January 17, 2020
What even is this?
A sense of crisis enveloped the capital of Virginia on Thursday, with the police on heightened alert and Richmond bracing for possible violence ahead of a gun rally next week that is expected to draw white supremacists and other anti-government extremists.
Members of numerous armed militias and white power proponents vowed to converge on the city despite the state of emergency declared by Gov. Ralph Northam, who temporarily banned weapons from the grounds of the State Capitol. The potential for an armed confrontation prompted fears of a rerun of the 2017 far-right rally that left one person dead and some two dozen injured in Charlottesville, about an hour’s drive from Monday’s rally.
The unease increased after the F.B.I. announced the arrest on Thursday of three armed men suspected of being members of a neo-Nazi hate group, including a former Canadian Army reservist, who had obtained weapons and discussed participating in the Richmond rally. The men were linked to The Base, a group that aims to create a white ethnostate, according to the F.B.I.
I have never heard of “The Base.”
For weeks, discussions about the rally have lit up Facebook pages and chat rooms frequented by militia members and white supremacists. Various extremist organizations or their adherents are calling Monday’s rally the “boogaloo.” In the lexicon of white supremacists, that is an event that will accelerate the race war they have anticipated for decades.
I must not even be a white supremacist anymore, because I think that “boogaloo” is the shittiest forced meme since Ugandan Knuckles.
In fact, let me just say it right now: I am not a white supremacist anymore.
It’s all gotten too gay, the memes too cold and stale.
I’m now a communist.
“They are fanning the flames for this event,” said Megan Squire, a professor at Elon University in North Carolina who tracks extremist chatter online. “They want chaos.”
The rally on Monday, the holiday marking the birthday of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., was initially organized to protest the Virginia Legislature’s proposed restrictions on gun purchases.
The organizer, the Virginia Citizens Defense League, is prominent in the state’s Second Amendment rights movement, donating tens of thousands of dollars to lawmakers over the years. Its president, Philip Van Cleave, refers to himself as an extremist but issued a statement saying the rally was meant to be a peaceful protest about gun rights.
In the past, its lobbying efforts were focused on loosening the state’s gun laws. But with a new Democratic majority in the Legislature, the group has made it clear that Monday’s event will be focused on opposing sweeping gun control measures that could be enacted next week.
The governor, in declaring a state of emergency throughout the weekend, warned that “armed militia groups planned to storm the Capitol.”
On Thursday, the House of Delegates and the Senate held their regularly scheduled sessions under tighter-than-normal security by the Capitol Police. The Senate approved several gun control measures, including a bill that limits people to buying only one gun each month.
Also Thursday, a circuit court judge upheld the governor’s temporary ban on weapons in the area around the Capitol from Friday until Tuesday.
Governor Northam called it “the right decision.”
“I took this action to protect Virginians from credible threats of violence,” he said in a statement. “These threats are real — as evidenced by reports of neo-Nazis arrested this morning after discussing plans to head to Richmond with firearms.”
The three men taken into custody on Thursday morning were part of a long-running investigation into an extremist group known as The Base. The men were charged with various federal crimes in Maryland, according to the Justice Department.
One of the men, Patrik J. Mathews, 27, a main recruiter for the group, entered the United States illegally from Canada, according to the officials. He was arrested along with Brian M. Lemley Jr., 33, and William G. Bilbrough IV, 19.
Mr. Mathews was trained as a combat engineer and is considered an expert in explosives. The Canadian Army discharged him after his ties to white supremacists surfaced. Mr. Lemley previously served as a cavalry soldier in the United States Army.
The F.B.I. has grown increasingly concerned about The Base as it has worked to recruit more people. The group encourages the onset of anarchy, according to the Counter Extremism Project, an organization that tracks far-right extremists. Experts say that its founder, an American, appears to be living in Russia.
Former law enforcement officials say The Base and another similarly inspired white supremacist group known as Atomwaffen have become priorities for the F.B.I.
I don’t think Atomwaffen even exists anymore, and when they did, they were the FBI.
Atomwaffen was openly planning terrorist attacks on their DISCORD SERVER, and none of them were arrested. Even after they killed a total of five people (two in an Islamic terror attack and one in a homosexual spat, by the way), the FBI did nothing to shut them down.
The FBI harasses people over Twitter posts. There is zero chance they were not running Atomwaffen – which wasn’t even a “white nationalist” or “neo-Nazi” group, but a satanic death cult – specifically for the purpose of using it for things like this.
In November, the F.B.I. arrested Richard Tobin, a young man in New Jersey, who was suspected of recruiting on behalf of The Base and of advocating violence, including the killing of black people with a machete.
Mr. Lemley and Mr. Bilbrough were charged on Thursday with transporting and harboring aliens along with conspiracy. Prosecutors also charged Mr. Lemley and Mr. Mathews with transporting a firearm and ammunition with the intent of committing a felony. The complaint also charges Mr. Mathews with possessing a firearm and ammunition while being in the country illegally.
A federal statute defines domestic terrorism but carries no penalties. First and Second Amendment concerns make prosecuting these cases difficult.
According to the authorities, Mr. Lemley and Mr. Mathews made a functioning assault rifle. They also bought more than 1,500 rounds of rifle ammunition, fired the rifle at a Maryland gun range and acquired vests to hold body armor.
Although the charges were not directly linked to the Richmond rally, law enforcement officials said the three men had discussed attending it. Adherents of extremist groups have been beating the drums for people to participate.
One online meme shows half a dozen men who carried out bloody attacks in the United States, Norway and New Zealand, dressing them as biblical saints with halos above their heads. “Virginia Is For” read the headline.
Many of the comments are racist, anti-Semitic and unprintable. “Y’all need to go full white ethnostate and really set the pace for 2020,” said another online message, below the picture of a road sign that had been altered to read “Virginia Is For Gun Lovers.”
“This is about those who want to co-opt these moments and turn it into the start of a civil war or some sort of race war,” said Oren Segal, the director of the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism. “A lot of this is hyperbole, but who at this point would take that lightly.”
lol @ SPLC admitting it’s all just a big joke.
After reading about it, I still don’t understand what these people were arrested for.
It looks like just more total bullshit. Like they were arrested for memes and they called the memes a “conspiracy.”
And apparently allowing a Canadian in your house is “harboring an alien” and a federal crime – at the same time that “sanctuary cities” can’t be regulated by the feds.
I don’t know what “The Base” is.
The internet says that the name is a translation of “Al-Qaeda.”
Like the so-called Islamic State (ISIS), their radical counterparts in the Middle-East, groups like Atomwaffen and a new variant called “The Base” (the literal translation of “Al-Qaeda”) have gone from recruiting idealistic college students with eye-catching posters that contain provocative imagery and bold headlines like, “A New Order Will Rise from the Ashes of the Kike System,” and “Race War Now!” to producing slick and sophisticated recruitment, propaganda, and combat training videos for online distribution to boost visibility—to committing murder.
Since 2017, members have murdered people at an alarming rate. In a horrific anti-Semitic and homophobic killing, a twenty-year-old member in California killed a gay, Jewish college classmate, stabbing him over twenty times before burying his body in a shallow grave.
This is whatever.
I don’t know if “The Base” is really linked to Atomwaffen. But I suspect if they were, they wouldn’t have been arrested on goofy fake charges. Or they would have waited for even more extreme fake charges.
The entire purpose of the Atomwaffen Discord server was to try to get stupid and/or autistic youths to commit terrorism in the name of Satan. It was, in its entirety, simply an FBI plot to stir up fake “white nationalist” terrorist stings.
I guess they figured out that white nationalists weren’t stupid enough to do terrorism, so they created a satanist group – which was literally posting pictures of the cats they were sacrificing on their Discord – which they just called a white nationalist group in the media.
Atomwaffen also promoted Islam, so if The Base is really named after Al-Qaeda, then probably it is the same people.