Curiously, this report fails to mention that the Ukrainian extremist groups are receiving their training from the U.S. military, CIA, and NATO. See: Ukrainian Neo-Nazis train far-right AMERICAN White Supremacists — WITH THE TRAINING THEY RECEIVED FROM THE CIA
“Ukraine has emerged as a hub in the broader network of transnational white supremacy extremism, attracting foreign fighters from all over the world. Where the jihadis travel to fight in places like Syria, white supremacists now have their own theater in which to learn combat – Ukraine, where the conflict between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian government forces has been raging since 2014, attracting fighers from around the globe who are fighting on both sides. Recent research shows that around 17,000 foreigners from 50 countries, including the United States, have gone to fight in that conflict.”
“The Azov Battalion has cultivated a relationship with members of the Atomwaffen Division as151 well as with U.S.-based militants from R.A.M., the Southern California–based organization that the FBI has labeled a “white supremacy extremist group.” The relationships between U.S.-152 based WSEs and the Azov Battalion go beyond mere networking and include training and radicalization of American extremists. The AzovBattalion also maintains a political wing and 153
has ties to a growing vigilante street movement that can be counted on for violence, intimidation, and coercion. So far, nationals from Germany, the UK, Brazil, Sweden, the United States, and154 Australia have reportedly traveled to join the Azov Battalion in Ukraine. The group has also allegedly established youth camps, recreation centers, lecture halls, and indoctrination programs, including some that teach children as young as 9 years old military tactics and white supremacist ideology.”
September 30, 2019
The F.B.I. recently arrested an American soldier based at Fort Riley in Kansas, Jarret William Smith, who was allegedly planning an attack against major media organization CNN. Smith allegedly discussed attacking the news network with a vehicle borne improvised explosive device (VBIED). Smith allegedly discussed his plans to attack CNN with an undercover F.B.I. agent in an online chat, where he also mentioned assassinating Presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke, killing members of ANTIFA, and distributed bombmaking tips on an Internet forum. It was recently revealed that Smith planned to travel to Ukraine to fight with the Azov Battalion, a violent militia that has actively recruited Western foreign fighters, including Americans, to join its organization. As outlined in a new report released today by The Soufan Center, Ukraine has emerged as a hub in the broader network of transnational white supremacy extremism, attracting foreign fighters from all over the world.
Just last week, two U.S. Army soldiers who had gone absent without leave (AWOL), Alex Zwiefelhofer and Craig Lang, were indicted for their involvement in the murder of a Florida couple. Lang and Zwiefelhofer allegedly met while fighting together in Ukraine for a far-right Ukrainian nationalist paramilitary group known as the Right Sector. Lang, who is now in custody in Ukraine, was a veteran with tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan and was named as a ‘mentor’ to Jarret William Smith in a separate federal indictment. In 2017, Zwiefelhofer and Lang were picked up in South Sudan where they traveled en route to fight against al-Shabaab. Before they were apprehended for the murder in Florida, they allegedly discussed traveling to Venezuela to fight against the Maduro regime.
Two of the United States’ most prominent white supremacy extremist groups, the Atomwaffen Division (AWD) and the Rise Above Movement (R.A.M.), count veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts among their members. R.A.M. members have traveled overseas to Germany, Ukraine, and Italy to celebrate Adolf Hitler’s birthday and forge stronger organizational links with white supremacy extremists based in Europe. Brandon Clint Russell, a member of the Florida National Guard and a founding member of Atomwaffen, was found in possession of a cooler in his garage containing the explosive HMTD (hexamethylene triperoxide diamine), along with other explosive precursors, multiple pounds of ammonium nitrate, nitromethane, empty shell casings, fuses, and electric matches. Christopher Hasson, a self-described white nationalist and member of the U.S. Coast Guard who also spent five years in the Marine Corps and two more in the Army National Guard, was arrested with an arsenal of weapons, including 15 firearms and more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition.
The U.S. military has also struggled to root out violent racists and the broader white supremacy extremist movement from its ranks, which claims many veterans of the armed forces and typically sees a surge in membership following the end of major wars. Violent white supremacy extremists, including those who are veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, have studied and attempted to emulate the tactics of terrorist and insurgent groups including al-Qaeda, the so-called Islamic State, and the Afghan Taliban.