To give you an idea of what Atomwaffen are into, if it wasn't already clear, here is their most recent propaganda video (sharing this for journalistic purposes only of course). pic.twitter.com/7wTX6JMkTE— Jake Hanrahan (@Jake_Hanrahan) January 27, 2018
Four members of a neo-Nazi group have killed five people in just eight months.
The organization, the Atomwaffen Division, hero-worships mass murderers, notably Charles Manson and Adolf Hitler, and espouses white supremacist ideologies. Its followers hold psychotic delusions of fighting a “war on race” and according to ProPublica, one of its goals is to bring down the U.S. government with terrorist tactics and guerilla warfare.
The group’s name, Atomwaffen Division, literally translates to “atomic weapon” in German and it is not at all fearful of displaying or sharing its hateful, Third Reich imagery on social media. Its members are regularly depicted making Nazi symbols and gestures and brazenly upload media on the internet showing themselves burning copies of the U.S. Constitution and the American flag.
In their most docile state, Atomwaffen members distribute racist flyers on college campus, hang fascist banners from bridges and attend white supremacist rallies with their very own Atomwaffen flag.
According to the Anti-Defamation League, there are around 80 active Atomwaffen members around the country, including Colorado, Illinois, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Washington and Florida.
“The group’s vile propaganda often promotes violence against minority communities, including LGBT people, Jews, Muslims, and African Americans,” the ADL wrote.
It is now also credited with five murders and a bombing plot, all of which took place since May 2017.
Devon Arthurs, an 18-year-old in Florida, mysteriously converted to a sudden and radical version of Islam and killed two of his roommates, Jeremy Himmelman, 22, and Andrew Oneschuk, 18, with a gun he had just bought for that very purpose, when they mocked him for his newfound religion.
He then accused his third roommate, Brandon Russell, of being a white supremacist. Turns out, Russell was also part of Atomwaffen. Police discovered guns and ammunition in Russell’s bedroom as well as a framed photograph of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh on his dresser.
According to court documents, the suspect was also in possession of an explosive known as HTMD (hexamethylene triperoxide diamine), which he had stored in his garage.
Russell told investigators he used HTMD and the bomb paraphernalia for an engineering project at the University of South Florida in 2013 and the explosive were meant to boost homemade rockets and send balloons into air for testing. However, authorities believe the chemicals in his possession were too powerful for those types of uses.
After talking to detectives, Russell shamelessly went to a gun store in Homestead, Florida, and bought two hunting rifles along with hundreds of rounds of ammunition. He was later arrested.
However, he was granted bail and his judge, citing his previously clean record (no clarification was given for his activities with Atomwaffen, of course), allowed this suspected white terrorist to stay at his relatives’ home until his trial. He was recently sentenced to a mere five years in jail.
Killed in Reston shooting:— Peggy Fox (@PeggyTV) December 22, 2017
Scott Fricker, 48 & Buckley Kuhn-Fricker, 43, parents of 16-year-old girl and 9-year-old boy. Family moved into house in August. A 3rd person shot is in critical cond. Shooter was known; no public threat. @fairfaxpolice filed no charges yet. @wusa9 pic.twitter.com/sa7jMgcBsF
Months after the incident, 17-year-old Nicholas Giampa of Reston, Virginia, shot his girlfriend’s parents after they refused to let the girl date him because of neo-Nazi views. On Dec. 22, Giampa snuck into their house through his girlfriend’s room and killed Buckley Kuhn-Fricker, 43, and her husband Scott, 48. He then turned the gun to himself. The couple succumbed to their injuries but the teen survived and was hospitalized in critical condition.
Giampa’s Twitter account was filled with posts about his hatred for the LGBTQ community, his love for Hitler and how he used Jewish people as target practice. He also praised Charles Manson’s book, “Siege,” which advocates for terror attacks and “race wars.”
California resident Samuel Woodward stands charged with allegedly murdering a 19-year-old University of Pennsylvania student, Blaze Bernstein, whose body was found partially buried at Borrego Park in Orange County. Police believe Bernstein attempted to kiss Woodward, who belonged to Atomwaffen, in the park. They accused Woodward of killing Bernstein and visiting the crime scene again.
It was later revealed Woodward also trained with the hate group and received instruction in firearms, hand-to-hand combat, camping and survival skills.
I'm working on an investigation into the alleged neo-Nazi murderer Sam Woodward & his membership to Atomwaffen Division for @ProPublica, with @awinston & @ACInvestigates. Here's our first piece: https://t.co/EmNvEKstSs pic.twitter.com/okfW2PeTqq— Jake Hanrahan (@Jake_Hanrahan) January 27, 2018
It is not confirmed whether Woodward will face hate crime charges.
White supremacist hate crimes are on the rise as evident by the report that murders by neo-Nazis doubled in 2017.
America should get a wakeup call that a group like Atomwaffen is radicalizing young men from the shadows, calling upon them to explicitly carry out acts of violence and training them in military style combat and survival exercises. However, it does not seem likely the Trump administration is willing to take up this matter.
President Donald Trump has largely remained silent, taking days to respond or asked not to politicize the incident whenever a white supremacist commits a crime.
To the president, everything seems to be an exercise in political machination, even his response to domestic terrorism. Trump is unduly concerned with getting favor from his dwindling base rather than keeping the American public safe.
Will Trump call for policy changes in light of a grave threat like Atomwaffen? Doubtful.
Banner/Thumbnail: Orange County Sheriff's Department/Tampa Police Department/Pinellas County Sheriff's Office