Notorious domestic terrorist groups like the Ku Klux Klan, with more than a century of bombings, lynchings and mayhem, are issued government permits to march down the streets of minority communities, usually with an armed police escort. Screaming and sputtering neo-Nazis, dressed in vintage WWII SS uniforms, have been similarly accommodated while they goosestep through Jewish neighborhoods. Parade permits are issued to hate group events even when law enforcement is fully aware of the high probability of violence.
In this country, hate groups have the legal right to express and incite racial hatred, call for the extermination of Jews, deny the Holocaust or harass and cyberstalk Jewish journalists on social media.
Technically, there is little the U.S. government or American society can do about homegrown hate. Unless these groups are directly linked to a violent crime they are free to propagate visceral hatred as a business model.
Even the most dangerous usually get a pass from federal law enforcement. These days, the FBI, for example, seems to consider the neo-Nazi National Alliance (NA) little more than a rapidly shrinking, “has-been” domestic extremist group plagued by infighting and incompetence since the death of the group’s founder, William Luther Pierce, 14 years ago.
Law enforcement and intelligence agencies overseas, however, are increasingly likely to view the ideology and influence of US hate groups like the Alliance in a different context. Their propaganda is often illegal and their followers are increasingly violent. From Scotland Yard to Interpol, police are beginning to track the NA and monitor its supporters the same way they regard ISIS, Al-Qaeda or any other “violent non-state actor.”
With a long and lethal history of domestic terrorism, serial murders and bombings, groups like the Alliance and U.S.-based hate sites like Stormfront.org have had direct and often catastrophic influence on some of the most violent lone-wolf attacks in the U.K. and the European continent over the past few years.
Unlike many non-state actors, racist terrorists are less indiscriminate in their attacks. They typically target what they call “race traitors,” killing specific individuals or groups accused of betraying white supremacy in their country. The latest killing associated with an American extremist group, last week’s public assassination of Jo Cox, a sitting member of the British Parliament and the mother of two, is a case in point.
Thomas Mair, 52, whose business dealings with the National Alliance go back almost 30 years, seems to have quietly fulminated for decades before calmly walking up and savagely stabbing and shooting Cox to death on a Birstall sidewalk on the afternoon of June 16. When asked to state his name during his first court appearance on Saturday, Mair told the court “my name is death to traitors, freedom for Britain.”
Last year, another public “blitz-attack” by a National Alliance supporter occurred in front of customers and several children in a crowded supermarket in the town of Mold in Wales. Zack Davies, 26, followed a young Sikh dentist into a Tesco store and attacked him from behind with a 12” machete and a claw hammer while screaming “white power!”
When police searched Davies’ home after the January 14, 2015 attack, they found a number of National Alliance books, including The Turner Diaries, Hunter and the hard-cover edition of “White Power” by George Lincoln Rockwell.
Davies told investigators he was attempting to behead Dr. Sarandev Bhambra, 24, who is still recovering from his injuries.
Another public neo-Nazi knife attack targeting a female politician occurred last October in the German town of Cologne when a 44-year-old skinhead attempted to assassinate mayoral candidate Henriette Reker as she was out campaigning in the city. On October 17, 2015, the day before the election, the man walked up to Reker and stabbed her in the neck. While undergoing emergency surgery and in a coma, Reker won the election the following day.
The perpetrator, a lifelong skinhead identified only as “Frank S.” was active online under the name Berserker1488.
Calling the victim a “feminist hag” the racist website The Daily Stormer celebrated the attack. And on Stormfront, a number of posters claimed the victim deserved to be killed for her support of migrants.
Specifically targeting women for violence has become a trademark of the new National Alliance. Over the weekend, NA Chairman Will Williams expressed no sympathy for Jo Cox, the murdered mother of two, and told U.K. reporters that she had “put a target on her back” for supporting immigration in the U.K.
Williams himself has a long history of attacking women and is currently out of jail on an appeals bond for assaulting and attempting to strangle a female employee on the National Alliance’s West Virginia compound. And Williams’ second in command, Kevin Alfred Strom, was indicted in 2006 for the attempted rape of an 11 year old girl.
Similar to the profile of NA supporter and alleged Cox assassin Thomas Mair, Williams also “lives on the dole” for psychiatric problems, taking in more than $3,000 a month in government benefits.
And Williams can expect even more government benefit income later this year when he adds a new dependent to his family. Williams, who will be 70-years-old next May, bragged earlier this Spring that his young Russian mail-order bride, Svetlana, is pregnant with their first child.
The Alliance’s U.K. Footprint
Mark Cotterill: The National Alliance recruits in the U.K. through Heritage and Destiny, a racist Website run by long-time Alliance supporter Mark Cotterill. The site currently has the National Alliance press release on the Cox murder displayed on its front page and includes a link to a free PDF download to “Improvised Munitions,” the military weapons and bomb-making manual the Alliance sold to Thomas Mair. On the right side of the homepage there is a rune symbol button linking visitors directly to the National Alliance recruitment page.
On the National Alliance news page is a flattering interview Cotterill did with Williams in 2014, complete with an air-brushed portrait of Williams.
Long active in the U.S. neo-Nazi scene, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) profiled Cotterill 15 years ago when he was living and operating in the United States on behalf of the British National Party (BNP.)
Andrew Lovie: A former secretary of the British anti-immigration party, UKIP, Lovie became a dues-paying member of the National Alliance more than 15 years ago. A 2014 National Alliance membership file shows Lovie joining the NA on November 3, 2000, listing him as member number D2583.
A search of Alliance transaction records for this period shows about a dozen purchases by Lovie, including an order for a racist first person shooter video game called “Ethnic Cleansing” where the player hunts and shoots blacks and Jews. In the same order Lovie purchased a copy of The Turner Diaries, Hunter and a book on Holocaust revisionism. Attempts to reach Lovie for comment were not responded to.
Andrew Tait: On the U.K.’s “Vote Leave Take Control” BREXIT advocacy website, organizer Andrew Tait uses the same address he has used when doing business with the National Alliance. In July 2011, Tait used an American Express card to purchase a number of books and material, including a National Alliance flag. Tait hung up on a call from the SPLC.
Matthew Tait: Another BREXIT advocate with a business relationship with the National Alliance is former BNP activist Matthew Tait, who was in the United States earlier this year where he gave a speech to the racist American Renaissance conference. He was also a speaker at the 2010 American Renaissance Conference. Tait’s U.K. website, Western Spring, shows in a whois search online that the site’s domain traces back to the same Woodburn Green address Tait used to make a purchase from the National Alliance in 2004. In a post advocating BREXIT on Western Spring, the group alleges the E.U. is part of a communist conspiracy and states the E.U. “will not stop until Europe is swamped by non-Whites, and the only way we can escape its effects is to withdraw from the EU completely.” Attempts to reach Tait for comment were unsuccessful.
Arthur Kemp: Another BREXIT advocate and perhaps one of the most influential National Alliance alumni now living in the U.K. is racist South African, Arthur Benjamin Kemp. Believed to be living near Oswestry, Kemp runs The New Observer Online, arguably among the most racist websites in the United Kingdom. Calling immigrants “Invaders” or “Rapefugees” earlier this year Kemp sold T-shirts with the term. On Saturday, Kemp bragged that the BREXIT vote was stronger in the polls after the murder of Jo Cox, while also writing a defense of the National Alliance and providing an Amazon link to the bomb making book the Alliance sold to Thomas Mair.
A former executive with the BNP, Kemp, 53, worked as the Alliance Media Director for several years in the mid-2000s. Though he continues to deny the relationship, since he was allegedly working in the United States illegally, a number of internal National Alliance bank wire transfers show the NA sent Kemp funds to his South African bank account during this period.
Driven by Hate
To extremists in the U.K., and their neo-Nazi brethren in the United States, the BREXIT vote is really all about race. Anti-immigrant arguments in support of BREXIT by the likes of Donald Trump, who said he would vote for the U.K. to leave the E.U. in an interview yesterday, are amplified by the racist right on social media with far greater impact.
The sad truth is, the fact that an American presidential candidate would publicly state his position on a referendum vote in another sovereign country is much less disturbing than having supporters and affiliates of one of America’s most lethal domestic terrorist groups operating openly in the United Kingdom and advocating the same thing.