White Supremacists Are Recruiting Members From Prison, the Military and Abroad

It took nearly a year, but two white supremacists have finally been convicted of beating a black man during a national rally in Charlottesville, Virginia,  in August of 2017. But in the nine months since Alex Ramos and Jacob Goodwin attacked DeAndre Harris, we have seen a disturbing spread in the geography and the power of the movement — one that has become increasingly bold since President Donald Trump entered the White House.

Just how large is this previously underground racist organization? In Northern Texas, law enforcement recently uncovered nearly 60 members in an organized drug trafficking ring, complete with illegal weapons and kidnapping charges. The group was formed by former convicts who met in prison, and they’ve been trafficking for nearly three years.

“The majority of the defendants are members of various white supremacist prison gangs, including the Aryan Circle, the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas (ABT), and the Soldiers of Aryan Culture, according to the indictment,” the Independent reports. “A few are members of Tango Blast, a predominately Hispanic prison gang, spurring Ms Nealy Cox to note that the defendants’ ‘criminal ends overcome their racist views when the need arises’.”

But white supremacy groups aren’t just recruiting and organizing in the jail systems. They are coming from our country’s military, too. According to a new report by ProPublica, one of the most violent of these groups — Atomwaffen –  has multiple members that are currently or formerly were military members, an alarming trend considering how often they call for overthrowing the current government.

ProPublica reports:

[A] number [of Atomwaffen members] are current or former members of the U.S. military. ProPublica and Frontline have identified three Atomwaffen members or associates who are currently employed by the Army or Navy. Another three served in the armed forces in the past. [Charlottesville agitator Vasillios] Pistolis, who remains an active-duty Marine, left Atomwaffen in a dispute late in 2017 and joined up with another white supremacist group.

In some cases, members cite their military experience as what drew them to the cause. According to ProPublica, “[Army combat engineer Joshua] Beckett also wrote about suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of combat in Afghanistan, and how his time in uniform caused him to radically revise his political beliefs, prompting him to abandon mainstream conservatism in favor of National Socialism.”

Both the military and prison appear to be breeding grounds for white supremacists, but when it comes to recruitment, leaders are even spreading their net outside of the U.S. borders.

According to the Montreal Gazette, reporters have allegedly unmasked the real ID of an anonymous key figure of the neo-Nazi website Daily Stormer — Zeiger — and have discovered that he both lives in Canada, where he actively recruits new members.

The paper claims to have tracked the pseudonymous white supremacist via his home address, reporting:

That same apartment was listed by Zeiger as his home and as a rendezvous point for a local neo-Nazi group, according to documents obtained by the Montreal Gazette. The group also met at downtown bars, apartments and a hotel between August 2016 and January 2018. At various points, members self-identified as alt-right, alt-reich, Nazis, fascists and white supremacists.

In January of 2017, Alexandre Bissonnette murdered six people in Quebec City mosque, stating he was motivated because of the Canadian Prime Minister’s decision to welcome Muslims to Canada after the U.S. announced a Muslim travel ban.

Since the 2016 election, racially motivated attacks have dramatically increased year after year. And despite the violence that has ensued, white supremacists are still holding rallies. It’s time for Americans to ensure that racists know that this country does not embrace bigotry.

Photo Credit: Backbone Campaign/Flickr


Chrissie R
Chrissie R7 days ago

Thanks for posting your opinions.

DAVID fleming
DAVID fleming8 days ago


Roberta G
Roberta G9 days ago

Beverly S...you are right. trump gave people permission to openly express their bigotry and hatred. What I still find shocking is how many citizens of this once-proud country are eager to do so.

Beverly S
Beverly S10 days ago

@Roberta G., Disgusting Thing is a racist, bigot and a million other bad traits rolled into one Disgusting Thing, but he didn't "turn" anyone into the same. He just made it "ok" for them to come out, so to speak. I was flabbergasted to see how many hateful morons there are in this country. Flabbergasted.

Beverly S
Beverly S10 days ago

No surprise - Many of them already have that mindset, or small* minds to begin with.
*Sad, but true, RONALD Walker (below)

pam w
pam w10 days ago

The scary thing is.....it's NOT just a problem here! It's happening in Europe, the middle-east and parts of Africa. I'm glad it's NOT just the treasonous groper's influence but very sorry it's more wide-spread.

Winn A
Winn Adams10 days ago

No surprise here . . . . .

Chrissie R
Chrissie R10 days ago

@John W.
So true! All the news (i.e. opinions) that they WANT you to read......

John W
John W10 days ago

Yet not one article about Muslim Jihadists doing the same and being the cause of the rise of the Far Right!

Anne M
Anne Moran10 days ago

Recruiting weak minds...