Formed by neo-Nazi nationalists in Sweden in 1997, the Nordic Resistance Movement (Nordiska motståndsrörelsen, or NRM) is a transnational, neo-Nazi organization with official chapters operating in Sweden, Finland, and Norway. The NRM also draws support from neo-Nazis in Denmark and Iceland, though the group has failed to establish formal branches in those countries.* A 2017 report by European anti-racism organization Expo named NRM as the primary force responsible for a rise in neo-Nazi activity in Sweden in 2016.*
The NRM subscribes to a nationalist socialist, or neo-Nazi, ideology that is avowedly anti-Semitic, anti-gay, anti-immigrant, pro-white, and pro-Hitler. The NRM has held numerous anti-immigration rallies, and has hung signs throughout Sweden, Finland, and Norway reading “Refugees Are Not Welcome.”* In its 2015 party platform “Our Path,” the NRM warns that the Nordic states—as well as the entire Western world—are controlled by the “global Zionist elite.”* The NRM thus seeks to “regain power” from that elite and unite the Nordic states into a “Nordic Nation” able to “assert itself militarily, economically and culturally.”*
NRM members reportedly receive martial arts training and are educated on how to respond if fighting arises in the streets.* In addition, the group previously sold a knife inscribed with the maxim “The struggle demands more than only words.”* In a 2016 interview, NRM-Sweden leader Simon Lindberg said that he joined the group because its members are “strong in the streets, they dare to fight back the scum.”* However, Swedish prosecutors believe that three NRM-Sweden members—charged in June 2017 in connection to three bombings on a far-left café and two refugee centers in November 2016 and January 2017—were “dissatisfied” that NRM leadership had not wanted to use violence “to the same extent” as the three men. Prosecutors believe that two of those men had received military training in Russia before returning to Sweden to carry out the bombings, though it is unclear from whom they received training.*
NRM-Sweden officially registered as a political party in July 2015 under the name “Nordiska motståndsrörelsen”—the same name used for the larger NRM-Sweden movement. The group was inspired to enter politics after one of its key members, Pär Öberg, was elected in 2014 as a write-in candidate for the Sweden Democrats party in the Ludvika municipality's local elections.* However, NRM-Sweden is not believed to have made political gains, and the movement is reported to lend most of its efforts to extra-parliamentary activities, such as violence, intimidation, and crime.* Finland banned the NRM in November 2017, but the group has continued to stage demonstrations there while appealing the decision.*
In September 2020, the Finnish Supreme Court ordered the shutdown of the NRM to preserve the general good of society. According to the court, the group repeatedly violated the law and acted against accepted moral codes such as human rights and equality.* NRM members have continued to distribute the group’s propaganda and vandalize Jewish cemeteries.* In April 2021, U.S. Representative Elissa Slotkin called on the U.S. government to designate more than a dozen foreign white supremacist groups as terrorist organizations, including the NRM.* In September 2022, Icelandic police arrested four men suspected of targeting “various institutions of society” and “citizens of the state.”* Police seized semi-automatic weapons, including 3D-printed ones, at nine locations around the country. They also recovered “thousands” of rounds of ammunition. Police said they were investigating links to Nordic extremist groups. Media reports suggested NRM could be one of the groups involved.* In February 2023, Lindberg attended and spoke at a conference in Madrid, Spain, held by neo-Nazi group Devenir Europeo.*
Simon Lindberg is the leader of NRM-Sweden.* Emil Hagberg is the spokesman of NRM-Sweden.* Haakon Forwald is the leader of NRM-Norway.* Tommy Olsen is the deputy leader of NRM-Norway.* Otto Rutanen is the leader of NRM-Finland.* Antti Niemi is the deputy leader of NRM-Finland.*
Base of Operations
Sweden, Finland, and Norway*
Membership Size and Relevance
As of 2017, the NRM was believed to comprise between 250 to 300 core members spread throughout Sweden, Norway, and Finland—though the group may attract many more sympathizers.* As of July 2023, the group reportedly had approximately 300 members across Europe.* The group may attract many more sympathizers as well. In November 2016, NRM-Sweden alone drew a total of 600 demonstrators in its largest rally to date.* According to a May 2015 estimate by the Finnish-owned media outlet Yle, NRM-Finland is comprised of approximately 60 to 70 core members.* The Norwegian-owned NRK media company reported in February 2017 that each country's branch contains “a dozen” core activists.*
NRM’s YouTube page had 11,444 subscribers as of March 19, 2019.* Frihetskamp Media’s YouTube page had 685 subscribers as of the same date.* Both accounts have since been deleted.
Recruitment and Propaganda
In recent years, the NRM has capitalized on the influx of refugees from the Middle East and North Africa in an attempt to spread fear, recruit, and further its agenda. According to the anti-racism organization Expo, NRM-Sweden has grown more than one-third in size since the beginning of 2015 by advocating against Sweden's open-door policy to Muslim asylum seekers through anti-immigration rallies and signs throughout Sweden, Finland, and Norway.* The NRM also produces manuals, stickers, leaflets, and flyers, which it distributes at rallies, on the streets, and in mailboxes.*
The NRM has noted that all of its funding comes from “member donations and sympathetic individuals and organizations.”* The NRM specifically requests donations through Frihetskamp, the news website owned and operated by the group's Norwegian branch.*
NRM's Twitter account had approximately 13,700 followers as of July 3, 2018.* Frihetskamp Media's Twitter account had 729 followers, and its YouTube account had 651 subscribers and hosted more than 40 videos, which had collectively received more than 104,000 views.* NRM's YouTube account had more than 11,600 subscribers and hosted more than 400 videos, which had collectively received more than 6.4 million views. Between June 24, 2018, and July 3, 2018, NRM's YouTube account gained 600 subscribers.* NRM’s YouTube and Twitter accounts have since been deleted. NRM-Norway's news website Frihetskamp claims that it receives at least 60,000 unique visitors each month.* The site also claims it “dares to challenge the old, often Jewish owned and/or controlled, mass media empires.”*
NRM leaders and members have carried out numerous attacks against gay people, Muslim asylum seekers, and the group's ideological adversaries. In 2017, the European NGO Expo found that a quarter of NRM's members had been convicted of violent crime.*
- On January 25, 2017, Swedish authorities discovered an IED—which had failed to detonate—outside of a Gothenberg compound housing refugees. Authorities believed the incident was linked to the November 11, 2016, bombing at the Syndikaliskt Forum Kafe as well as the January 5, 2017, bombing of the refugee lodging center.* In June 2017, Swedish prosecutors charged three unnamed NRM-Sweden members in connection to the far-left café and refugee center bombings.*
- On January 5, 2017, individuals allegedly associated with NRM-Sweden detonated homemade bombs outside of a refugee lodging center in Gothenberg, injuring an immigration officer.*
- On November 11, 2016, individuals allegedly associated with NRM-Sweden detonated a bomb at the Syndikaliskt Forum Kafe in Gothenberg, though no one was injured or killed in the attack.*
- On December 17, 2013, at least 30 NRM-Sweden members carrying smoking flares attacked participants of a peaceful, anti-racism demonstration in the Stockholm suburb of Kärrtorp. Four people were injured in the ensuing clashes, which also resulted in the arrests of 28. In June 2014, a Swedish court sentenced four NRM-Sweden members, including spokesman Emil Hagberg, to between six and eight months in prison for instigating the December riots.*
- In July 2010, police arrested several NRM-Sweden members after they attacked guards during an NRM demonstration at a music festival in the Swedish city of Piteå.*
- NRM, Telegram, May 1, 2021: “The message for the Nordic Resistance Movement’s May Day activism: ‘White workers built this country – White workers can take this country back!’”*
- NRM website editorial staff, April 10, 2021: “Via economic speculation, cunning and unscrupulousness, the Jews ‘bought’ themselves into the land of Egypt and lived there in wealth and comfort like parasites. When the ruling Pharaoh died and a new Pharaoh came to power, he saw how the Jews indulged in the luxury of Egypt without working, he saw how the Jews’ power had grown, and he saw that these Jews were internationally minded and ‘friends’ with Egypt’s enemies, and thus a great danger. The Pharaoh then put the Jews to work for the nation and for their daily bread, like everyone else, and for this the Jews wanted revenge. Possibly the first Bolshevik uprising was brewing, and the Jews now blamed their hard life on the landowners, industrialists and bourgeois – and, as is the case in Jewish/Bolshevik revolutions, the Jews persuaded the lower strata of society, the mob, to revolt against their own flesh and blood in a struggle for ‘The Chosen People’, who had created their problems in the first place. (Workers of the world, unite!)
…“The Jewish festival of Pesach in modern times – which this year is celebrated from Saturday, 27 March to Sunday, 4 April – involves animal cruelty in the form of the bloody ritual slaughter of a lamb on Pesach night, as well as baking the traditional matzah-bread, which was historically made with human blood.”*
- NRM website editorial staff, March 31, 2021: “The Nordic Resistance Movement is the combat battalion of free White people, and the only political organisation in Denmark that fights mass immigration from a natural worldview.
“Therefore, the Resistance Movement’s activists from all over the country were in action in the days leading up to the globalist lackeys’ demonstrations in Aarhus, Odense and Copenhagen. In all three locations, posters were put up, and banners were hung by the cities’ access roads and in other selected places, including the UN building in Copenhagen.
“White race-conscious National Socialists hear the globalist lackeys’ desire for diversity, and remind everyone that a racially mixed population is anything but diverse.
“Free White National Socialists hear the globalist lackeys’ demands for political correctness and uniformity, and reply that racial equality is a falsehood.
“Proud White National Socialists hear the globalist lackeys’ anti-White slogans and urge every Aryan to love his own people.”*
- Simon Lindberg, January 11, 2021: “The Nordic Resistance Movement’s vision of a free and united National Socialist Nordic Nation is diametrically opposed to their Cultural Marxist destruction of all natural values and the enslavement of humanity. Our diligent work over more than two decades, in combination with the fact that we have stood firm and never budged an inch – despite repression and adversity – has given us an organisational structure that few other nationalist groups in the world even come close to.
“All in all, this means we are viewed as a huge threat to the power of those who rule today. They see a potential for growth in us that gives them the chills. They understand the enormous appeal of National Socialism and know that our work breaks down their barriers of lies and brainwashing and makes the people increasingly receptive to us. They know the same thing as I do – that in time we have a very good chance of winning, and naturally they will do everything they can to prevent it. One stage in this process is to ban us, and one step in succeeding in that aim is to first lobby for a ban.”*
- NRM Website, June 2017: “The homolobby promotes popular enemy decadence and anti-culture, which helps to undermine and dissolve the natural structures of society. Thus, the very premise of a further existence for our people.”*
- NRM Manual, August 2016: “The [NRM] has gone to battle against the enemies of the Nordic region, and continuously fights for the freedom and survival of the Nordic people - in a future free and united nation-socialist Nordic region.”*
- NRM-Sweden spokesman Emil Hagberg in an interview with London's Daily Mail, February 2016: “We are National Socialists [Nazis]. Our main aim is the protection of Sweden's [white] people and culture. We don't want our [white] people to disappear from the earth. People come to us because they see the streets are full of Somalis and Syrians and they are starting to listen to us because we have been warning of the dangers of immigration for years.”*
- NRM-Sweden leader Simon Lindberg in an interview with National Vanguard, June 2016: “[NRM members are] strong in the streets, they dare to fight back the scum.”*
- NRM-Sweden official statement praising an attack on refugee children by a mob of Swedish nationalists in Stockholm's central train station, January 2016: “Police have clearly shown that they lack the means to stave off [the refugees'] rampage, and we now see no other alternative than to ourselves hand out the punishments they deserve.”*
- Party platform, 2015: “From our point of view, National Socialism [Nazism], [as] proven during the short time it held power in Germany, has been the only form of government that has significantly threatened the destructive forces [i.e. Zionism] that rule the world. From 1945 until today, these same destructive forces have continually conducted political genocide against the Nordic and ethnic peoples of Europe. They recognize National Socialism as the chief enemy of their worldview, because it delivers a strategy of survival for our race….”*