Reporter A.C. Thompson details his investigation of Atomwaffen, a growing neo-Nazi and murderous white supremacist group with heavily armed members in about 20 American cities.
Founded and run by young, white males, the group has expanded in the wake of the protests last year in Charlottesville, VA. One member, Samuel Woodward, is charged in Orange County, CA, with the January 2018 murder of 19-year-old Blaze Bernstein — a gay, Jewish college student.
Thompson’s team at the website ProPublica obtained and reviewed some 250,000 chat messages exchanged by Atomwaffen (German for “nuclear weapons”) supporters, including hateful, anti-Semitic comments about Bernstein’s murder. Thompson notes that Atomwaffen is not aligned with Trump. The group’s guru is James Mason — who joined the American Nazi Party in the 1960s and wrote Siege, which is considered Atomwaffen’s manifesto.
In the space of a few months, people associated with the group have been charged in five murders; another member pleaded guilty to possession of explosives in a possible plot to blow up a nuclear facility near Miami.
Despite this — and threats by a Las Vegas member to target the power grid in the West — Thompson says the FBI shows little interest in Atomwaffen, and there’s no indication that the FBI is deploying undercover agents or using the techniques that have become commonplace in domestic terrorism investigations that target Muslim Americans.
You can read the ProPublica report here.