Secret records of a militant neo-Nazi organization called The Base reveal that the group is recruiting people with military expertise in the United States and Canada to train in military operations and prepare to take advantage of what they believe is a social collapse.
The audio recordings are from conversations between the leader of The Base and more than 100 rookie candidates using the encrypted Wire application. The Southern Center for Poverty or SPLC, which monitors hate groups, says it received more than 80 hours of audio recording starting in November 2018 and that the recordings are included in a new three-part podcast called “No Reason.”
According to SPLC, a confidential source provided the organization’s records unsolicited and he confirmed their authenticity with experts on the subject. SPLC says the sound does not appear to have been edited.
Twenty percent of potential recruits who were enrolled said they were in military service or served in the military in some capacity, said documentary filmmaker Jamila Paxima, co-host of the podcast. NBC News listened to a significant portion of the audio, but could not independently confirm his identity or allegations.
The US-born leader of the base, Rinaldo Nazaro, took his operation out of his apartment in St. Petersburg, Russia, which he discussed in the recordings.
Molly Saltgogski, a senior intelligence analyst at The Soufan Group, an international security consultancy, said: “Extremely deadly and dangerous operations that believe in an impending racial war like The Base or Atomwaffen are making concerted efforts to recruit people with military experience. of people in this type of organization increases its operational capabilities to commit terrorist acts. “
Saltskog said reports that Nazaro was based in Russia “raise flags for the potential for foreign influence on these white Supremacist organizations operating on American soil.”
Nazaro was previously known only by his online nicknames Norman Spear and Roman Wolf, while The Guardian revealed his identity in January.
The Guardian and the BBC used photos and property records to show the links between Nazzaro and the pseudonym Spear. The Guardian, for example, found tax returns signed by Nazaro for a property in Washington state related to Spear and owned by a company called Base Global. It also coincides with images of Spear with photos of Natzaro posted on social media by his wife. Meanwhile, the BBC followed Nazaro and his Russian-born wife to an apartment in St. Petersburg bought in her name. NBC News has not reviewed these records.
“We are a survival, self-defense network,” Nazaro said in one of the recordings. “Our mission is very, very simple. It’s training and networking, preparing for collapse. We want to be in a position where we are ready, prepared enough, ready enough to be able to take advantage of any chaos. , a vacuum of power, this can happen. We want to try to fill this vacuum of power and take advantage of the chaos. “
The Justice Department calls The Base an “extremist group with violence.” Base members in the United States have been arrested on charges of possession of weapons, vandalism and conspiracy to commit murder.
“They hate Jews and African Americans. Their goal is to use terrorism to start a competitive war and overthrow the United States. Triggering a social collapse may be a sick fantasy, but the reality is that domestic terror has taken more lives than international terror.” / 11, “Representative Jackie Speyer, of California, said in a parliamentary session about incidents involving whites in the military this year.
Many of the interviews documented recruitment interviews conducted by Nazzaro with potential members of the group. SPLC says it used machine learning to find patterns in what was being discussed. There are recurring themes of violence and ammunition, but there are also widespread nuances of avoiding media and law enforcement attention.
According to the SPLC, 80 percent of the records are related to weapons and the collapse of America. The word “targeted” occurs in 45 percent of conversations, and the phrase “do nothing illegal” appears in 30 percent of conversations.
While Nazzaro speaks mostly positively about the camaraderie the group can provide to potential recruits, some of the most hated languages come from potential recruits themselves, according to the SPLC.
“A lot of our boys, we just have a pure hatred of modern civilization and industrialization,” said the “Ecologist,” the pseudonym of a 20-year-old potential rookie. “We want to free ourselves, our white colleagues and animals from this system.” When Nazaro asked how, he replied, “Through economic sabotage like bombing, arson.”
“Growing up in California, I was surrounded by mostly, like, Filipinos, Asians, Mexicans, blacks, and I just watched them behave … and I looked, like, I don’t know, sometimes, like, white women mingling with them,” he said. “It just disgusted me.”
Others boasted of the weapons they possessed.
“As for firearms, I recently bought one,” said another potential rookie. “I have an AR-15. I trained with it for a few weekends.”
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According to the SPLC, Nazaro organized The Base “not as a hierarchical membership organization, but as a network of small underground cells, each with a high degree of autonomy.”
Nazaro told one of the recordings: “What people decide to do outside the Base with this training and the contacts they make is their business. We don’t really need to know about it. I mean, of course, it’s better that we are not for everyone and for the success of everyone. “