Rep. Eliza Slotkin wrote to Secretary of State Anthony Brinken last week, asking him to take unprecedented measures to designate 13 extremist movements as foreign terrorist organizations, saying that this move “will help exert more pressure,” To curb these violent organizations” and their leaders’ ability to manage their groups. “
But of the 13 groups listed in the letter her office provided to BuzzFeed News, at least four no longer exist. One is an American club established in California, which has been split and renamed, and the other changed six years ago. The name used in Slotkin’s letter when it became part of the Allied National Guard.
“This is a great list – in 2018,” Matthew Feldman, director of the London-based Radical Right Analysis Center, told BuzzFeed News. “Every [the listed groups] Very active. Everyone is dangerous. “
Feldman praised Slotkin’s efforts and the motivation behind the list, saying it was a step in the right direction. But he also said that this is an example of the US government’s delay in recognizing the threat posed by extreme right violent extremists at home and abroad.
Biden has stated that he intends to crack down on domestic violent extremists-especially white supremacists, such as those among the thugs who attacked the U.S. Capitol on January 6. The FBI considers them the greatest threat. The head of the Department of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas, told lawmakers last month that domestic violent extremism “posed the deadliest and most persistent terrorism-related threat to today’s homeland” .
But experts say it is also important to track foreign extremist groups, which often communicate, coordinate, and inspire with their American counterparts.
If the Biden administration lists the organization suggested by the Michigan Democrat Slotkin as an official foreign terrorist organization (FTO), or lists specifically designated global terrorists (SDGT) as a smaller name, it will help To curb dangerous white supremacist organizations, members of Congress argued in her letter that before According to Reuters.
“It will also provide the U.S. government with more tools to attract and mark Americans who contact, support, train, and join these organizations. [white supremacist extremist] Group,” Slotkin wrote.
But Elizabeth Neuman, the former Assistant Secretary for Counter-Terrorism and Threat Prevention of the Department of Homeland Security during the Donald Trump administration, told BuzzFeed News that the process was long and difficult.
“The FTO process is a pretty high standard,” she said. “I am frustrated, we can only get the Russian Empire Movement. That is not the only group we are concerned about.”
In April 2020, the United States designated RIM and its three leaders as SDGT-this is the first time such a classification has been used.
When asked about Slotkin’s letter, a State Department spokesperson told BuzzFeed News, “Generally, we do not comment on letters from Congress, and we do not comment on designations or deliberations related to possible designations.” But cloth Lincoln tells MSNBC Meet the media The designation of an overseas white supremacist group as a foreign terrorist organization on Sunday is “something we are considering.”
As a former CIA analyst who focuses on foreign terrorist organizations in the Middle East, Slotkin wrote that she was “threat by these white supremacist groups, their number of contacts with American extremists, minimal intelligence and diplomacy. Shocked by the report”. We have investigated these groups, and the US government is relatively lacking in censorship. “
Among those who Slotkin said should be classified as terrorists is a National Action Organization, a neo-Nazi organization established in the UK and banned in 2016 Targeting British youth. U.S. Anti-Terrorism in 2018 report Describe it as a terrorist organization that promotes violence against politicians and minorities.A metropolitan policeman named Ben Hannam is is convicted Become a member on April 1.
The other is the Neo-Nazi Nordic Resistance Movement, which is the same as the 2018 U.S. report Described as the anti-Western multinational organization behind the violent attacks, including violent attacks against Muslims and left-wing groups.
But not all groups she asked the government to pay attention to are currently active.
Kacper Rekawek, a researcher at the Slovak non-profit organization Counter Extremism Project, said that Slotkin’s list is a type of list that people searching for far-right extremist groups on Google might make.
“Rep. Slotkin’s efforts are commendable. Rekawek told BuzzFeed News that the underutilized names in Europe should help deal with threats of violence from far-right organizations. “However, this must be done by targeting local far-right scenes. A thorough analysis to inform that, including a large number of actors who often talk about topics, but in terms of violence, they did not take action. “
Rekawek and Feldman said that the neo-Nazi organizations Feuerkrieg Division, Sonnenkrieg Division, Atomwaffen Division Deutschland, and Northern Order-all on Slotkin’s list-no longer exist. Members of these groups-all of them are under the control of the U.S. Atomic Bomb Division and the American neo-Nazi James Mason”Siege culture,”-related to violence or violent conspiracy United Kingdom, United States, Germany, Canada, And elsewhere.
Rise Above Movement (RAM), a white supremacist fight club founded in Southern California, and Neo-Nazi Organizations in Ukraine In August 2017, after three of its members were imprisoned for participating in the “Unity Right” rally in Charlottesville, the Balkans were more or less disbanded. In another federal case, Robert Rundo, the founder of RAM and a native of New York, was accused of multiple protests across California.These allegations were dismissed in June 2019, but restore last month.
After the report was published, Slotkin’s staff clarified that they included RAM on the list as a way to identify foreign subsidiaries of the group.
Another problematic group on Slotkin’s list is the Azov Battalion in Ukraine. This paramilitary force was formed in 2014 by far-right extremists who volunteered to take up arms against Russian-backed troops when the war broke out in eastern Ukraine. In January 2016, it became part of the National Guard of the country and has since become known as the Azov regiment.
Its political branch, the National Legion, has been called a “nationalist hatred group” by the State Council. But designating the regiment as a foreign terrorist organization may pose challenges, especially due to its attachment to the country and the fact that Ukraine is an ally of the United States.
BuzzFeed News contacted Slotkin and asked him to comment on the list. An aide said that after Reuters reported the representative’s letter, they already knew about the status of Azov and the disbanded group. However, the aides said they plan to at least move forward with the groups that are still active on the list.
“We believe we can obtain a certain degree of designation,” the assistant said.
Read Slotkin’s full letter.