F.B.I. Arrests Suspected Members of Neo-Nazi Group Before Virginia Gun Rally

New York Times
by Adam Goldman

Jan. 16, 2020

The three men had obtained guns and discussed traveling to Virginia for protests against new gun control measures, officials said.

WASHINGTON — The F.B.I. has arrested three men suspected of being members of a neo-Nazi hate group, including a former reservist in the Canadian Army, who had weapons and discussed traveling to a pro-gun rally next week in Richmond, Va., in anticipation of a possible race war.

The men were taken into custody on Thursday morning as part of a long-running investigation into the group, known as The Base. The men were charged with various federal crimes in Maryland, according to the Justice Department. They were scheduled to appear in federal court before a judge on Thursday afternoon.

One of the men, Patrik Jordan 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 considered an expert in explosives. He was dismissed from the Canadian Army after his ties to white supremacists surfaced. Mr. Lemley previously served as a cavalry soldier in the United States Army.

The Base has become a growing concern for the F.B.I. as it has worked to recruit more people to its violent cause. The Base is an “accelerationist group that encourages the onset of anarchy,” according to the Counter Extremism Project, a group that tracks far-right extremists. Experts following the group say its founder, an American, appears to be living in Russia.
ImagePatrik Mathews
Patrik MathewsCredit...Royal Canadian Mounted Police, via Associated Press

Former law enforcement officials say The Base, along with another white supremacist group known as Atomwaffen, have become priorities for the F.B.I. Several members of the group have recently been arrested. In November, the F.B.I. arrested 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.

More here. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/16/us/politics/fbi-arrest-virginia-gun-rally.html
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