leading to what they hoped would be an insurgency led by the extreme-right. The website has previously made posts supporting Ukrainian fascists but has condemned the Ukrainian government.
A U.S. neo-Nazi propagandist with over 2,200 Telegram followers who had shared a post on January 19 that encouraged Americans and Europeans to join the Azov Regiment made a series of posts starting on February 26 and continuing until March 2, abandoning support for groups in Ukraine. The propagandist has previously supported acts of violence and has advocated for his followers to create whites-only communities in Maine. In a series of polls asking leading questions, the propagandist insinuated that it was more important to fight against the American government than against Russia, that the U.S. was to blame for Russia’s invasion, and that Russia would be more likely to support white supremacist insurgents in the U.S. than Ukraine.
President Vladimir Putin has falsely claimed that Russia is fighting neo-Nazism in Ukraine despite Russia’s links to Wagner Group’s white supremacist Task Force RusichRussian Imperial Movement fighting alongside Russia aligned separatists in Ukraine.
Post on neo-Nazi Telegram channel, part of a series of polls urging American white supremacists to stay in the U.S., March 2
Splinter Atomwaffen Division Releases Strategy Document
On February 28, the splinter Atomwaffen Division (AWD) released a strategy PDF heavily inspired by the Turner Diaries and a book by David Myatt, calling for individuals to join neo-Nazi groups and take action to help bring about the collapse of the U.S. government. The text laid out a four-stage plan to be conducted over time to eventually “carve out a domain of territory.” While the first two steps called for the creation of small cells and spreading of propaganda to be followed by non-violent activities such as marches and banner drops, the third step advocated for sabotage of infrastructure and industry, while the fourth and final stage called for a guerrilla war including the assassination of politicians, attacks on the armed forces, and attacks that could result in civilian casualties. The guide called for each step to be accompanied by demands to eventually build an ethnostate in a rural area while the government is busy dealing with the effects of civil disorder in cities. The document additionally stated that waiting for government and systemwide collapse was “cowardly,” indicating support for accelerationist terrorism.
On November 8, 2021, a breakaway AWD was announced, claiming no affiliated with the National Socialist Order, AWD’s successor organization. James Mason condemned the splinter AWD group on November 12, stating that it was the work of a single individual. While the size of the splinter AWD group is unknown, available evidence suggests that it is tiny with a much smaller number of supporters than the original AWD group. The splinter AWD group released a joint propaganda video with The Base on January 29.
Dark Web Imageboard Users Encourage Act of Violence, Post Instructions for Committing Terrorist Attacks
CEP researchers located posts initially made on February 25 on an imageboard accessible with Tor encouraging an individual forum member to commit acts of violence following paranoid racist statements. Posters advocated for racist attacks and posted three links on Catbox.Moe, Anonfiles, and Ufile.Io to a guide that encouraged acts of terrorism against people of color, Jews, LGBT people, and others. The text included instructions for making explosive devices and components, including content taken from al-Qaeda’s Inspire magazine and instructions on the homemade manufacture of firearms and ammunition. The text also praised mass murderers, including the 2011 Norwegian terrorist and the alleged Pittsburgh synagogue shooter. The manual also provided advice on committing crimes and directly advocated for terrorist attacks on synagogues, immigrants, and others. CEP reported the file to Catbox.Moe, Anonfiles, and Ufile.Io, only Anonfiles removed the document after approximately 24 hours, with the other two websites taking no action. An additional copy of the guide was located on the Internet Archive, who did not remove the file after CEP reported it.
Rise Above Movement Inspired Active Clubs Encourage Recruiting at High Schools, Concerts, Gyms
In a blog post published on March 3, American white supremacist Robert Rundo and an unnamed associate encouraged Rise Above Movement (RAM) inspired active clubs to recruit at “apolitical” events and locations such as sporting events, concerts, local fairs, MMA tournaments, gyms, and a variety of community events. The blog stated that it was necessary to recruit young men and appeal to them through self-improvement, fitness, and friendship messages. Rundo also advocated for recruiting at high schools. The website that hosts the blog uses Cloudflare as its name server and the services of Registrar.Eu.
“Voice of Hind” Web Magazine Released
CEP located multiple uploads of the 25th issue of the pro-ISIS web magazine “Voice of Hind,” released on March 3. The magazine, entirely focused on Muslim women in India, contained a main article condemning the hijab ban in government-run educational facilities in Karnataka state. Another article in the 25th issue said that protests against the hijab ban were useless and urged acts of violence to fight against the democratic system of government. The same article stated that feminism, the concept of gender equality, and women working outside of the home were Western imports forced onto Indian Muslims by Europeans. A separate essay held up female ISIS members in the final Battle of Baghuz, the last ISIS territorial holdout, as role models to be emulated.
The web magazine was spread on Element, and a pro-ISIS propaganda website. The publication was additionally uploaded to at least five websites. Within approximately 24 hours, the web magazine was available on four websites: Top4top, the Internet Archive, Zippyshare, and MediaFire. The Internet Archive made the files accessible to logged in users on the website only, and Mediafire removed three of the four upload links.