ICYMI: CEP Report Examines Transnational Violent Extreme Right-Wing (XRW) Movement

(New York, N.Y.) – In November 2020, the Counter Extremism Project (CEP) released its report, Violent Right-Wing Extremism – Transnational Connectivity, Definitions, Incidents, Structures and Countermeasures, which was commissioned by the German Federal Foreign Office. It focuses on the rise and metastasis of the violent extreme right-wing (XRW) threat and analyzes its growing transnational connectivity in the 2015-2020 period. The study centers on the transnational connections of the violent XRW milieus in six countries: Finland, France, Germany, Sweden, United Kingdom, and the United States.

National violent XRW scenes are transnationally linked through apocalyptic narratives such as the “great replacement,” “white genocide,” and “Day X”. Transnationally oriented violent XRW propagandists argue that the “white race” can only be saved if all violent XRW abandon parochial national differences and divisions in order to work and fight together. The movement is not structurally unified in one hierarchical structure but embraces a “divided we stand” approach. Its members include individuals, groups, organizations, and networks, as well as political parties.

The overall movement draws on a range of national inspirations:

  1. Anglo-Saxon – ideological via tracts published in the USA or practical with certain British and American violent XRW entities attempting either to lead coalitions of like-minded international actors or directly branch out to other countries;
  2. Germanic – ideological via national-socialist symbolism and imagery, and practical. German violent XRW entities are amongst the most internationally networked, with almost all other violent XRW actors attempting to make connections in the country. This also includes organizations that fought on different sides of the war in Ukraine;
  3. Nordic – the transnational Nordic Resistance Movement, an all-Scandinavia violent XRW organization, is often held up as a role model by other members of the movement; and
  4. Eastern European – as newer members of the transnational XRW movement from Russia and Ukraine rush to compete with each other while recruiting allies in the West.

The XRW movement is also connected via international travel to common destinations, which aim to provide the movement with finances to sustain its existence and attract previously unconnected individuals as potential recruits to its ranks:

  1. Political marches, rallies, for example, the Lukov March in Sofia, Bulgaria, or the Day of Honour in Budapest, Hungary;
  2. Violent sports, especially related to Mixed Martial Arts (MMA); and
  3. Music events (festivals).

Moreover, the online sphere is essential for the transnational connectivity of the XRW movement as a whole. Similar to other extremist and terrorist movements, right-wing radicals propagate, recruit, and instruct their followers online; sell merchandise via online stores; and solicit donations using cryptocurrencies. The study finds that the tech industry’s efforts to defend their services against the misuse by the XRW are insufficient.

To read the full CEP report, Violent Right-Wing Extremism – Transnational Connectivity, Definitions, Incidents, Structures and Countermeasures, please click here (English) or here (German).

To read coverage of the report in Die Welt, please click here (German).

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On October 27, 2018, domestic terrorist Robert D. Bowers carried out an anti-Semitic attack at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. He fired on congregants as they gathered for worship, killing 11 people and wounding six others.

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