The Base

Introduction

The Base is a neo-Nazi, white-supremacist network that describes itself as an “international survivalist and self-defense network” that seeks to train their members for fighting a race war.* Since its founding, the network has been active in North America, Europe, South Africa, and Australia. The present transnational reach of the organization outside of the United States is unknown. The Base is influenced by the race war called for in the book Siege by neo-Nazi James Mason. The Base is an accelerationist group that encourages the onset on anarchy so it can then "impose order from chaos."* In a September 2018 episode of the podcast The Roper Report, Base founder Roman Wolf, a.k.a. Rinaldo Nazzaro, claimed The Base’s goal is to unite white nationalists for the coming race war that will overthrow the government and reshape society.* The Base has since denied it is a neo-Nazi organization or that it promotes any specific ideology. The Base’s recruitment propaganda claims it trains its members for a “hypothetical time in the future when law & order breaks down to such an extreme degree … that the authorities are unable or unwilling to restore it.”*

Nonetheless, The Base has described itself as a “white protection league” and has organized training camps around North America for their members in weaponry and military tactics.* In a May 2022 recording, Nazzaro said he did not create The Base to be a neo-Nazi group but to be a networking platform for accelerationists to find other accelerationists in their area and train together. According to Nazzaro, The Base needs 100 members to train and prepare for societal collapse and counter “adversaries,” such as Black Lives Matter and Antifa, who would also seek to fill power vacuums.*Rinaldo Nazzaro, Telegram channel, May 18, 2022.x

Nazzaro has called for members to focus on non-attributable actions that destabilize society. The Base has distributed to its members manuals for lone-wolf terror attacks, bomb-making, counter-surveillance, and guerilla warfare.* In November 2019, the FBI charged Base member Richard Tobin with orchestrating the vandalism of synagogues in Michigan and Wisconsin that September. Tobin told investigators that he envisioned a nationwide campaign, which he called Operation Kristallnacht after the 1938 night of pogroms against Jewish businesses in Germany that marked the beginning of the Holocaust.*

The name The Base is the English translation of al-Qaeda, though it is unclear if the link was intentional as the two networks share no other similarities. The Base heavily draws inspiration from the Atomwaffen Division (AWD) and Siege, the neo-Nazi manifesto written by James Mason that inspired Atomwaffen Division. The exact relationship between AWD and The Base remains unclear beyond inspiration.* The Base’s membership reportedly includes members of AWD and the far-right group Eco-Fascist Order.*

Since the public revelation of the identities of The Base’s leadership and several high-profile arrests in January 2020, some U.S. media claimed U.S. authorities dismantled The Base.* Also in January 2020, federal authorities arrested three men suspected of membership in The Base who were allegedly plotting to murder a couple, supposedly affiliated with the far-left antifa movement, in Bartow County, Georgia.* That same month, three suspected Base members were arrested for allegedly stockpiling weapons and training for an assault on a pro-Second Amendment rally in Virginia, reportedly in the hopes of sparking a civil war.* In October 2020, authorities in Michigan arrested two Base members, including the group’s alleged leader, accused of attempting to intimidate a podcast host in December 2019.* Despite these arrests and the revelation of The Base’s leadership, the group has continued to adapt based on a strategy of creating small, independent cells utilizing online recruitment and in-person survival training courses.* In January 2022, The Base claimed some of its members ran a joint winter survival training exercise with members of AWD. They allegedly shared their “knowledge of bushcraft and lifted one another up to new heights ultimately increasing our capabilities as a cohesive unit and as brothers in arms.”* The network has continued to distribute flyers and propaganda across the United States, including in North Carolina, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Illinois.*The Base, Telegram channel, accessed April 29, 2022.x

As of January 2021, Base founder Rinaldo Nazzaro was reportedly building a new U.S.-based network bring about a “system collapse” in the United States.* Nazzaro claimed his new group was a legal organization providing self-defense and survival training. Through BitChute and other sites, Nazzaro provided guides to creating an insurgency and seizing control of municipalities. He further claimed the effects of his new group would not be immediate but would be noticeable through the coming decades.* Nazzaro effectively disbanded the group in March 2021 and announced he was resigning from all operational roles in favor of providing advice and commentary.* He continued to promote The Base.* On February 3, 2022, Nazzaro posted to his Telegram account he was immediately “relinquishing all administrative responsibilities and control over The Base.”* Nazzaro claimed there was little more he could do to further The Base’s cause. He lamented that very few appeared to appreciate his efforts, but he praised the leadership of The Base for continuing its mission.* Despite his resignation, Nazzaro posted audio messages to his Telegram channel in May 2022 explaining accelerationism and the need for The Base. While he explained he is no longer affiliated with The Base because he is “in exile” in Russia because of his U.S. legal issues, he remains supportive of The Base and its mission.*Rinaldo Nazzaro, Telegram channel, May 18, 2022.x

Leadership

The Base claims to be a leaderless resistance group.* Norman Spear, a.k.a. Roman Wolf, launched The Base in June 2018. Both names were pseudonyms.* Spear’s true identity was revealed in January 2020 as Rinaldo Nazzaro, a U.S.-born military contractor living in Russia.* Despite The Base’s claims of being a leaderless resistance, following his October 2020 arrest Justen Watkins claimed he had been appointed the new leader of The Base after the arrest of the group’s previous leader earlier that year.* Watkins was sentenced to a minimum of 32 months in prison in May 2022.*“Man linked to white supremacist group sent to prison,” Associated Press, May 24, 2022, https://apnews.com/article/crime-race-and-ethnicity-racial-injustice-michigan-conspiracy-8764c94bf8c992a2f75c437e59b1f6b5.x

Rinaldo Nazzaro, a.k.a. Norman Spear or Roman Wolf

Justen Watkins

Base of Operations

International. The Base’s presence has been recorded around the United States, Canada, Europe, and Australia, though its present reach is unknown.*

Website

https://thebase966874062.wordpress.com/ (defunct)

Membership Size and Relevance

The Base’s total membership is unknown as the group has no formal membership.* Its primary web forum reportedly has 45 members. There are also regional chat groups.* In a June 11, 2021, Telegram post, Nazzaro claimed The Base had 70 members. He also claimed The Base had a budget of $15,000.* The Canadian government designated The Base as a terrorist organization on February 3, 2021.* Nazzaro dismissed the designation as “flat-out political repression.”* On July 16, 2021, the British government proscribed The Base as a terrorist organization.* On November 23, 2021, the Australian government announced its intention to designate The Base as a terrorist organization.*

Recruitment and Propaganda

The Base’s emblem is composed of three white Eihwaz symbols on a black background. The Nazis adopted the Eihwaz symbol to memorialize members who died in the 1923 beer hall uprising.* The Base’s propaganda encourages membership to join a future race war. Posters displayed in Canada in 2019 brandished the slogan, "Save your Race, Join The Base."*

The Base has also used the meme-generating website iFunny to create propaganda memes and post videos, which has sparked interest from some of iFunny’s users. Memes often includes emails or QR codes with which users can get in touch with a recruiter.*

The Base seeks to create two- to three-man cells around North America, Europe, Australia, and South Africa. According to founder Roman Wolf, a.k.a. Rinaldo Nazzaro, The Base’s members include National Socialists and fascists, as well as "run-of-the-mill white nationalists."* In November 2019, alleged Base leader Justen Watkins created a training camp in Bad Axe, Michigan. Photos and video of firearms training at the camp were then uploaded online to aid recruitment.* Nonetheless, Nazzaro has claimed his network was not set up to be a terrorist or neo-Nazi organization.*

The Base seeks out potential recruits with existing survivalist, self-defense, and outdoors skills.* Membership is limited to men of European descent who share The Base’s political philosophy.* The Base also requires members to be at least 18 years old.* An undercover reporter for the Winnipeg Free Press underwent a “multi-tiered vetting process” that included encrypted online communication, a phone call with founder Roman Wolf, and an in-person meeting with a local representative.* In a September 2018 episode of the far-right podcast The Roper Report, Wolf claimed that the white nationalist movement is primarily based online and that needs to change. Wolf said the Base is “focused on meeting and training” in order to build a network of trainers across the country.* The Base has since begun asking potential recruits about experience in survivalism, self-defense, and the military.*

The network specifically seeks to recruit current and former members of the armed forces so that they can share their skills. Rinaldo Nazzaro, a.k.a. Roman Wolf, previously claimed to be a veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but he has since denied ever putting on a uniform.* Nazzaro later claimed he had been an intelligence, security, and military contractor, not a uniformed soldier.* After Nazzaro posted letters online allegedly from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Pentagon thanking him for his service, in February 2021 DHS confirmed Nazzaro’s employment but would not authenticate the letter of appreciation.* In August 2019, the Winnipeg Free Press identified Canadian Armed Forces soldier Master Corporal Patrik Mathews as responsible for posting recruitment propaganda around Winnipeg, Canada. The Base reportedly ran a recruitment drive across Canada in 2019.* Mathews was arrested in January 2020 in Maryland alongside Brian Mark Lemley Jr. and William Garfield Bilbrough IV. Lemley previously served as a Cavalry Scout in the U.S. Army. The three were allegedly stockpiling weapons and training for an assault on a pro-Second Amendment rally in Virginia that month.*On December 8, 2020, Bilbrough pled guilty to conspiring to transport an alien and to transporting the alien, specifically, a fellow member of The Base. He was sentenced to five years in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release.* Mathews and Lemley pled guilty in June 2021 to firearms and alien-related charges.* On October 28, 2021, Mathews and Lemley were each sentenced to nine years in prison. U.S. District Judge Theodore Chuang added a “terrorism enhancement” to their sentences after concluding they intended to engage in terrorist activity.*

The Base renewed its recruitment campaign in April 2021 and claimed it had instituted new security measures to its vetting process to avoid infiltration.* According to its messaging, The Base is focused on networking and practical training, not indoctrination. The group claims it does not have a radicalization program for recruits and expects potential members to already be radicalized.* In 2021, The Base also began holding tactical communications training courses to recognize and combat “electronic warfare.”* During the summer of 2021, The Base organized backpacking trips around Oregon.* In September 2021, The Base announced a two-day survival course to take place that November in Indiana.*

Violent Activities

The Base has not yet claimed responsibility for violent acts, but it has organized military training camps across North America. Several members have served in the U.S. or Canadian militaries and used those skills to train other members of The Base in weaponry and combat.* Alleged Base leader Justen Watkins set up a Base training camp in Michigan in 2019.* In April 2021, founder Rinaldo Nazzaro denied that Base members ever discussed or planned attacks. He accused media organizations like Vice and non-government organizations of misrepresenting The Base.*

Rhetoric

  • The Base, Telegram, June 12, 2022: “Our enemies deserve far more than our men protesting old hippies, liberals and adolescent queers at their pathetic gay pride events. They are simply the products of a sick society. Our enemies are other white men who are currently participating in the process of ruining our lives and our progeny. From the law enforcement officers who arrest us to the republican bureaucrat who will publicly denounce us in the hopes that he will retain his political control.”*
  • The Base, Telegram, June 12, 2022: “Our enemies have names, addresses, and loved ones too. We have no moral obligation to subject them to equal retribution for their crimes. They deserve to be tortured and humiliated in the most egregious fashion possible.*
  • The Base, Telegram, June 12, 2022: “We have no desire to influence your beliefs. You as a white man, have no obligation to throw your life away for your people.. You should make any sacrifices out of your own volition. Our members must come to us pre-radicalized and have a organic worldview that is true to themselves. Think long and hard about what you would sacrifice for your people.”*
  • The Base, Telegram, June 12, 2022: “The system isn’t stupid and it wont permit us to destroy it without getting our hands dirty and putting ourselves in danger. You are either willing to risk death and/or prison time or you’re just wasting your time.”*
  • The Base, Telegram, April 20, 2022: “On this date of Adolf Hitler’s birth, let us reflect upon all that he had done to secure the existence of our people and future for white children.

    “We Aryan men and women have a common heritage united by our blood and a common enemy of world Jewry. Our only chance of survival as a distinct species or race is if we, as a fölk, unite in our commonalities in self-defense to protect against the onslaught of terror and subjugation brought upon our kith and kin by the Jewish menace.

    “They are organized! They are educating within their community! They are actively waging war on everyone who shares in your European heritage!

    “Now is the time for us to emulate the spirit of Der Führer, unite with those of our fölk in blood and honor, and shake free from the bonds of the Red Menace.”*The Base, Telegram channel, April 20, 2022. x

  • Rinaldo Nazzaro, Telegram, February 3, 2022: “Effective immediately, I am relinquishing all administrative responsibilities and control over The Base. Management of the network is now in the hands of trusted and competent comrades. Going forward, I will instead focus more time on my family and humanitarian projects such as prisoner support. I feel like I’ve done the most I possibly can to further our Cause and there isn’t more I can contribute which I haven’t already. Unfortunately, my best efforts have been largely denigrated on multiple fronts, appreciated by only a very few. However, thankfully, it’s some of those dedicated few who will now carry the torch and keep The Base alive despite our enemies’ continuous efforts to shut it down. I wish the best to The Base and anyone else actively fighting to secure a future for our People. Hail Victory!”*
  • The Base, Telegram, January 30, 2022: “In that which has become, several members of The Base and and our closest comrades from Atomwaffen Division held a joint operation of winter survival training in our efforts to secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.

    “In this excursion we shared our knowledge of bushcraft and lifted one another up to new heights ultimately increasing our capabilities as a cohesive unit and as brothers in arms.

    “Hardships may come and go as the enemies of our folk continue the genocide of our kith and kin and defame those dedicated to our survival but, as long as we remain, the beauty of the white Aryan woman shall not perish from the earth.

    “Join us in the struggle to Save Our Race, and Join The Base.”*

  • Rinaldo Nazzaro, Telegram, May 3, 2021: “GROUPS—TO JOIN OR NOT TO JOIN?
    Why join a group or a network like The Base?:
    1) To help you form a local crew and/or 2) To contribute to acceleration
    There’s no doubt that The Base accomplished both of these things successfully, despite whatever setbacks. The only question is if the risk is worth the reward in your mind. That’s a personal decision which each of us must make individually. Joining a group isn’t for everyone and I respect the personal decision of those who choose to go it alone. And, likewise, those same individuals should respect those of us who decided to join a group. There’s a logical rationale behind each choice. Don’t denounce or disavow.”*
  • Rinaldo Nazzaro, BitChute, April 26, 2021: “Being militant is a necessary component to successfully resisting an oppressive totalitarian system like the one currently ruling the United States with an iron fist.”*
  • Rinaldo Nazzaro, BitChute, April 24, 2021: “I believe those guys who were arrested, for the most part, were set up. They were targeted for political reasons by the United States government for political reasons. I don’t believe that they’re guilty.”*
  • Rinaldo Nazzaro, Telegram, April 8, 2021: “Republicans and many White Nationalists think they’re fighting for the future of America but they’ve already lost it and there’s no hope of taking it back. The System is irreversibly dominated by the enemy...The System *is* the enemy and the enemy *is* the System—They’re inherently and inseparably one and the same now. Some do realize this and hope for a spontaneous collapse which unfortunately will never come. The only victory left to be had is breaking away before it’s too late.”*
  • The Base, Telegram, April 4, 2021: “The Base is a survivalism & self-defense network. It is not a terrorist organization or a neo-nazi group. We are not involved in political advocacy or activism and, therefore, we don't promote any particular ideology. Rather, our day-to-day focus is entirely practical—Linking up individuals who are eager to improve their survavlism & self-defense knowledge, skills, and abilities. We are training and preparing for a hypothetical time in the future when law & order breaks down to such an extreme degree (whether it be due to civil unrest, natural disaster, or some combination of the two) that the authorities are unable or unwilling to restore it.”*
  • Rinaldo Nazzaro, Telegram, December 21, 2020: “By no later than the 90 day-mark, plan to go on the offensive by clearing and holding the nearest town. You will commandeer the town and this will serve as your new base of operations,” one post reads, before telling followers there may come a time where they will need to kill American citizens if their insurgency is challenged.”*
  • Rinaldo Nazzaro, Telegram, December 3, 2020: “To fulfill our political aspirations, we are relying upon the gradual emergence of lawless regions, within the United States, where federal authorities are unable or unwilling to restore law [and] order.”*
  • Rinaldo Nazzaro, December 3, 2020: “Any resistors must be dealt with swiftly and somewhat harshly in order to set the tone and establish your authority.”*
  • Justen Watkins, manifesto, 2020: “I will train with firearms, explosives, knives, Ryder trucks, and anything else I have to destroy this KIKE SYSTEM THAT IS GENOCIDING MY people.”*
  • Justen Watkins, manifesto, 2020: “To victory with PURE UNADULTERATED ARYANVIOLENCE! HAIL TERROGRAM!”*
  • Roman Wolf, 2019: "Most of our members are National Socialists and/or fascists, although we also have some run-of-the-mill white nationalists... We have a strong revolutionary and militant current running through The Base. Most of our members are pretty hard core in that sense. You’re going to be stepping into probably the most extreme group of pro-white people that you can probably come across." *
  • Unidentified member in online chat forum, undated: “If you do it, do it (expletive) right, high casualties or go home... Breivik, Tarrant and McVeigh are the gold standard. If you can’t keep up, don’t bother.”*
  • Unidentified member in online chat forum, undated: “I feel like were (sic) crossing a Rubicon here soon. The calls for civil war are totally mainstream now. Even the civnat (sic) talking heads are calling for uprising and acknowledging that race war is about to break out. The political climate has shifted.”*
  • Unidentified member in online chat forum, undated: “Something is changing for sure even if it doesn’t pop off imidiatly (sic) they are pushing very hard for legal ways to fight us. Either way I’m getting ready for the worst.”*
  • Social media post by The Base member identified only as Patrick, undated: “At this point it is the system that is fomenting armed (white nationalist) revolution, not us. We tried the peaceful route. The system closed it off at every turn. Now the system shall reap what it has sown. I’ll leave it at that.”*
  • Social media post by The Base member identified only as Patrick, undated: “After the collapse, social media will be a wonderful record for figuring out what surviving whites will get the rope in the new state.”*

Daily Dose

Extremists: Their Words. Their Actions.

In Their Own Words:

We are strict followers of the worldview established by our Führer, Adolf Hitler. While solely based in the United States, we support the overthrow of all Jew-controlled governments worldwide in order to liberate the Aryan race.

National Socialist Order (NSO), NSO Website Jan. 2022
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