MMP: Atomwaffen Division

Police officers and protesters at the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in August 2017

Atomwaffen Division/National Socialist Order

The Atomwaffen Division (AWD), known as the National Socialist Order (NSO) after July 2020, is an accelerationist neo-Nazi militant organization operating in the United States with affiliates overseas.

Key Statistics

2015 First Recorded Activity
2017 First Attack
2021 Profile Last Updated

Profile Contents

Book Icon

Overview

Narrative of the Organization's History

moneybag

Organization

Leadership, Name Changes, Size Estimates, Resources, Geographic Locations

strategyicon

Strategy

Ideology, Aims, Political Activities, Targets, and Tactics

Clip Art of Bomb

Major Attacks

First Attacks, Largest Attacks, Notable Attacks

solarsystemicon

Interactions

Foreign Designations and Listings, Community Relations, Relations with Other Groups, State Sponsors and External Influences

flowchart

Maps

Mapping relationships with other militant groups over time

Contact MMP

Send a message to the Mapping Militants team.

Download Full Profile as PDF

Last Updated February 2021

How to Cite

Mapping Militant Organizations. “Atomwaffen Division/National Socialist Order.” Stanford University. Last modified February 2021. https://cisac.fsi.stanford.edu/mapping militants/profiles/atomwaffen-division
cardinal red photo

Organizational Overview

Formed: 2015

Disbanded: Group is active.

First Attack: 2017

Last Attack: 2018

Executive Summary

The Atomwaffen Division (AWD), known as the National Socialist Order (NSO) after July 2020, is an accelerationist neo-Nazi militant organization operating in the United States with affiliates overseas. The name “Atomwaffen” is German for “nuclear weapons.” AWD promotes the use of violence to overthrow the U.S. government, foment a race war, and establish a new society based on principles of national socialism and white supremacism. Founded in 2015, the group is known for its anti-Semitic, anti-LGBT, and apocalyptic beliefs. AWD has been linked to acts of violence in the United States, including killings, explosives and firearms offenses, and plots against critical infrastructure. Operating under a decentralized structure, AWD is divided into leaderless cells scattered across the country. The group has cultivated ties with white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups in Europe, some of which claim to be affiliates of the U.S.-based AWD. Comprised primarily of young men, AWD was born from an online extreme-right message board and continues to recruit a following on the Internet. AWD’s ideology draws from SIEGE, a collection of writings by American neo-Nazi James Mason. Mason is a former member of the American Nazi Party and serves as an advisor to AWD. As of early 2020, most of the individuals identified as group leaders have been arrested by U.S. law enforcement. AWD claimed to have disbanded in March 2020. It reorganized as the National Socialist Organization in July 2020.

Group Narrative

Introduction

The Atomwaffen Division (AWD) was founded in 2015 by Brandon Russell while he was a teenager living in Florida. The name “Atomwaffen” is German for “nuclear weapons.” The group was initially composed of teenage members active on an online forum dedicated to the extreme right. AWD remained largely covert until January 2018, when one of its members was arrested for a hate crime after murdering a gay Jewish college student. AWD operates with a highly decentralized structure in the United States. AWD operates as a network of localized cells, each containing several individuals. Russell’s U.S.-based organization was the first to use the Atomwaffen name and ideology, commonly known as “Siege culture.” Between 2018 and 2020, several European far-right extremist organizations adopted the AWD brand and began operating as AWD affiliates.

2015-2017: Early recruitment online and on college campuses

The Atomwaffen Division (AWD) traces its origins to Iron March, a now-defunct internet forum for neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other members of the extreme right. Founded by a Russian known as “Alexander Slavros,” Iron March was active from 2011 to 2017 and hosted over 1,200 accounts.[1] Brandon Russell, then a teenager living in Florida, founded AWD in June 2015 and used Iron March as a training ground for recruitment and propaganda. Using the screen name “Odin,” Russell attracted followers for the nascent group, which he named the “Atomwaffen Division” and bragged in July 2015 was “almost a militia.”[2] By September, the group had approximately 15 members, mostly teenagers.[3] Many young people came into contact with AWD via online video game communities and became more radicalized over time as they engaged with right-wing extremist content.[4]

Beyond online activism, Russell initially sought to expand AWD by appealing to students and young people. Between 2015 and 2017, AWD members embarked on a recruitment campaign targeting college campuses. They anonymously distributed flyers at universities across the United States, including the University of Central Florida, Old Dominion University in Virginia, Boston University, the University of Chicago, the University of Washington, Texas A&M University, the State College of Florida Manatee–Sarasota, the University of Pennsylvania, Evergreen State College in Washington state, Arizona State University, and the University of Colorado.[5] This recruitment campaign is one of AWD’s earliest major offline activities.

AWD first came to widespread public attention in May 2017 when a member of the group killed two of his compatriots. On May 19, Devon Arthurs, an AWD member who had recently converted to Islam, took three people hostage at gunpoint in a Tampa smoke shop in anger over the U.S. military’s bombings in Muslim countries. No one was injured in the incident. When police arrived, Arthurs revealed that he had earlier killed two of his roommates.[6]

Arthurs lived with three other members of AWD in Tampa, Florida. The apartment housed AWD leader Brandon Russell and AWD members Andrew Oneshuk and Jimmy Himmelman. After Arthurs confessed to killing two of his roommates, law enforcement authorities went to the apartment. There, they discovered that Arthurs had shot and killed Oneschuk and Himmelman, and they learned that the four men had connections to AWD.[7] Police found Russell crying outside the apartment.[8] The story quickly spread on U.S. media.[9] Arthurs later told law enforcement that he committed the murders because the victims had allegedly disrespected his conversion to Islam.[10]

In the apartment and its garage, authorities found homemade fuses, Geiger counters, and explosive and radioactive materials. This included a cooler labeled with the name “Brandon Russell” and filled with hexamthylene triperoxide diamine (HTMD), a highly volatile explosive.[11] The residence was also littered with racist paraphernalia, including a Nazi flag and helmet, a framed photo of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, and copies of books such as Mein Kampf and The Turner Diaries, a key text of the American white supremacy extremist movement.[12] Though released on the day of the killings, Russell was later arrested in a traffic stop when police found guns, body armor, ammunition, and no other luggage in his car.[13] A deputy at the scene stated that he was convinced that a mass shooting had just been foiled.[14] This event marked a turning point in AWD’s history. The raid on AWD’s Tampa apartment earned the group a certain notoriety in the public eye and led to Russell’s arrest, paving the way for a change in the group’s leadership.

In September 2017, Russell pleaded guilty to unlawful possession and storage of explosives. In January 2018, he was sentenced to five years in prison.[15] Following Russell’s arrest and imprisonment, he was replaced as leader of AWD by John Cameron Denton. Denton, who used the aliases “Vincent Snyder” and “Rape” online, took hands-on control of the organization, including its ideological development and propaganda creation.[16] It is unclear how Denton was selected as Russell’s successor and in what capacity he served before assuming command. According to a February 2020 FBI affidavit, Denton was one of the founding members of AWD.[17

2017-2019: Ideological shifts, increased violence, and international affiliates

The leadership transition began a new phase for AWD. With Denton in charge, the group’s ideology became more extreme. Denton strengthened AWD’s association with James Mason’s accelerationist ideas as outlined in his book SIEGE. “Accelerationism” is the white supremacist idea that extremists must bring about a race war and the collapse of the current political system. According to an AWD-affiliated website cited by the Southern Poverty Law Center, the philosophy of SIEGE “was never implimented [sic] until the year of 2017 when Atomwaffen Division discovered and met James Mason.[18] Mason, who has a long history of involvement in the U.S. neo-Nazi movement, became something of an ideological leader and advisor to AWD after the group adopted his text.

After Denton took over, AWD moved away from canvassing U.S. college campuses and turned to the production of slick propaganda videos featuring weapons and paramilitary training. He launched a website dedicated to “Siege culture” – the term given to AWD’s Mason-inspired ideology – which AWD hoped to shape the neo-Nazi movement.[19]

Under Denton’s leadership, AWD’s ideology also became increasingly influenced by Satanism, drawing from the beliefs of the British Satanic neo-Nazi organization the Order of Nine Angles (O9A). The group added Satanic texts to its required reading list, including The Devil’s Notebook by Anton LaVey, founder of the Church of Satan; Hostia: Secret Teachings of the Order of Nine Angles, a collection of texts written by O9A members; and Iron Gates, a graphically violent apocalyptic novel published by the Tempel ov Blood, a U.S.-based affiliate of O9A.[20] Neo-Nazi Satanism appears to be a long-term interest for Denton. He made social media postings featuring O9A logos as early as 2014 and 2015, well before he became the leader of AWD.[21] It is unclear if AWD possessed any formal ties to O9A at this time.

AWD’s turn to the occult reportedly alienated some members. An anonymous member of AWD posted a 27-page manifesto condemning AWD’s affinity for O9A’s ideology in January 2018. Others posted messages in AWD’s internal chat room and on the social networking site Gab objecting to Satanism.[22] Nevertheless, Denton appears to have successfully re-oriented the group’s ideology. After the exodus of O9A opponents, the Satanists reportedly solidified their control over AWD’s leadership structure.[23] For example, in 2019, AWD member Corwyn Storm Carver posted photos online of himself with O9A paraphernalia. Carver was reportedly a high-profile member of the organization and was stationed in Kuwait as a Private First Class in the U.S. Army when he posted the photos.[24]

As AWD became more ideologically extreme in 2017 and early 2018, the group increased its use of violence. In September 2017, AWD launched its first “hate camp,” the name the group gives to its secretive paramilitary training programs for AWD members.[25] The debut event took place in the Shawnee State Forest in Illinois. Other training retreats have occurred in Nevada, Texas, and Washington state.[26] The program aims to instruct AWD members in combat and survival skills in preparation for the group’s prophetic race war.[27] The retreats also provide fodder for the group’s propaganda disseminated online.[28]

In August 2017, AWD committed its first apparent attack on a human target not affiliated with the organization. Until this point, the only major attack attributed to a member of AWD was the double-murder of two AWD members committed by Devon Arthurs in May 2017, which may or may not have been sanctioned by the organization. With the embrace of “Siege culture,” AWD began executing more attacks. In August 2017, an unknown number of individuals affiliated AWD attended the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. There, Vasillios Pistolis, then a lance corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps and a member of AWD, attacked several counter-protesters.[29] AWD members in an online chat room had previously encouraged Pistolis to commit acts of violence at the event.[30] He reported back and bragged, “today cracked 3 skulls open with virtually no damage to myself.”[31] In his attacks, Pistolis utilized a wooden flagpole as a weapon, which bore a custom-designed flag consisting of the Sonnenrad, a circular Nazi symbol, and the Confederate battle flag.[32]

After the August rally, AWD members continued to engage in violence. Individuals affiliated with the group committed three murders between December 2017 and January 2018. Days before Christmas in 2017, Nicholas Giampa, a 17-year-old neo-Nazi and a follower of AWD, shot and killed his girlfriend’s parents in their Reston, Virginia home. The victims, Buckley Kuhn-Fricker and Scott Fricker, had objected to his extremist views and forbidden their daughter from continuing to date Giampa.[33] Though it is unclear if Giampa was formally a member of AWD, an anonymous AWD member confirmed to ProPublica that Giampa was in contact with the organization.[34]

A few weeks later, in January 2018, a 20-year-old AWD member named Samuel Woodward stabbed a man to death in Orange County, California. The victim, Blaze Bernstein, was a 19-year-old gay Jewish sophomore attending the University of Pennsylvania.[35] A former high-school classmate of Woodward, Bernstein represented a double target for AWD due to his sexual orientation and religion. The murder is being prosecuted as a hate crime.[36] Prior to the killing, Woodward attended a three-day AWD “hate camp” in Texas, where he trained in firearms, hand-to-hand combat, and outdoor survival skills.[37] AWD members celebrated the murder, lauding Woodward as a “one man gay Jew wrecking crew” and lamenting only that he’d gotten caught in connection with the group.[38]

The killing of Bernstein in January 2018 exposed AWD to greater public scrutiny. Aside from the May 2017 murders, the group had operated covertly for most of its history. Following Bernstein’s murder, the public interest investigative news outlet ProPublica began publishing a series of articles describing AWD’s activities and revealing the identities of some of its leaders. Drawing on interviews with anonymous AWD members and leaked internal communications, ProPublica published a half-dozen articles. The outlet also collaborated with PBS in the creation of a two-hour documentary on AWD and the rise of violent white supremacy extremism in the United States between January and November 2018.[39] A.C. Thompson, a ProPublica reporter, won a Walter Cronkite Award in 2019 for the project.[40] ProPublica’s work also informed the writing of this profile.

As news of the Atomwaffen Division spread in early 2018, facilitated by ProPublica’s reporting, technology companies began restricting AWD’s access to their services. YouTube, the messaging app Discord, the gaming platform Steam, and the online T-shirt company Inktale banned AWD in February 2018.[41]

Starting in November 2018, AWD began a harassment campaign against various domestic targets. The group employed swatting, the practice of illegally placing false calls to emergency services with the goal of triggering an armed raid by law enforcement on a particular address. Between November 2018 and April 2019, AWD leader Denton and other members allegedly made over 100 swatting calls.[42] Targets of the campaign included U.S. Cabinet members; a historically Black church in Alexandria, Virginia; Old Dominion University in Virginia (the alma mater of AWD member John William Kirby Kelley); and journalists with ProPublica, the investigative news outlet that published reporting on AWD in early 2018 and exposed Denton as its leader.[43] The plot was discovered after the AWD members involved made mistakes, including inadvertently disclosing personally identifiable information online and failing to block a personal cell phone number when placing a swatting call.[44]

As the U.S.-based AWD increased its domestic activity, overseas affiliates of the group began to emerge. Some pre-existing groups declared an affiliation with AWD, while other new groups were founded explicitly as affiliates. For more detailed information on AWD affiliates, please see the “Relationships with Other Groups” section of this profile.

The Sonnenkrieg Division (SKD), which operates in the United Kingdom, announced itself as a new affiliate of AWD in 2018. SKD had split off from the System Resistance Network, an alias of the British neo-Nazi organization National Action (NA), in mid-2018. NA had rejected SKD leader Andrew Dymock and others’ growing interest in Satanism, pedophilia, and rape.[45] These ideas, in addition to murder, became core tenets of SKD’s ideology, and the group announced its affiliation with AWD in mid-2018.[46] The group attracted widespread attention in December 2018 when two teenage members, Michal Szewczuk and Oskar Dunn-Koczorowski, posted threats against the life of Britain’s Prince Harry on the Internet for his marriage to Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, who is of mixed race.[47]

AWD’s German affiliate, known as AWD Deutschland or AWD Germany, also emerged in mid-2018. The group announced its launch in a video featuring a masked individual and an AWD flag in front of a castle where Nazi SS officers trained during the Second World War.[48] AWD Germany has since gained notoriety for its threats against Muslims and Green Party politicians.[49]

In October 2018, the Feuerkrieg Division (FKD) launched as an Estonian affiliate of AWD. FKD soon expanded overseas and established a presence in Belgium, Ireland, western Germany, Latvia, the Netherlands, Norway, Russia, and the United Kingdom.[50] Reportedly operating mostly online, FKD boasts approximately 30 to 70 members.[51] Most members are youth and teenagers, including the group’s anonymous founder, who was revealed in 2020 to be a 13-year old Estonian boy.[52]

AWD continued targeting its usual enemies in 2019, including journalists, Jews, LGBT people, and people of color. In July 2019, AWD left neo-Nazi flyers in various locations around a Detroit suburb, including a Jewish cemetery.[53] In August 2019, AWD member Conor Climo was arrested by the FBI for a plot to bomb a synagogue and gay club in Las Vegas, Nevada.[54]

Beginning in summer 2019, a number of AWD members launched a harassment campaign against journalists. The campaign was known internally as Operation Säule (German for “First Pillar”). Cameron Shea, a member of AWD and of the U.S. branch of the neo-Nazi group the Base, described the project in these terms: “We will be postering journalists [sic] houses and media buildings to send a clear message that we too have leverage over them.”[55] Shea, Taylor Ashley Parker-Dipeppe, Johnny Roman Garza, and AWD Washington state cell leader Kaleb Cole participated in the campaign. They targeted journalists of color, Jewish journalists, and members of the Anti-Defamation League by printing and delivering or mailing threatening posters with imagery of weapons and neo-Nazi symbols.[56] Their antipathy towards journalists stemmed from ProPublica’s series of exposés on AWD in 2018, which revealed Cole’s identity as a high-ranking member of the group.[57] In the wake of ProPublica’s investigation, Cole said in an internal AWD recording that “the matter of these nosy reporters coming into our daily lives, where we work, where we live, where we go in our spare time. We must simply approach them with nothing but pure aggression [...] We cannot let them think they are safe in our very presence alone.”[58]

2019-2020: Crackdown from law enforcement and AWD’s reorganization as the National Socialist Order

In late 2019 and 2020, AWD and its affiliates began to face greater pressure from authorities both in the United States and abroad. In October 2019, law enforcement seized a cache of guns from AWD’s Washington state leader Kaleb Cole. Authorities justified their actions under Washington’s “red flag” law for individuals deemed to pose a high risk to themselves or public safety.[59] In December 2019, Cole and fellow AWD member Aiden Bruce-Umbaugh were stopped in Post, Texas for speeding.[60] During the traffic stop, police found handguns, a knife, rifles, ammunition, and marijuana in the car. This discovery led to Cole being charged with violating a court order associated with the “red flag” law.[61] His case is pending as of August 2020. Bruce-Umbaugh was charged with possession of ammunition and firearms while using a prohibited substance.[62] He pled guilty and was sentenced to 2.5 years in prison in April 2020.[63]

In February 2020, U.S. law enforcement authorities executed a nationwide series of arrests of AWD leaders and members. AWD leader Denton was arrested and charged for his role in AWD’s 2018-2019 swatting campaign, while Cole, Shea, Parker-Dipeppe, and Garza were arrested and charged for their harassment of journalists.[64]

Around the same time as the arrests, Rep. Max Rose (D-N.Y.) introduced a resolution in Congress calling on the U.S. State Department to list AWD’s international affiliates as terrorist organizations.[65] In early March 2020, POLITICO reported that the U.S. Department of State, in its effort to designate at least one white supremacist organization as a terrorist group, was considering AWD.[66] A month later, the State Department designated the Russian Imperial Movement, an ultra-nationalist, white supremacist militant organization based in St. Petersburg, Russia, and its leaders as Specially Designated Global Terrorists.[67] Neither AWD nor any of its affiliates have been designated by the U.S. government as of August 2020.

As U.S. law enforcement continued to crack down on AWD in 2020, the United Kingdom began combatting the group as well. In February 2020, British authorities designated the UK-based AWD affiliate Sonnenkrieg Division as a terrorist organization and followed up in July 2020 with a terrorist designation for the Feuerkrieg Division.[68]

Amid the increasing pressure on AWD, the group’s advisor and ideological leader, James Mason, announced that the group was disbanding. In an audio message released on March 9, 2020, Mason declared that AWD had disbanded, effective immediately, because federal counterterrorism efforts had degraded the organization’s ability to function.[69] Sources familiar with Mason’s voice have indicated that the message sounds authentic.[70] Nevertheless, AWD members appear to have remained active following the announcement.

Two months later, in May 2020, the group publicly revealed a new Russia-based chapter and released Russian translations of its ideological texts.[71] AWD Russia then launched a channel on the encrypted messaging app Telegram and began broadcasting propaganda in Russian, including manifestos from extreme-right terrorists Dylann Roof and Anders Breivik, Mason’s SIEGE, and The Turner Diaries, a foundational anti-Semitic text in the American neo-Nazi movement.[72]

Around this time, a possible AWD splinter group emerged. In June 2020, a secretive organization known as the “RapeWaffen Division” (RWD), came to public attention when two U.S. servicemembers, Ohio National Guard Pfc. Shandon Simpson and Pvt. Ethan P. Melzer, were investigated for their affiliation with it.[73] RWD was organized via a channel on the encrypted messaging app Telegram and claims to be a splinter group of AWD. It is unclear when exactly RWD was founded or if it is a true splinter of AWD.

In late July 2020, members of AWD announced that the Atomwaffen Division had reorganized as the National Socialist Order (NSO). The group posted a message that listed key contributors to the group on American Futurist, a website that supports Mason’s SIEGE. Those listed included Mason and other AWD members.[74] The author(s) of the online post asserted that NSO had learned from the mistakes of AWD, most notably its internal ideological disagreements, such as those over Satanism.[75] Like AWD, NSO’s ideology draws on the principles of SIEGE, calls for the violent overthrow of political systems, and is virulently anti-Semitic.[76] With former AWD leader Denton imprisoned, it remains an open question whether the Satanic aspects of AWD’s ideology that he championed will remain salient.

An anonymous NSO leader interviewed by VICE News in August 2020 said that the group does not intend to commit violence in the near term. Rather, NSO will focus on propaganda and recruitment, exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic, high unemployment, and political polarization in the United States to cultivate a following.[77] NSO has announced measures to thwart counterterrorism efforts and prevent surveillance and infiltration by authorities, including encrypted communications and in-person interviews of new recruits.[78] While no evidence suggests that law enforcement successfully infiltrated AWD, members of the group have in the past posted messages about illegal activities on surveilled channels, which allowed the FBI to build criminal cases.[79]


[1] Ross, Alexander Reid, Emmi Bevansee, and ZC. “Transnational White Terror: Exposing Atomwaffen and the Iron March Networks.” Bellingcat. December 19, 2019. https://www.bellingcat.com/news
/2019/12/19/transnational-white-terror-exposing-atomwaffen-and-the-iron-march-networks/

[2] Weill, Kelly. “Inside the Private Messages of Neo-Nazi Group Atomwaffen Division.” The Daily Beast. November 8, 2019. https://www.thedailybeast.com/inside-the-private-messages-of-neo-nazi-gr...

[3] Weill, Kelly. “Inside the Private Messages of Neo-Nazi Group Atomwaffen Division.” The Daily Beast. November 8, 2019. https://www.thedailybeast.com/inside-the-private-messages-of-neo-nazi-gr...

[4] Ross, Alexander Reid, Emmi Bevansee, and ZC. “Transnational White Terror: Exposing Atomwaffen and the Iron March Networks.” Bellingcat. December 19, 2019. https://www.bellingcat.com/news
/2019/12/19/transnational-white-terror-exposing-atomwaffen-and-the-iron-march-networks/

[5] “Atomwaffen Division.” Southern Poverty Law Center. 2020. https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/extremist-files/group/atomwaffen...

[6] Reeve, Elspeth. “How an 18-year-old gamer went from neo-Nazi to Muslim to alleged killer.” VICE News. May 25, 2017. https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/paz8q7/how-devon-arthurs-went-from-ne.... Bromwich, Jonah Engel. “Man in Florida Told the Police He Killed Neo-Nazi Roommates for Disrespecting His Muslim Faith.” New York Times. May 24, 2017. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/24/us/neo-nazi-roommate-murder.html.

[7] Bromwich, Jonah Engel. “Man in Florida Told the Police He Killed Neo-Nazi Roommates for Disrespecting His Muslim Faith.” New York Times. May 24, 2017. https://www.nytimes.com
/2017/05/24/us/neo-nazi-roommate-murder.html.

[8] Bromwich, Jonah Engel. “Man in Florida Told the Police He Killed Neo-Nazi Roommates for Disrespecting His Muslim Faith.” New York Times. May 24, 2017. https://www.nytimes.com
/2017/05/24/us/neo-nazi-roommate-murder.html.

[9] Thompson, A.C. “An Atomwaffen Member Sketched a Map to Take the Neo-Nazis Down. What Path Officials Took Is a Mystery.” ProPublica. November 20, 2018. https://www.propublica.org/article/an-atomwaffen-member-sketched-a-map-t...

[10] Bromwich, Jonah Engel. “Man in Florida Told the Police He Killed Neo-Nazi Roommates for Disrespecting His Muslim Faith.” New York Times. May 24, 2017. https://www.nytimes.com
/2017/05/24/us/neo-nazi-roommate-murder.html. “Atomwaffen Division.” Southern Poverty Law Center. 2020. https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/extremist-files/group/atomwaffen...

[11] Thompson, A.C. “An Atomwaffen Member Sketched a Map to Take the Neo-Nazis Down. What Path Officials Took Is a Mystery.” ProPublica. November 20, 2018. https://www.propublica.org/article/an-atomwaffen-member-sketched-a-map-t...

[12] Thompson, A.C. “An Atomwaffen Member Sketched a Map to Take the Neo-Nazis Down. What Path Officials Took Is a Mystery.” ProPublica. November 20, 2018. https://www.propublica.org/article/an-atomwaffen-member-sketched-a-map-t...

[13] Thompson, A.C. “An Atomwaffen Member Sketched a Map to Take the Neo-Nazis Down. What Path Officials Took Is a Mystery.” ProPublica. November 20, 2018. https://www.propublica.org/article/an-atomwaffen-member-sketched-a-map-t...

[14] Thompson, A.C. “An Atomwaffen Member Sketched a Map to Take the Neo-Nazis Down. What Path Officials Took Is a Mystery.” ProPublica. November 20, 2018. https://www.propublica.org/article/an-atomwaffen-member-sketched-a-map-t...

[15] Chokshi, Niraj. “Neo-Nazi Leader in Florida Sentenced to 5 Years Over Homemade Explosives.” New York Times. January 20, 2018. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/10/us/brandon-russell-sentenced-neo-nazi...

[16] Thompson, A.C., Ali Winston, and Jake Hanrahan. “Inside Atomwaffen As It Celebrates a Member for Allegedly Killing a Gay Jewish College Student.” ProPublica. February 23, 2018. https://www.propublica.org/article/atomwaffen-division-inside-white-hate...

[17] Lund, Jonathan Myles. “United States of America v. John Cameron Denton: Affidavit in Support of a Criminal Complaint and Arrest Warrant.” February 25, 2020. https://www.justice.gov/usao-edva/press-release/file/1252081/download

[18] “Atomwaffen and the SIEGE parallax: how one neo-Nazi’s life’s work is fueling a younger generation.” Hatewatch. Southern Poverty Law Center. February 22, 2018. https://www.splcenter.org
/hatewatch/2018/02/22/atomwaffen-and-siege-parallax-how-one-neo-nazi’s-life’s-work-fueling-younger-generation

[19] “Atomwaffen and the SIEGE parallax: how one neo-Nazi’s life’s work is fueling a younger generation.” Hatewatch. Southern Poverty Law Center. February 22, 2018. https://www.splcenter.org
/hatewatch/2018/02/22/atomwaffen-and-siege-parallax-how-one-neo-nazi’s-life’s-work-fueling-younger-generation

[20] “Atomwaffen and the SIEGE parallax: how one neo-Nazi’s life’s work is fueling a younger generation.” Hatewatch. Southern Poverty Law Center. February 22, 2018. https://www.splcenter.org
/hatewatch/2018/02/22/atomwaffen-and-siege-parallax-how-one-neo-nazi’s-life’s-work-fueling-younger-generation

[21] Weill, Kelly. “Satanism Drama Is Tearing Apart the Murderous Neo-Nazi Group Atomwaffen.” The Daily Beast. March 21, 2018. https://www.thedailybeast.com/satanism-drama-is-tearing-apart-the-murder...

[22] Weill, Kelly. “Satanism Drama Is Tearing Apart the Murderous Neo-Nazi Group Atomwaffen.” The Daily Beast. March 21, 2018. https://www.thedailybeast.com/satanism-drama-is-tearing-apart-the-murder...

[23] Lowles et al. “State of Hate 2020: Far Right Terror Goes Global.” Hope not Hate. 2020. https://www.hopenothate.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/state-of-hate-...

[24] Lowles et al. “State of Hate 2020: Far Right Terror Goes Global.” Hope not Hate. 2020. https://www.hopenothate.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/state-of-hate-...

[25] “Atomwaffen Division (AWD).” Anti-Defamation League. 2020. https://www.adl.org/resources/backgrounders/atomwaffen-division-awd

[26] “Atomwaffen Division (AWD).” Anti-Defamation League. 2020. https://www.adl.org/resources/backgrounders/atomwaffen-division-awd

[27] Olmstead, Molly. “The Suspect in the Killing of Blaze Bernstein Belonged to a Neo-Nazi Group Allegedly Connected to Four Other Murders.” Slate. January 31, 2018. https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/01/atomwaffen-division-blaze-be...

[28] Thompson, A.C., Ali Winston, and Jake Hanrahan. “Inside Atomwaffen As It Celebrates a Member for Allegedly Killing a Gay Jewish College Student.” ProPublica. February 23, 2018. https://www.propublica.org/article/atomwaffen-division-inside-white-hate...

[29] Thompson, A.C., Ali Winston, and Jake Hanrahan. “Ranks of Notorious Hate Group Include Active-Duty Military.” ProPublica. May 3, 2018. https://www.propublica.org/article/atomwaffen-division-hate-group-active...

[30] Thompson, A.C., Ali Winston, and Jake Hanrahan. “Ranks of Notorious Hate Group Include Active-Duty Military.” ProPublica. May 3, 2018. https://www.propublica.org/article/atomwaffen-division-hate-group-active...

[31] Thompson, A.C., Ali Winston, and Jake Hanrahan. “Ranks of Notorious Hate Group Include Active-Duty Military.” ProPublica. May 3, 2018. https://www.propublica.org/article/atomwaffen-division-hate-group-active...

[32] Thompson, A.C. and Ali Winston. “An Alarming Tip About a Neo-Nazi Marine, Then an Uncertain Response.” ProPublica. May 22, 2018. https://www.propublica.org/article/an-alarming-tip-about-a-neo-nazi-mari...

[33] Schulberg, Jessica and Luke O’Brien. “We Found the Neo-Nazi Twitter Account Tied to a Virginia Double Homicide.” HuffPost. January 5, 2018. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/nicholas-giampa-neo-nazi-teenager-murder-...

[34] Thompson, A.C., Ali Winston, and Jake Hanrahan. “California Murder Suspect Said to Have Trained with Extremist Hate Group.” ProPublica. January 26, 2019. https://www.propublica.org/article/california-murder-suspect-atomwaffen-...

[35] Puente, Kelly and Tony Saavedra. “Suspect in death of Blaze Bernstein will face murder charge with enhancement for using a knife.” Orange County Register. January 18, 2018. https://www.ocregister.com/2018/01/17/suspect-in-murder-case-of-blaze-be....

[36] Bharath, Deepa. “Blaze Bernstein’s killing, 1 year later: How his death has impacted Orange County and beyond.” Orange County Register. January 10, 2019. https://www.ocregister.com/2019/01/10/one-year-after-blaze-bernsteins-mu...

[37] Thompson, A.C., Ali Winston, and Jake Hanrahan. “California Murder Suspect Said to Have Trained with Extremist Hate Group.” ProPublica. January 26, 2019. https://www.propublica.org/article/california-murder-suspect-atomwaffen-...

[38] Thompson, A.C., Ali Winston, and Jake Hanrahan. “Inside Atomwaffen As It Celebrates a Member for Allegedly Killing a Gay Jewish College Student.” ProPublica. February 23, 2018. https://www.propublica.org/article/atomwaffen-division-inside-white-hate...

[39] Thompson, A.C., Ali Winston, and Jake Hanrahan. “California Murder Suspect Said to Have Trained with Extremist Hate Group.” ProPublica. January 26, 2019. https://www.propublica.org/article/
california-murder-suspect-atomwaffen-division-extremist-hate-group. Thompson, A.C., Ali Winston, and Jake Hanrahan. “Inside Atomwaffen As It Celebrates a Member for Allegedly Killing a Gay Jewish College Student.” ProPublica. February 23, 2018. https://www.propublica.org/article/atomwaffen-division-inside-white-hate.... Thompson, A.C. and Ali Winston. “Atomwaffen, Extremist Group Whose Members Have Been Charged in Five Murders, Loses Some of Its Platforms.” ProPublica. March 6, 2018. https://www.propublica.org/article/atomwaffen-extremist-group-whose-memb.... Thompson, A.C., Ali Winston, and Jake Hanrahan. “Ranks of Notorious Hate Group Include Active-Duty Military.” ProPublica. May 3, 2018. https://www.propublica.org/article/atomwaffen-division-hate-group-active.... Thompson, A.C. and Ali Winston. “An Alarming Tip About a Neo-Nazi Marine, Then an Uncertain Response.” ProPublica. May 22, 2018. https://www.propublica.org/article/an-alarming-tip-about-a-neo-nazi-mari.... Thompson, A.C. “An Atomwaffen Member Sketched a Map to Take the Neo-Nazis Down. What Path Officials Took Is a Mystery.” ProPublica. November 20, 2018. https://www.propublica.org/article/an-atomwaffen-member-sketched-a-map-t.... “’Documenting Hate: New American Nazis,’ Coming Soon From ProPublica and Frontline.” ProPublica. November 12, 2018. https://www.propublica.org/article/
documenting-hate-new-american-nazis-coming-soon-from-propublica-and-frontline

[40] “ProPublica’s A.C. Thompson Wins Walter Cronkite Award for “Documenting Hate.” ProPublica. March 20, 2019. https://www.propublica.org/atpropublica/propublicas-ac-thompson-wins-wal...

[41] Thompson, A.C. and Ali Winston. “Atomwaffen, Extremist Group Whose Members Have Been Charged in Five Murders, Loses Some of Its Platforms.” ProPublica. March 6, 2018. https://www.propublica.org/article/atomwaffen-extremist-group-whose-memb...

[42] Olding, Rachel. “FBI Rounds Up Five Alleged Neo-Nazis Tied to Murderous Atomwaffen Division.” The Daily Beast. February 26, 2020. https://www.thedailybeast.com/alleged-ex-atomwaffen-division-leader-john...

[43] Olding, Rachel. “FBI Rounds Up Five Alleged Neo-Nazis Tied to Murderous Atomwaffen Division.” The Daily Beast. February 26, 2020. https://www.thedailybeast.com/alleged-ex-atomwaffen-division-leader-john.... Weiner, Rachel. “Member of neo-Nazi group pleads guilty to ‘swatting’ conspiracy against journalists, minorities.” The Washington Post. July 14, 2020. https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/public-safety/member-of-neo-nazi-gr...

[44] Weill, Kelly. “Neo-Nazi Swatting Ring’s Alleged ‘Cybersecurity’ Guru Arrested Thanks to... Terrible Cybersecurity.” The Daily Beast. January 15, 2020. https://www.thedailybeast.com/neo-nazi-swatting-rings-alleged-cybersecur...

[45] Lowles et al. “State of Hate 2019: The People Versus the Elite?” Hope not Hate. 2019. http://www.hopenothate.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/state-of-hate-2...

[46] “Atomwaffen Division.” Counter Extremism Project. 2020. https://www.counterextremism.com/supremacy/atomwaffen-division

[47] “Teenager who called Prince Harry a 'race traitor' sentenced.” The Guardian. June 18, 2019. https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/jun/18/michal-szewczuk-sentence...

[48] Mekhennet, Souad and Rachel Weiner. “As Trump vows crackdown on ‘antifa,’ growth of right-wing extremism frustrates Europeans.” The Washington Post. June 5, 2020. https://www.washingtonpost.com
/national-security/as-trump-vows-crackdown-on-antifa-growth-of-right-wing-extremism-frustrates-europeans/2020/06/05/7006eb40-9b94-11ea-ad09-8da7ec214672_story.html

[49] Walsh, Alistair. “Neo-Nazi pamphlets target Cologne area hit by racist nail bomb.” Deutsche Welle. June 7, 2019. https://www.dw.com/en/neo-nazi-pamphlets-target-cologne-area-hit-by-raci.... “Outrage in Germany over neo-Nazis' political 'kill list.'” The Local Germany. November 4, 2019. https://www.thelocal.de/20191104/outrage-in-germany-over-neo-nazis-polit...

[50] “Feuerkrieg Division (FKD).” Anti-Defamation League. 2020. https://www.adl.org/resources
/backgrounders/feuerkrieg-division-fkd

[51] Kunzelman, Michael and Jari Tanner. “He led a neo-Nazi group linked to bomb plots. He was 13.” Associated Press. April 11, 2020. https://apnews.com/7067c03e1af0b157be7c15888cbe8c27. Drury, Colin. “‘Commander’ of Feuerkrieg far-right terror group unmasked by police as Estonian boy, 13.’” The Independent. April 11, 2020. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/far-right-terror-group-c...

[52] Schiano, Chris. “LEAKED: Neo-Nazi Terrorist ‘Feuerkrieg Division’ Organizing Chats.” Unicorn Riot. March 20, 2020. https://unicornriot.ninja/2020/leaked-neo-nazi-terrorist-feuerkreig-divi.... Kunzelman, Michael and Jari Tanner. “He led a neo-Nazi group linked to bomb plots. He was 13.” Associated Press. April 11, 2020. https://apnews.com/7067c03e1af0b157be7c15888cbe8c27.

[53] Shaykhet, Simon. “Police investigate Neo-Nazi flyers posted in Birmingham, Royal Oak.” WXYZ News Detroit. July 22, 2019. https://www.wxyz.com/news/police-investigate-neo-nazi-flyers-posted-in-b...

[54] Osborne, Mark. “Las Vegas neo-Nazi charged with plot to bomb gay club, synagogue.” ABC News. August 10, 2019. https://abcnews.go.com/US/las-vegas-neo-nazi-charged-plot-bomb-gay/story...

[55] Winston, Ali. “This Deadly Neo-Nazi Group’s Media Obsession Could Be Its Downfall.” The Daily Beast. March 1, 2020. https://www.thedailybeast.com/neo-nazi-group-atomwaffen-divisions-media-...

[56] “Arrests in Four States of Racially Motivated Violent Extremists Targeting Journalists and Activists.” U.S. Department of Justice. February 26, 2020. https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/arrests-four-states-racially-motivated-vi...

[57] Mallin, Alexander and Luke Barr. “Justice Department announces nationwide arrests of members of neo-Nazi Atomwaffen group.” ABC News. February 26, 2020. https://abcnews.go.com/US/justice-department-announces-nationwide-arrest...

[58] Mallin, Alexander and Luke Barr. “Justice Department announces nationwide arrests of members of neo-Nazi Atomwaffen group.” ABC News. February 26, 2020. https://abcnews.go.com/US/justice-department-announces-nationwide-arrest...

[59] Baker, Mike. “Police Seize Guns From Man Thought to Be Neo-Nazi Leader.” The New York Times. October 17, 2019. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/17/us/atomwaffen-kaleb-cole.html

[60] Fields, Asia. “Suspected Washington leader of neo-Nazi group charged with violating gun ban under state’s red-flag law.” The Seattle Times. https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/crime/suspected-washington-lea...

[61] Fields, Asia. “Suspected Washington leader of neo-Nazi group charged with violating gun ban under state’s red-flag law.” The Seattle Times. https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/crime/suspected-washington-lea...

[62] “Suspected Neo-Nazi Sentenced to 2.5 Years for Gun Crime.” U.S. Department of Justice. April 28, 2020. https://www.justice.gov/usao-ndtx/pr/suspected-neo-nazi-sentenced-25-yea...

[63] “Suspected Neo-Nazi Sentenced to 2.5 Years for Gun Crime.” U.S. Department of Justice. April 28, 2020. https://www.justice.gov/usao-ndtx/pr/suspected-neo-nazi-sentenced-25-yea...

[64] Mallin, Alexander and Luke Barr. “Justice Department announces nationwide arrests of members of neo-Nazi Atomwaffen group.” ABC News. February 26, 2020. https://abcnews.go.com/US/justice-department-announces-nationwide-arrest...

[65] “Rose Introduces Resolution Calling on Admin to Designate Foreign Violent White Supremacist Groups as Foreign Terrorist Organizations.” Office of United States Congressman Max Rose. March 4, 2020. https://maxrose.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=2507

[66] Bertrand, Natasha, Nahal Toosi, and Daniel Lippman. “State pushes to list white supremacist group as terrorist org.” POLITICO. March 9, 2020. https://www.politico.com/news/2020/03/09/state-department-white-supremac...

[67] “United States Designates Russian Imperial Movement and Leaders as Global Terrorists.” U.S. Department of State. April 7, 2020. https://www.state.gov/united-states-designates-russian-imperial-movement...

[68] “Proscribed Terrorist Organizations.” UK Home Office. 2020. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk
/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/901434/20200717_Proscription.pdf

[69] Makuch, Ben. “Audio Recording Claims Neo-Nazi Terror Group Is Disbanding.” VICE News. March 14, 2020. https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/qjdnam/audio-recording-claims-neo-naz...

[70] Makuch, Ben. “Audio Recording Claims Neo-Nazi Terror Group Is Disbanding.” VICE News. March 14, 2020. https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/qjdnam/audio-recording-claims-neo-naz...

[71] Mekhennet, Souad and Rachel Weiner. “As Trump vows crackdown on ‘antifa,’ growth of right-wing extremism frustrates Europeans.” The Washington Post. June 5, 2020. https://www.washingtonpost.com
/national-security/as-trump-vows-crackdown-on-antifa-growth-of-right-wing-extremism-frustrates-europeans/2020/06/05/7006eb40-9b94-11ea-ad09-8da7ec214672_story.html

[72] “Extremist Content Online: Extremists Continue Exploiting U.S. Protests & Civil Unrest on Telegram.” Counter Extremism Project. June 8, 2020. https://www.counterextremism.com/press/extremist-content-online-extremis...

[73] Lamothe, Dan and Souad Mekhennet. “Soldiers’ cases highlight reach of white supremacy in U.S. military.” The Washington Post. June 25, 2020. https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/soldiers-cases-highligh...

[74] “Atomwaffen Division/National Socialist Order.” Counter Extremism Project. 2020. https://www.counterextremism.com/supremacy/atomwaffen-divisionnational-s...

[75] “Atomwaffen Division/National Socialist Order.” Counter Extremism Project. 2020. https://www.counterextremism.com/supremacy/atomwaffen-divisionnational-s...

[76] “Atomwaffen Division/National Socialist Order.” Counter Extremism Project. 2020. https://www.counterextremism.com/supremacy/atomwaffen-divisionnational-s...

[77] Makuch, Ben. “Neo-Nazi Terror Group Atomwaffen Division Re-Emerges Under New Name.” VICE News. August 5, 2020. https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/wxq7jy/neo-nazi-terror-group-atomwaff...

[78] Makuch, Ben. “Neo-Nazi Terror Group Atomwaffen Division Re-Emerges Under New Name.” VICE News. August 5, 2020. https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/wxq7jy/neo-nazi-terror-group-atomwaff...

[79] Makuch, Ben. “Neo-Nazi Terror Group Atomwaffen Division Re-Emerges Under New Name.” VICE News. August 5, 2020. https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/wxq7jy/neo-nazi-terror-group-atomwaff...

Organizational Structure

Leadership, Name Changes, Size Estimates, Resources, Geographic Locations

    Leadership
  • Leadership
  • Name Changes
  • Size Estimates
  • Resources
  • Geographic Locations

Leadership

The Atomwaffen Division operates with a highly decentralized structure in the United States. AWD consists of a network of localized cells, each containing several individuals. This type of organizational structure has historically been popular among American extreme-right groups and was pioneered by Ku Klux Klan leader Louis Beam in the 1980s.[1] Beam advocated “leaderless resistance” as opposed to a national hierarchy in order to thwart counterterrorism authorities.[2]

The leaders of AWD’s successor organization, the National Socialist Order (NSO), are anonymous as of August 2020. NSO’s leadership structure consists of four former AWD leaders, each hailing from a different geographical region, who were not arrested in the February 2020 sweep by U.S. law enforcement.[3] The leaders reportedly make decisions on a joint or consensus-driven basis and are anonymous as of August 2020.[4]

The list below includes several key leaders of AWD, but, given the structure of the group, it should not be considered a comprehensive overview of all leaders of AWD cells. 

Brandon Russell (2015 to 2017): Russell founded AWD in 2015 and launched the group from the neo-Nazi online forum Iron March. Based in Tampa, Florida, Russell reportedly had an obsession with nuclear weapons and studied nuclear physics as an undergraduate.[5] Russell served in the Florida National Guard, where he received military training.[6] Russell served as the group’s first leader. Under his oversight, AWD engaged in outreach on college campuses and began participating in violent activities, including attacks on members of the public and paramilitary training.[7] Following the murders committed by AWD member Arthurs in May 2017, Russell was arrested. He pleaded guilty for possession of an unregistered destructive device and unlawful storage of explosives.[8] He was sentenced to five years in prison in January 2018. Leadership of the group then reportedly passed to John Cameron Denton.

John Cameron Denton (2017 to 2020): Denton, who has also used the name Vincent Snyder, appears to have taken control of AWD in 2017 following Russell’s imprisonment.[9] Under his leadership, AWD became more fiercely ideological.[10] Denton is in his mid-20s and was based in the town of Conroe, Texas (outside of Houston) before his March 2020 arrest. He reportedly directed many aspects of the group personally, including the development of AWD’s ideology, propaganda, and required reading lists for new recruits.[11] Denton was arrested in early March 2020 for “swatting” attacks against journalists, a university in Virginia, and a historically Black church.[12] Known for using the alias “Rape” online, Denton has also been accused of sharing child pornography.[13]

James Nolan Mason (unknown to present): Mason serves as an adviser to AWD and is based in Denver, Colorado. He is the author of SIEGE, AWD’s key ideological text.[14] Mason has been involved in the U.S. neo-Nazi movement for decades. He joined the American Nazi Party (ANP) in his youth and has been associated with U.S. white supremacist leaders including George Lincoln Rockwell, William Pierce, and Charles Manson.[15] During the 1990s and 2000s, Mason fell into obscurity until AWD resurrected his ideas and republished SIEGE online.[16] Mason has been in and out of prison for offenses involving firearms and sexual activity with minors.[17]

Michael Lloyd Hubsky (unknown to 2020): A self-styled firearms expert, Hubsky (alias “Komissar”) is in his early 30s and is based in Las Vegas, Nevada. He organized an AWD combat training camp in the Nevada desert in January 2018. In online discussion board posts, Hubsky has advocated attacking the U.S. power grid, water systems, and natural gas lines.[18] He reportedly flipped on AWD and served as an informant to law enforcement.[19]

Kaleb J. Cole (unknown to 2020): The leader of AWD’s Washington state cell, Cole (alias “Khimaere”) is based in the town of Blaine near the Canadian border. He plays a major role in the group’s propaganda and recruitment.[20] The chapter led by Cole in Washington is reportedly one of AWD’s largest.[21] In addition to his leadership of the cell, Cole has also helped organize firearms training in Nevada and Washington.[22] Cole has been permanently banned from Canada for membership in a terrorist organization.[23] In February 2020, he was arrested in Texas and imprisoned. He faces charges for unlawful possession of a firearm and participation in AWD’s campaign to intimidate journalists and activists.[24]

Sean Michael Fernandez (unknown to present): Fernandez (alias Wehrwolf) is a leader of AWD’s Texas cell.[25]


[1] Perliger, Arie. “Challengers from the Sidelines: Understanding America’s Violent Far-Right.” Combating Terrorism Center at West Point. November 2012. https://ctc.usma.edu/challengers-from-the-sidelines-understanding-americ...

[2] Perliger, Arie. “Challengers from the Sidelines: Understanding America’s Violent Far-Right.” Combating Terrorism Center at West Point. November 2012. https://ctc.usma.edu/challengers-from-the-sidelines-understanding-americ...

[3] Makuch, Ben. “Neo-Nazi Terror Group Atomwaffen Division Re-Emerges Under New Name.” VICE News. August 5, 2020. https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/wxq7jy/neo-nazi-terror-group-atomwaff...

[4] Makuch, Ben. “Neo-Nazi Terror Group Atomwaffen Division Re-Emerges Under New Name.” VICE News. August 5, 2020. https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/wxq7jy/neo-nazi-terror-group-atomwaff...

[5] Thompson, A.C. “An Atomwaffen Member Sketched a Map to Take the Neo-Nazis Down. What Path Officials Took Is a Mystery.” ProPublica. November 20, 2018. https://www.propublica.org/article/an-atomwaffen-member-sketched-a-map-t...

[6] Thompson, A.C. “An Atomwaffen Member Sketched a Map to Take the Neo-Nazis Down. What Path Officials Took Is a Mystery.” ProPublica. November 20, 2018. https://www.propublica.org/article/an-atomwaffen-member-sketched-a-map-t...

[7] “Atomwaffen Division.” Southern Poverty Law Center. 2020. https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/extremist-files/group/atomwaffen...

[8] Chokshi, Niraj. “Neo-Nazi Leader in Florida Sentenced to 5 Years Over Homemade Explosives.” New York Times. January 20, 2018. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/10/us/brandon-russell-sentenced-neo-nazi...

[9] “Atomwaffen and the SIEGE parallax: how one neo-Nazi’s life’s work is fueling a younger generation.” Hatewatch. Southern Poverty Law Center. February 22, 2018. https://www.splcenter.org
/hatewatch/2018/02/22/atomwaffen-and-siege-parallax-how-one-neo-nazi’s-life’s-work-fueling-younger-generation. “Atomwaffen Division (AWD).” Anti-Defamation League. 2020. https://www.adl.org/resources/backgrounders/atomwaffen-division-awd

[10] “Atomwaffen and the SIEGE parallax: how one neo-Nazi’s life’s work is fueling a younger generation.” Hatewatch. Southern Poverty Law Center. February 22, 2018. https://www.splcenter.org
/hatewatch/2018/02/22/atomwaffen-and-siege-parallax-how-one-neo-nazi’s-life’s-work-fueling-younger-generation

[11] Thompson, A.C., Ali Winston, and Jake Hanrahan. “Inside Atomwaffen As It Celebrates a Member for Allegedly Killing a Gay Jewish College Student.” ProPublica. February 23, 2018. https://www.propublica.org/article/atomwaffen-division-inside-white-hate...

[12] Wilson, Jason. “Sweep of arrests hits US neo-Nazi group connected to five murders.” The Guardian. March 6, 2020. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/06/neo-nazi-arrests-deals-blo...

[13] Weiner, Rachel. “Accused former Atomwaffen Division leader shared child pornography, prosecutors allege in Va. Court.” The Washington Post. March 13, 2020. https://www.washingtonpost.com
/local/public-safety/alleged-former-atomwaffen-division-leader-shared-child-pornography-prosecutors-allege-in-va-court/2020/03/13/ea6ced0c-6544-11ea-acca-80c22bbee96f_story.html

[14] Jojola, Jeremy. “A prominent neo-Nazi lives in an apartment not far from downtown Denver.” 9News. November 25, 2019. https://www.9news.com/article/news/investigations/neo-nazi-lives-in-capi...

[15] “Atomwaffen and the SIEGE parallax: how one neo-Nazi’s life’s work is fueling a younger generation.” Hatewatch. Southern Poverty Law Center. February 22, 2018. https://www.splcenter.org/hatewatch/2018/02/22/atomwaffen-and-siege-para...’s-life’s-work-fueling-younger-generation

[16] O’Brien, Luke and Christopher Mathias. “The Maniac Neo-Nazis Keeping Charles Manson’s Race War Alive.” HuffPost. November 21, 2017. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/alt-right-charles-manson-atomwaffen_n_5a1...

[17] O’Brien, Luke and Christopher Mathias. “The Maniac Neo-Nazis Keeping Charles Manson’s Race War Alive.” HuffPost. November 21, 2017. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/alt-right-charles-manson-atomwaffen_n_5a1...

[18] Thompson, A.C., Ali Winston, and Jake Hanrahan. “Inside Atomwaffen As It Celebrates a Member for Allegedly Killing a Gay Jewish College Student.” ProPublica. February 23, 2018. https://www.propublica.org/article/atomwaffen-division-inside-white-hate...

[19] Blazakis et al. “Special Report: The Atomwaffen Division: The Evolution of the White Supremacy Threat.” The Soufan Center. August 2020. https://thesoufancenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/The-Atomwaffen-Di...

[20] Thompson, A.C., Ali Winston, and Jake Hanrahan. “Inside Atomwaffen As It Celebrates a Member for Allegedly Killing a Gay Jewish College Student.” ProPublica. February 23, 2018. https://www.propublica.org/article/atomwaffen-division-inside-white-hate...

[21] Carter, Mike. “Purported leader of neo-Nazi group Atomwaffen wants out of detention in SeaTac; feds oppose release.” The Seattle Times. May 22, 2020. https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/crime/purported-leader-of-neo-...

[22] Thompson, A.C., Ali Winston, and Jake Hanrahan. “Inside Atomwaffen As It Celebrates a Member for Allegedly Killing a Gay Jewish College Student.” ProPublica. February 23, 2018. https://www.propublica.org/article/atomwaffen-division-inside-white-hate...

[23] Carter, Mike. “Purported leader of neo-Nazi group Atomwaffen wants out of detention in SeaTac; feds oppose release.” The Seattle Times. May 22, 2020. https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/crime/purported-leader-of-neo-...

[24] Carter, Mike. “Purported leader of neo-Nazi group Atomwaffen wants out of detention in SeaTac; feds oppose release.” The Seattle Times. May 22, 2020. https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/crime/purported-leader-of-neo-...

[25] Thompson, A.C., Ali Winston, and Jake Hanrahan. “Inside Atomwaffen As It Celebrates a Member for Allegedly Killing a Gay Jewish College Student.” ProPublica. February 23, 2018. https://www.propublica.org/article/atomwaffen-division-inside-white-hate...

Name Changes

Several AWD leaders were arrested in February 2020, and the group announced its disbandment in March 2020. Following these events, the Atomwaffen Division rebranded as the National Socialist Order (NSO) in July 2020.[1]


[1] “Atomwaffen Division/National Socialist Order.” Counter Extremism Project. 2020. https://www.counterextremism.com/supremacy/atomwaffen-divisionnational-s...

Size Estimates

The Atomwaffen Division’s structure is decentralized with a number of geographically separated cells, each believed to comprise a handful of members.[1] The size estimates below encompass multiple cells. Researchers note that the group’s highly decentralized nature makes it difficult to accurately assess its size.[2] The International Center for Counter-Terrorism (ICCT), an internationally recognized think tank based in The Hague, notes that the group likely has many “initiates” below the status of full-fledged members and thus are not included in estimates of AWD’s formal membership.[3] These estimates consider only the central Atomwaffen Division based in the United States and do not include the group’s affiliates abroad.

  • 2018: 80 members (ProPublica)[4]
  • 2018: 24-36 members (Anti-Defamation League)[5]

[1] Bromwich, Jonah Engel. “What Is Atomwaffen? A Neo-Nazi Group, Linked to Multiple Murders.” New York Times. February 12, 2018. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/12/us/what-is-atomwaffen.html

[2] Bromwich, Jonah Engel. “What Is Atomwaffen? A Neo-Nazi Group, Linked to Multiple Murders.” New York Times. February 12, 2018. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/12/us/what-is-atomwaffen.html

[3] Ware, Jacob. “Siege: The Atomwaffen Division and Rising Far-Right Terrorism in the United States.” International Center for Counter-Terrorism. July 9, 2019. https://icct.nl/publication/siege-the-atomwaffen-division-and-rising-far...

[4] Thompson, A.C., Ali Winston, and Jake Hanrahan. “California Murder Suspect Said to Have Trained with Extremist Hate Group.” ProPublica. January 26, 2019. https://www.propublica.org/article/california-murder-suspect-atomwaffen-...

[5] Bromwich, Jonah Engel. “What Is Atomwaffen? A Neo-Nazi Group, Linked to Multiple Murders.” New York Times. February 12, 2018. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/12/us/what-is-atomwaffen.html

Resources

AWD’s resources and financing structure appear to be Internet-based. AWD’s founder Brandon Russell solicited donations via PayPal and Google wallet in posts on Iron March, the neo-Nazi and white supremacist forum from which the group was first established.[1] Russell has also stated that he sold books on eBay.[2] AWD has sold merchandise online, including T-shirts and mugs emblazoned with AWD imagery made by the group’s graphic designer, an anonymous Canadian who goes by the moniker “Dark Foreigner.”[3] In 2018, the AWD sold T-shirt designs in order to support Samuel Woodward, the member accused of killing teenager Blaze Bernstein in Orange County, California in January of that year.[4]

AWD has prioritized the recruitment of U.S. servicemembers and veterans. The group seeks to exploit military affiliates’ training and access to equipment to support attacks.[5] At least seven AWD members are known to possess varying degrees of military experience. This includes AWD’s founder, Brandon Russell, a member of the Florida National Guard; former U.S. Marine Corps Lance Corporal Vasillios Pistolis, who attacked counter-protesters at the August 2017 Unite the Right Rally and was then expelled from the Corps; and former U.S. Army Private First Class Corwyn Storm Carver, who was administratively separated from the Army in 2019.[6]


[1] Ross, Alexander Reid, Emmi Bevansee, and ZC. “Transnational White Terror: Exposing Atomwaffen and the Iron March Networks.” Bellingcat. December 19, 2019. https://www.bellingcat.com/news
/2019/12/19/transnational-white-terror-exposing-atomwaffen-and-the-iron-march-networks/

[2] Ross, Alexander Reid, Emmi Bevansee, and ZC. “Transnational White Terror: Exposing Atomwaffen and the Iron March Networks.” Bellingcat. December 19, 2019. https://www.bellingcat.com/news
/2019/12/19/transnational-white-terror-exposing-atomwaffen-and-the-iron-march-networks/

[3] Lamoureux, Mack and Ben Makuch. “Atomwaffen, an American Neo-Nazi Terror Group, Is in Canada.” VICE News. June 19, 2018. https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/a3a8ae/atomwaffen-an-american-neo-naz...

[4] “Atomwaffen Division.” Counter Extremism Project. 2020. https://www.counterextremism.com/supremacy/atomwaffen-division

[5] Thompson, A.C. “An Atomwaffen Member Sketched a Map to Take the Neo-Nazis Down. What Path Officials Took Is a Mystery.” ProPublica. November 20, 2018. https://www.propublica.org/article/an-atomwaffen-member-sketched-a-map-t...

[6] Ware, Jacob. “Siege: The Atomwaffen Division and Rising Far-Right Terrorism in the United States.” International Center for Counter-Terrorism. July 9, 2019. https://icct.nl/publication/siege-the-atomwaffen-division-and-rising-far.... Lamothe, Dan and Souad Mekhennet. “Soldiers’ cases highlight reach of white supremacy in U.S. military.” The Washington Post. June 25, 2020. https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/soldiers-cases-highligh...

Geographic Locations

Disclaimer: This is a partial list of where the militant organization has bases and where it operates. This does not include information on where the group conducts major attacks or has external influences.

The Atomwaffen Division is based in the United States and comprises cells scattered around the country. Researchers believe that AWD cells are present in Texas; Florida; near Seattle, Washington; and near Richmond, Virginia.[1] Based on an internal AWD document, ProPublica has identified AWD members active in 23 U.S. states across the Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, and West.[2] However, it is unclear to what degree, if any, fully-organized cells operate in any of these areas. The largest chapters are located in Texas, Washington state, and Virginia.[3]

A June 2017 propaganda video released by the group purports to show the location of 19 cells. In addition to its four cells in Texas, Florida, Washington, and Virginia, the group allegedly operates in Southern California (which covers the location of AWD member Samuel Woodward’s 2018 murder of a gay Jewish teenager), as well as the sites of several college campuses where AWD literature has been found. Members of AWD have distributed flyers at universities in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Washington state.[4]

AWD maintains affiliates overseas, including the United Kingdom, Germany, Estonia, and Russia. For more information on AWD’s affiliates, please see the “Relationships with Other Groups” section of this profile.


[1] Bromwich, Jonah Engel. “What Is Atomwaffen? A Neo-Nazi Group, Linked to Multiple Murders.” New York Times. February 12, 2018. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/12/us/what-is-atomwaffen.html

[2] Thompson, A.C., Ali Winston, and Jake Hanrahan. “Inside Atomwaffen As It Celebrates a Member for Allegedly Killing a Gay Jewish College Student.” ProPublica. February 23, 2018. https://www.propublica.org/article/atomwaffen-division-inside-white-hate...

[3] Thompson, A.C., Ali Winston, and Jake Hanrahan. “Inside Atomwaffen As It Celebrates a Member for Allegedly Killing a Gay Jewish College Student.” ProPublica. February 23, 2018. https://www.propublica.org/article/atomwaffen-division-inside-white-hate...

[4] “Atomwaffen Division.” Southern Poverty Law Center. 2020. https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/extremist-files/group/atomwaffen...

Strategy

Ideology, Aims, Political Activities, Targets and Tactics

    Ideology and Goals
  • Ideology and Goals
  • Political Activities
  • Targets and Tactics

Ideology and Goals

AWD advocates the use of violence to overthrow what it calls the “System,” a catchall term for the U.S. federal government and other major societal institutions.[1] Drawing on anti-Semitic tropes, the group holds that American democracy and capitalism have failed, which has allowed a supposed Jewish oligarchy to control global power.[2] The group shares several common neo-Nazi beliefs, such as an admiration of Adolf Hitler and white supremacist conspiracy theories. However, AWD differs from other extreme-right organizations in its overt call for terrorist acts.[3] Building on American cult leader Charles Manson’s prophecy of a “Helter Skelter” race war, AWD promotes an “accelerationist” doctrine that urges the advent of a violent revolution to establish a new white supremacist order.[4] Though AWD originated online and leverages the Internet to spread its propaganda and recruit members, its manifesto deplores so-called “keyboard warriorism” and prioritizes acts of violence “IRL” (or “in real life”) as opposed to online activism.[5] The group’s ideology is reportedly considered extreme among other members of the U.S. alt-right and white supremacist movements.[6]

AWD’s primary ideological text is the book SIEGE, written by American neo-Nazi James Mason. SIEGE is 560-page anthology of Mason’s newsletters from the 1980s. Mason composed SIEGE after becoming disenchanted by political activism and the U.S. neo-Nazi movement’s failure to convert members of the voting public to their cause. Instead, Mason urged white supremacists to adopt terrorism and guerilla warfare tactics to bring down the U.S. government.[7] Influenced by Charles Manson’s concept of a race war, SIEGE promotes the Universal Order philosophy, the idea that adherents should engage in acts of terrorism to topple the U.S. government and establish a new order that privileges the white race over people of color.[8] AWD began to emphasize the text more heavily after AWD founder Brandon Russell’s imprisonment in early 2018 and the group’s transition to new leadership.[9] According to a member of AWD interviewed by PBS Frontline, “the group [follows] James Mason’s SIEGE like a bible.”[10] The AWD’s set of apocalyptic beliefs has been termed “Siege culture” or “Siegekultur.”[11]

In addition to Mason, AWD venerates other well-known neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and extreme-right terrorists. This includes Dylann Roof, the perpetrator of a mass murder in a historically Black Charleston church; Anders Breivik, the deadliest terrorist in Norwegian history; Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber; and Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma City bomber.[12] AWD has reportedly nicknamed the latter three “the father, the son, and the holy spirit.”[13] When law enforcement authorities responded to the killings of two AWD members in a Tampa, Florida apartment in May 2017, they found a framed photo of Timothy McVeigh in AWD founder Brandon Russell’s bedroom.[14]

Beyond SIEGE, AWD’s ideology also began to draw on themes from the occult following the group’s leadership change in 2017.[15] Some members of AWD reportedly practice a brand of Satanism promoted by a neo-Nazi group known as the Order of Nine Angles (O9A). In particular, the Satanist beliefs propagated by O9A advocate Holocaust denial and idolize Adolf Hitler.[16] AWD reading lists include occult and Satanic texts, such as the O9A text Hostia: Secret Teachings of the Order of Nine Angles.[17]


[1] Bromwich, Jonah Engel. “What Is Atomwaffen? A Neo-Nazi Group, Linked to Multiple Murders.” New York Times. February 12, 2018. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/12/us/what-is-atomwaffen.html

[2] Olmstead, Molly. “The Suspect in the Killing of Blaze Bernstein Belonged to a Neo-Nazi Group Allegedly Connected to Four Other Murders.” Slate. January 31, 2018. https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/01/atomwaffen-division-blaze-be...

[3] Ware, Jacob. “Siege: The Atomwaffen Division and Rising Far-Right Terrorism in the United States.” International Center for Counter-Terrorism. July 9, 2019. https://icct.nl/publication/siege-the-atomwaffen-division-and-rising-far...

[4] “Atomwaffen Division.” Southern Poverty Law Center. 2020. https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/extremist-files/group/atomwaffen...

[5] Olmstead, Molly. “The Suspect in the Killing of Blaze Bernstein Belonged to a Neo-Nazi Group Allegedly Connected to Four Other Murders.” Slate. January 31, 2018. https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/01/atomwaffen-division-blaze-be...

[6] O’Brien, Luke and Christopher Mathias. “The Maniac Neo-Nazis Keeping Charles Manson’s Race War Alive.” HuffPost. November 21, 2017. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/alt-right-charles-manson-atomwaffen_n_5a1...

[7] Thompson, A.C., Ali Winston, and Jake Hanrahan. “Inside Atomwaffen As It Celebrates a Member for Allegedly Killing a Gay Jewish College Student.” ProPublica. February 23, 2018. https://www.propublica.org/article/atomwaffen-division-inside-white-hate...

[8] “Atomwaffen and the SIEGE parallax: how one neo-Nazi’s life’s work is fueling a younger generation.” Hatewatch. Southern Poverty Law Center. February 22, 2018. https://www.splcenter.org/hatewatch/
2018/02/22/atomwaffen-and-siege-parallax-how-one-neo-nazi’s-life’s-work-fueling-younger-generation

[9] “Atomwaffen and the SIEGE parallax: how one neo-Nazi’s life’s work is fueling a younger generation.” Hatewatch. Southern Poverty Law Center. February 22, 2018. https://www.splcenter.org/hatewatch/2018/02/22/atomwaffen-and-siege-para...’s-life’s-work-fueling-younger-generation

[10] Ware, Jacob. “Siege: The Atomwaffen Division and Rising Far-Right Terrorism in the United States.” International Center for Counter-Terrorism. July 9, 2019. https://icct.nl/publication/siege-the-atomwaffen-division-and-rising-far...

[11] “Atomwaffen Division (AWD).” Anti-Defamation League. 2020. https://www.adl.org/resources/backgrounders/atomwaffen-division-awd

[12] Ware, Jacob. “Siege: The Atomwaffen Division and Rising Far-Right Terrorism in the United States.” International Center for Counter-Terrorism. July 9, 2019. https://icct.nl/publication/siege-the-atomwaffen-division-and-rising-far...

[13] “Atomwaffen Division (AWD).” Anti-Defamation League. 2020. https://www.adl.org/resources/backgrounders/atomwaffen-division-awd

[14] O’Brien, Luke and Christopher Mathias. “The Maniac Neo-Nazis Keeping Charles Manson’s Race War Alive.” HuffPost. November 21, 2017. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/alt-right-charles-manson-atomwaffen_n_5a1...

[15] “Atomwaffen Division.” Southern Poverty Law Center. 2020. https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/extremist-files/group/atomwaffen...

[16] “Atomwaffen Division (AWD).” Anti-Defamation League. 2020. https://www.adl.org/resources/backgrounders/atomwaffen-division-awd

[17] “Atomwaffen Division (AWD).” Anti-Defamation League. 2020. https://www.adl.org/resources/backgrounders/atomwaffen-division-awd

Political Activities

There are no recorded political activities for this group. AWD’s ideology rejects political activism in favor of acts of terrorism. In an internal online chat post, AWD leader John Cameron Denton wrote, “Politics are useless. Revolution is necessary.”[1]


[1] Thompson, A.C., Ali Winston, and Jake Hanrahan. “Inside Atomwaffen As It Celebrates a Member for Allegedly Killing a Gay Jewish College Student.” ProPublica. February 23, 2018. https://www.propublica.org/article/atomwaffen-division-inside-white-hate...

Targets and Tactics

AWD is reportedly among the most violent extreme-right organizations in the United States.[1] Its ideology calls for the use of violence against the U.S. government and those it deems to be enemies. Though AWD has been linked to only about a half-dozen attacks during its existence, an analyst with the International Center for Counter-Terrorism, a think tank for terrorism studies based in the Netherlands, argues that this relative paucity of attacks for a group so bent on violence is largely the result of successful counterterrorism – not a lack of motivation.[2]

In its propaganda, AWD identifies Jews, Black Americans, Muslims, and LGBT people as its adversaries.[3] Members of these demographics have frequently counted among AWD’s targets. One of the group’s most high-profile attacks was the murder of 19-year-old Blaze Bernstein, who was both Jewish and gay, by Samuel Woodward in January 2018.[4] In July 2019, AWD left neo-Nazi flyers in various locations around a Detroit suburb, including a Jewish cemetery.[5] In August 2019, AWD member Conor Climo was arrested by the FBI for a plot to bomb a synagogue and a gay club in Las Vegas, Nevada.[6]

AWD has also indicated an intention to blow up critical infrastructure in the United States, though it has not yet been successful in executing such an attack. AWD members including Michael Lloyd Hubsky, a leader of the group, discussed this objective in internal chat logs obtained by the public interest reporting outlet ProPublica in 2018.[7] Proposed targets included public water systems, gas lines, and the power grid. Hubsky claimed to possess a classified map of the Western United States power grid.[8] In 2017, Devon Arthurs, the AWD member who killed his roommates (who were fellow AWD members), told investigators that AWD founder Brandon Russell planned to blow up a nuclear power plant outside of Miami, Florida.[9] Russell was arrested before the plot could be carried out. Arthurs also testified that the group planned to blow up local power lines and attack unspecified government buildings.[10]

Weapons used by AWD vary. In the group’s successful attacks, members have used firearms and knives. Additionally, members have sometimes wielded symbolic weapons, such as a flagpole bearing a flag with racist emblems utilized as a bludgeon.[11] AWD has also attempted to carry out bombings with explosives.[12] However, as of 2020, all of these plots have been foiled by law enforcement before coming to fruition.

In addition to direct acts of violence, members of AWD have made use of “swatting” attacks against the group’s enemies. Swatting refers to the practice of making false calls to emergency services with the goal of prompting armed police officers (the “SWAT” in “swatting”) to raid the residence of an individual or organization. Between November 2018 and April 2019, AWD leader John Cameron Denton and other members of the group allegedly made over 100 swatting calls.[13] Targets included U.S. Cabinet members; a historically Black church in Alexandria, Virginia; Old Dominion University in Virginia (the alma mater of an AWD member); and journalists with ProPublica, the investigative news outlet that published reporting on AWD in early 2018 and exposed Denton as its leader.[14]

AWD draws its tactics from SIEGE, James Mason’s eschatological neo-Nazi tome about an impending race war. In this text, Mason urges the adoption of “leaderless resistance” tactics, most notably lone-wolf terrorism executed by cells living off the grid.[15] An online chat message posted by an AWD recruiter and uncovered by ProPublica confirms that the group’s cells operate independently.[16] AWD’s acts of terrorism, whether successful or foiled, generally follow this model and the group hopes that one lone-wolf act will inspire another. For example, after AWD member Samuel Woodward’s January 2018 murder of a gay Jewish teenager, AWD’s Texas cell leader Sean Michael Fernandez posted in an online chat: “we’re only going to inspire more ‘copycat crimes’ in the name of AWD. All we have to do is spread our image and our propaganda.”[17] The International Center for Counter-Terrorism (ICCT), a leading Dutch think tank, notes that this pattern of irregular, uncoordinated, and scattered attacks allows AWD to avoid the attention and scrutiny that more organized acts of terrorism would prompt.[18]

AWD holds training camps in undisclosed locations within the United States to instruct members in combat and survival skills in preparation for the group’s prophetic race war.[19] Referred to as “Hate Camps” by the group, the events have been held in Illinois, Nevada, Texas, and Washington state since September 2017.[20] Samuel Woodward, the AWD member accused of the January 2018 murder of Blaze Bernstein, attended a three-day camp in Texas where he trained in firearms, hand-to-hand combat, and outdoor survival skills.[21]

In addition to executing violent attacks and training for combat, AWD produces propaganda videos for dissemination online. Footage is often shot on location during the group’s “Hate Camp” paramilitary training programs.[22] Rich in symbolism, the videos frequently feature AWD members dressed in camouflage and the group’s trademark skull masks. Members hold weapons and display the group’s black and yellow flags, which are based on the trefoil icon that represents nuclear radioactivity.[23] A typical video shows members firing guns and burning copies of the U.S. Constitution and American flag.[24]


[1] Olmstead, Molly. “The Suspect in the Killing of Blaze Bernstein Belonged to a Neo-Nazi Group Allegedly Connected to Four Other Murders.” Slate. January 31, 2018. https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/01/atomwaffen-division-blaze-be...

[2] Ware, Jacob. “Siege: The Atomwaffen Division and Rising Far-Right Terrorism in the United States.” International Center for Counter-Terrorism. July 9, 2019. https://icct.nl/publication/siege-the-atomwaffen-division-and-rising-far...

[3] “Atomwaffen Division (AWD).” Anti-Defamation League. 2020. https://www.adl.org/resources/backgrounders/atomwaffen-division-awd

[4] Puente, Kelly and Tony Saavedra. “Suspect in death of Blaze Bernstein will face murder charge with enhancement for using a knife.” Orange County Register. January 18, 2018. https://www.ocregister.com/2018/01/17/suspect-in-murder-case-of-blaze-be.... Bharath, Deepa. “Blaze Bernstein’s killing, 1 year later: How his death has impacted Orange County and beyond.” Orange County Register. January 10, 2019. https://www.ocregister.com/2019/01/10/one-year-after-blaze-bernsteins-mu...

[5] Shaykhet, Simon. “Police investigate Neo-Nazi flyers posted in Birmingham, Royal Oak.” WXYZ News Detroit. July 22, 2019. https://www.wxyz.com/news/police-investigate-neo-nazi-flyers-posted-in-b...

[6] Osborne, Mark. “Las Vegas neo-Nazi charged with plot to bomb gay club, synagogue.” ABC News. August 10, 2019. https://abcnews.go.com/US/las-vegas-neo-nazi-charged-plot-bomb-gay/story...

[7] Thompson, A.C., Ali Winston, and Jake Hanrahan. “Inside Atomwaffen As It Celebrates a Member for Allegedly Killing a Gay Jewish College Student.” ProPublica. February 23, 2018.

[8] Thompson, A.C., Ali Winston, and Jake Hanrahan. “Inside Atomwaffen As It Celebrates a Member for Allegedly Killing a Gay Jewish College Student.” ProPublica. February 23, 2018.

[9] Thompson, A.C., Ali Winston, and Jake Hanrahan. “California Murder Suspect Said to Have Trained with Extremist Hate Group.” ProPublica. January 26, 2019. https://www.propublica.org/article/california-murder-suspect-atomwaffen-...

[10] Thompson, A.C. “An Atomwaffen Member Sketched a Map to Take the Neo-Nazis Down. What Path Officials Took Is a Mystery.” ProPublica. November 20, 2018. https://www.propublica.org/article/an-atomwaffen-member-sketched-a-map-t...

[11] Schulberg, Jessica and Luke O’Brien. “We Found the Neo-Nazi Twitter Account Tied to a Virginia Double Homicide.” HuffPost. January 5, 2018. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/nicholas-giampa-neo-nazi-teenager-murder-.... Bromwich, Jonah Engel. “Man in Florida Told the Police He Killed Neo-Nazi Roommates for Disrespecting His Muslim Faith.” New York Times. May 24, 2017. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/24/us/neo-nazi-roommate-murder.html. Puente, Kelly and Tony Saavedra. “Suspect in death of Blaze Bernstein will face murder charge with enhancement for using a knife.” Orange County Register. January 18, 2018. https://www.ocregister.com
/2018/01/17/suspect-in-murder-case-of-blaze-bernstein-will-face-murder-charge-with-enhancement-for-using-a-knife/. Thompson, A.C. and Ali Winston. “An Alarming Tip About a Neo-Nazi Marine, Then an Uncertain Response.” ProPublica. May 22, 2018. https://www.propublica.org/article/an-alarming-tip-about-a-neo-nazi-mari...

[12] Thompson, A.C., Ali Winston, and Jake Hanrahan. “California Murder Suspect Said to Have Trained with Extremist Hate Group.” ProPublica. January 26, 2019. https://www.propublica.org/article/california-murder-suspect-atomwaffen-.... Osborne, Mark. “Las Vegas neo-Nazi charged with plot to bomb gay club, synagogue.” ABC News. August 10, 2019. https://abcnews.go.com/US/las-vegas-neo-nazi-charged-plot-bomb-gay/story...

[13] Olding, Rachel. “FBI Rounds Up Five Alleged Neo-Nazis Tied to Murderous Atomwaffen Division.” The Daily Beast. February 26, 2020. https://www.thedailybeast.com/alleged-ex-atomwaffen-division-leader-john...

[14] Olding, Rachel. “FBI Rounds Up Five Alleged Neo-Nazis Tied to Murderous Atomwaffen Division.” The Daily Beast. February 26, 2020. https://www.thedailybeast.com/alleged-ex-atomwaffen-division-leader-john.... Weiner, Rachel. “Member of neo-Nazi group pleads guilty to ‘swatting’ conspiracy against journalists, minorities.” The Washington Post. July 14, 2020. https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/public-safety/member-of-neo-nazi-gr...

[15] “Atomwaffen Division.” Southern Poverty Law Center. 2020. https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/extremist-files/group/atomwaffen...

[16] Thompson, A.C., Ali Winston, and Jake Hanrahan. “Inside Atomwaffen As It Celebrates a Member for Allegedly Killing a Gay Jewish College Student.” ProPublica. February 23, 2018. https://www.pro
publica.org/article/atomwaffen-division-inside-white-hate-group

[17] Thompson, A.C., Ali Winston, and Jake Hanrahan. “Inside Atomwaffen As It Celebrates a Member for Allegedly Killing a Gay Jewish College Student.” ProPublica. February 23, 2018. https://www.pro
publica.org/article/atomwaffen-division-inside-white-hate-group. Ware, Jacob. “Siege: The Atomwaffen Division and Rising Far-Right Terrorism in the United States.” International Center for Counter-Terrorism. July 9, 2019. https://icct.nl/publication/siege-the-atomwaffen-division-and-rising-far...

[18] Ware, Jacob. “Siege: The Atomwaffen Division and Rising Far-Right Terrorism in the United States.” International Center for Counter-Terrorism. July 9, 2019. https://icct.nl/publication/siege-the-atomwaffen-division-and-rising-far...

[19] Olmstead, Molly. “The Suspect in the Killing of Blaze Bernstein Belonged to a Neo-Nazi Group Allegedly Connected to Four Other Murders.” Slate. January 31, 2018. https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/01/atomwaffen-division-blaze-be...

[20] “Atomwaffen Division (AWD).” Anti-Defamation League. 2020. https://www.adl.org/resources/backgrounders/atomwaffen-division-awd. Thompson, A.C., Ali Winston, and Jake Hanrahan. “Inside Atomwaffen As It Celebrates a Member for Allegedly Killing a Gay Jewish College Student.” ProPublica. February 23, 2018. https://www.propublica.org/article/atomwaffen-division-inside-white-hate...

[21] Thompson, A.C., Ali Winston, and Jake Hanrahan. “California Murder Suspect Said to Have Trained with Extremist Hate Group.” ProPublica. January 26, 2019. https://www.propublica.org/article/california-murder-suspect-atomwaffen-...

[22] Thompson, A.C., Ali Winston, and Jake Hanrahan. “Inside Atomwaffen As It Celebrates a Member for Allegedly Killing a Gay Jewish College Student.” ProPublica. February 23, 2018. https://www.propublica.org/article/atomwaffen-division-inside-white-hate...

[23] O’Brien, Luke and Christopher Mathias. “The Maniac Neo-Nazis Keeping Charles Manson’s Race War Alive.” HuffPost. November 21, 2017. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/alt-right-charles-manson-atomwaffen_n_5a1...

[24] Thompson, A.C., Ali Winston, and Jake Hanrahan. “Inside Atomwaffen As It Celebrates a Member for Allegedly Killing a Gay Jewish College Student.” ProPublica. February 23, 2018. https://www.propublica.org/article/atomwaffen-division-inside-white-hate...

cardinal red photo

Major Attacks

DisclaimerThese are some selected major attacks in the militant organization's history. It is not a comprehensive listing but captures some of the most famous attacks or turning points during the campaign.

May 19, 2017: Devon Arthurs, an AWD member who had converted to Islam, took three individuals hostage at gunpoint in a Tampa smoke shop to express his opposition to U.S. military involvement in Muslim countries.[1] No one was injured in the incident. When police officers arrived, Arthurs revealed that he had earlier shot and killed two of his roommates and fellow AWD members, Andrew Oneschuk and Jimmy Himmelman.[2] Arthurs later told law enforcement that he committed the murders because the victims had allegedly disrespected his new faith.[3] It is unclear whether this attack was sanctioned by the AWD or motivated mostly by personal grievance. However, Arthurs’ attack has been commonly cited as an example of AWD violence and thus is included in this list of the group’s attacks (2 killed, 0 wounded).

August 11, 2017: Vasillios Pistolis, then a lance corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps and a member of AWD, attacked several counter-protesters at the Unite the Right Rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. His targets included Emily Gorcenski, a transgender woman and local activist. In his attack, Pistolis utilized as a weapon a wooden flagpole bearing a custom-designed flag consisting of the Sonnenrad, a circular Nazi symbol, and the Confederate battle flag (0 killed, unknown wounded).[4]

December 22, 2017: Nicholas Giampa, a 17-year-old neo-Nazi and a follower of AWD, shot and killed his girlfriend’s parents, Buckley Kuhn-Fricker and Scott Fricker, in their home in Reston, Virginia. Kuhn-Fricker and Fricker had learned of Giampa’s extremist views and broken up the relationship.[5] The extent of Giampa’s formal membership in AWD is unclear, but an anonymous AWD member interviewed by ProPublica confirmed that Giampa was in contact with the group (2 killed, 0 wounded).[6]

January 2, 2018: AWD member Samuel Woodward stabbed to death his former high-school classmate Blaze Bernstein, a gay Jewish 19-year-old sophomore attending the University of Pennsylvania. The murder took place in Orange County, California and is being prosecuted as a hate crime (1 killed, 0 wounded).[7]


[1] Bromwich, Jonah Engel. “Man in Florida Told the Police He Killed Neo-Nazi Roommates for Disrespecting His Muslim Faith.” New York Times. May 24, 2017. https://www.nytimes.com
/2017/05/24/us/neo-nazi-roommate-murder.html.

[2] Reeve, Elspeth. “How an 18-year-old gamer went from neo-Nazi to Muslim to alleged killer.” VICE News. May 25, 2017. https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/paz8q7/how-devon-arthurs-went-from-ne...

[3] Bromwich, Jonah Engel. “Man in Florida Told the Police He Killed Neo-Nazi Roommates for Disrespecting His Muslim Faith.” New York Times. May 24, 2017. https://www.nytimes.com
/2017/05/24/us/neo-nazi-roommate-murder.html. “Atomwaffen Division.” Southern Poverty Law Center. 2020. https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/extremist-files/group/atomwaffen...

[4] Thompson, A.C. and Ali Winston. “An Alarming Tip About a Neo-Nazi Marine, Then an Uncertain Response.” ProPublica. May 22, 2018. https://www.propublica.org/article/an-alarming-tip-about-a-neo-nazi-mari...

[5] Schulberg, Jessica and Luke O’Brien. “We Found the Neo-Nazi Twitter Account Tied to a Virginia Double Homicide.” HuffPost. January 5, 2018. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/nicholas-giampa-neo-nazi-teenager-murder-...

[6] Thompson, A.C., Ali Winston, and Jake Hanrahan. “California Murder Suspect Said to Have Trained with Extremist Hate Group.” ProPublica. January 26, 2019. https://www.propublica.org/article/california-murder-suspect-atomwaffen-...

[7] Puente, Kelly and Tony Saavedra. “Suspect in death of Blaze Bernstein will face murder charge with enhancement for using a knife.” Orange County Register. January 18, 2018. https://www.ocregister.com/2018/01/17/suspect-in-murder-case-of-blaze-be.... Bharath, Deepa. “Blaze Bernstein’s killing, 1 year later: How his death has impacted Orange County and beyond.” Orange County Register. January 10, 2019. https://www.ocregister.com/2019/01/10/one-year-after-blaze-bernsteins-mu...

Interactions

Foreign Designations and Listings, Community Relations, Relations with Other Groups, State Sponsors and External Influences

    Designated/Listed
  • Designated/Listed
  • Community Relations
  • Relationships with Other Groups
  • State Sponsors and External Influences

Designated/Listed

The Canadian Department of Public Safety designated Atomwaffen Division/National Socialist Order as a terrorist entity in February 2021.[1] There are no other designations or listings for the AWD/NSO central organization based in the United States.

In 2020, the United Kingdom listed two AWD affiliates as proscribed terrorist organizations: the Sonnenkrieg Division (based in the UK), and the Feuerkrieg Division (initially based in Estonia but operational internationally, including in the UK).[2]


[1] “Government of Canada lists 13 new groups as terrorist entities and completes review of seven others.” Government of Canada. February 3, 2021. https://www.canada.ca/en/public-safety-canada/news/2021/02/government-of...

[2] “Proscribed Terrorist Organizations.” UK Home Office. 2020. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk
/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/901434/20200717_Proscription.pdf

Community Relations

As a covert group, AWD has not cultivated close relations with local communities apart from its recruitment campaigns on college campuses. In the early years of the organization, between 2015 and 2017, AWD members anonymously distributed literature at several universities in the United States. This included the University of Central Florida, Old Dominion University in Virginia, Boston University, the University of Chicago, the University of Washington, Texas A&M University, the State College of Florida Manatee–Sarasota, the University of Pennsylvania, Evergreen State College in Washington state, Arizona State University, and the University of Colorado.[1]


[1] “Atomwaffen Division.” Southern Poverty Law Center. 2020. https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/extremist-files/group/atomwaffen...

Relationships with Other Groups

Though based in the United States, AWD has forged transnational connections with white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups in other parts of the world, predominantly Europe. AWD has established affiliate organizations, though it is unclear to what degree AWD central may exercise control over its affiliates. AWD has also built alliances and cultivated contacts with right-wing extremist groups operating domestically and abroad.

From its earliest days, AWD operated in a transnational environment. The group got its start on the Iron March online forum, a hub for neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and far-right extremists from around the world. In addition to AWD, Iron March gestated a number of other neo-Nazi and white supremacy extremist groups, including American Vanguard, SKYDAS (a Lithuanian nationalist organization), the Azov Battalion (a division of Ukraine’s National Guard that has fought pro-Russian separatists), the Nordic Resistance Movement, the Scottish Dawn, and the Antipodean Resistance (an Australian white supremacist organization).[1]

AWD forges connections with other groups with a view towards maximizing its position within the right-wing extremist movement. AWD reportedly instructs its members to join other neo-Nazi organizations and take control from within.[2] This strategy resembles a practice of the British neo-Nazi Satanic group the Order of Nine Angles (O9A). In its effort to undermine Western civilization, O9A urges members to infiltrate societal institutions, such as churches or the military, in order to bring them down from the inside.[3]

Affiliates

What is an AWD Affiliate?

AWD’s affiliates include overseas groups that have sworn fealty to AWD central in the United States, publicly adopted the AWD brand, and/or propagated AWD’s ideology. The extent of their connection to AWD is not totally clear. Some groups appear to have self-identified as affiliates by appealing to the AWD brand, suggesting a loose relationship. Other groups appear to coordinate more closely with AWD central in the United States. Some affiliates, such as AWD Deutschland (also known as AWD Germany), have elected to use the AWD name and symbols, while others, such as the Sonnenkrieg Division or Feuerkrieg Division, have forsaken explicit AWD branding but adopted complementary names. Use of the AWD name by an affiliate organization does not necessarily indicate a closer relationship with AWD central. For example, although the Sonnenkrieg Division does not share a name with AWD, its ideology is tightly wedded to AWD’s concept of “Siege culture.”

Becoming an Affiliate

It is unclear if AWD central formally grants a group the status of affiliate or if prospective affiliates adopt it themselves. However, there is some evidence that AWD has sought to police its brand with respect to affiliates. In 2019, a Ukrainian white supremacist group calling itself an AWD affiliate emerged and was swiftly disavowed by the U.S.-based AWD. The lack of such a sanction in the case of the ‘official’ affiliates may indicate tacit support from AWD, even in the potential absence of formal gatekeeping or public statements.

Difference Between Affiliates and Allies

There is little evidence that AWD central exerts a high degree of direct control over its affiliates. Nevertheless, to describe these affiliated groups as mere “allies” would overlook the nature of their relationship with AWD. AWD’s affiliates enjoy closer ties with AWD central than allies would. They leverage the AWD brand, promote the “Siege culture” philosophy pioneered by AWD, and generally take ideological direction from AWD, even if they do not always take operational direction from the U.S.-based leadership.

Sonnenkrieg Division

The Sonnenkrieg Division (SKD) is the United Kingdom-based affiliate of AWD. The German term “Sonnenkrieg” translates to “sun war” or “solar war.” SKD originated as a splinter group of the System Resistance Network, which is an alias of National Action (NA), a proscribed British neo-Nazi organization. In early 2018, SKD’s leader Andrew Dymock and other NA members began feuding with the organization when NA rejected their growing interest in Satanism, pedophilia, and rape.[4] These ideas, in addition to murder, became core tenets of SKD’s ideology and feature prominently in the group’s propaganda.[5]

Similar to AWD, SKD also valorizes James Mason’s accelerationist philosophy in SIEGE and promotes white supremacy extremism, but the group’s focus lies more on issues in the UK and eastern Europe.[6] Like AWD, SKD’s ideology has been deeply influenced by the neo-Nazi occult beliefs of the Order of Nine Angles (O9A).[7] Dymock, the leader of SKD, is believed to be close to NA leader Garron Helm and O9A leader Ryan Fleming, the head of that group’s chapter in Yorkshire, England.[8]

By the middle of 2018, the group reportedly broke with NA and became independent.[9] In July 2018, some AWD members on Gab, a social network popular in the far right, began using the name “Sonnenkrieg Division.”[10] The Sonnenkrieg Division (SKD) debuted its own Gab page a month later, identifying itself as an affiliate of AWD.[11]

SKD attracted widespread attention in December 2018 when two teenage members, Michal Szewczuk and Oskar Dunn-Koczorowski, posted threats against the life of Great Britain’s Prince Harry on the Internet.[12] The pair attacked Harry as a “race traitor” for his marriage to American actress Meghan Markle, who is of mixed race. SKD’s leader, Andrew Dymock, was arrested and charged with stirring up racial hatred and several terrorism offenses, including encouraging terrorism, disseminating terrorist publications, and terrorist fundraising.[13] The British government designated SKD as a terrorist organization in February 2020.[14]

Feuerkrieg Division

The Feuerkrieg Division (FKD) is an accelerationist neo-Nazi militant organization that operates internationally as an affiliate of AWD. The German term “Feuerkrieg” translates to “fire war.” FKD was founded in October 2018 as an AWD affiliate in Estonia and quickly expanded overseas. The extent to which AWD central was involved in the founding of this group or its branding as an AWD affiliate is unclear. Leaked internal messages indicate a tense relationship between AWD and FKD. FKD’s anonymous leader, known by the screen name “Commander,” sought to keep his group operationally independent from both the U.S.-based AWD central and the U.K.-based AWD affiliate Sonnenkrieg Division (SKD).[15] “Commander” rejected AWD’s efforts to establish a more hierarchical relationship with the groups even as he publicly affiliated with the AWD brand. According to messages posted by AWD member Richard Tobin in 2019, AWD envisioned FKD as a “vassal” subordinate to “The Nucleus” of the U.S.-based AWD leadership, a plan that proved dead on arrival.[16]

As of August 2020, FKD maintains a presence in Belgium, Ireland, western Germany, Latvia, the Netherlands, Norway, Russia, and the United Kingdom.[17] The group announced the creation of formal cells in the UK, Ireland, and Germany in June 2019 and in Canada in August 2019.[18] FKD’s posts on the encrypted messaging app Telegram indicate that the group is seeking to recruit members in the United States, specifically in California, Texas, New York, and the Great Lakes states.[19]

Estimates of the group’s size have ranged from as few as 30 members (Associated Press) to as many as 70 (The Independent).[20] FKD targeted youth and teenagers for radicalization and recruitment, and a bulk of the group’s leadership (including the founder) consists of young people.[21] FKD reportedly operates mostly online, with few members meeting in person.[22] Despite FKD’s online nature, its leadership encouraged the formation of physical cells for collective action, such as planned acts of vandalism and bombings of synagogues.[23]

FKD shares key attributes of AWD’s “Siege culture” ideology, including white supremacism and anti-Semitism. The group also valorizes James Mason’s SIEGE and extremist figures including Adolf Hitler, Charles Manson, Christchurch shooter Brenton Tarrant, Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik, and Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh. Like AWD, FKD calls for the use of violence to overthrow political systems with the goal of fomenting a race war and establishing a whites-only ethnostate. The group’s targets include Jews, Black people, the LGBT community, the news media, and law enforcement.[24] For example, October 2019, British authorities arrested FKD member Luke Hunter and charged him with terrorism offenses for calling for the murder of Jews, gay people, and people of color in the UK.[25] FKD may also be responsible for vandalism of a Jewish cemetery in Estonia in August 2019.[26]

FKD has been linked to several foiled plots in Europe and the United States. In 2019, U.S. Army soldier Jarrett William Smith was arrested for plotting to attack the offices of the news organization CNN with a car bomb.[27] Conor Climo, the AWD member arrested in 2019 for a plot to bomb a synagogue and gay club in Las Vegas, Nevada, reportedly also had ties to FKD.[28] In the UK, law enforcement in March 2019 arrested a 16-year-old boy reportedly linked to FKD who planned a series of arson attacks on synagogues around Durham, England.[29] In response, FKD threatened the life of the chief of police responsible for the FKD member’s arrest.[30] In July 2019, unknown FKD members defaced a synagogue in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, and unsuccessfully attempt to set off a bomb.[31]

FKD’s founder and leader was reportedly a 13-year-old Estonian schoolboy, media reports revealed in April 2020.[32] Using the alias “Commander,” he concealed his age identity and led the group online from his home on the Estonian island of Saaremaa.[33] Estonian law prevents the release of the boy’s personal information or his prosecution, though he is being held by authorities.[34] “Commander” ceased leading the group after being confronted by Estonian law enforcement in January 2020.[35]

After his disappearance from FKD’s online chat rooms, “Commander” was replaced as FKD’s leader by a user known as “Azazel,” who has been determined to be Taylor Ashley Parker-Dipeppe, a 20-year-old resident of Florida and member of AWD.[36] Parker-Dipeppe was arrested along with members of AWD’s leadership in February 2020.[37] While AWD reportedly instructed its members to join other neo-Nazi organizations and take control from within, it is unclear if that motivated Parker-Dipeppe.[38]

The UK designated FKD as a terrorist organization in July 2020.[39] A February 2020 message on one of the group’s official social media channels claimed that FKD was disbanding, though experts believe members of FKD likely remain active online.[40]

The Northern Order (Canada)

In July 2018, VICE News reported that the Northern Order, a Canadian white supremacist organization, had become an affiliate of AWD. Though the Northern Order had existed previously, the extent of its operations prior to the group’s affiliation with AWD is unclear.[41] The Northern Order pre-2018 was described by a Canadian organization that monitors hate groups as a “phantom group,” suggesting it may not have been highly active.[42] It is also unclear how the Northern Order became an AWD affiliate, though it is reportedly close to AWD central.

The Northern Order boasts approximately 10 members and allegedly coordinates its activities with the U.S.-based AWD.[43] A member of the Northern Order known online as “Alba” has claimed to be a member of the Canadian Armed Forces and advocates for the establishment of a white ethnostate in British Columbia.[44] “Alba” is believed to be Brendan Cameron, a veteran and member of the Canadian Supplemental Reserve Force.[45] Cameron reportedly acts as a middleman between the Northern Order and the central AWD organization in the United States.[46] AWD’s graphic designer, a Canadian known only by the screen name “Dark Foreigner,” has also created work for the Northern Order, including posters with neo-Nazi and white supremacist imagery put up on an Ottawa mosque in early 2018.[47]

AWD Germany

AWD’s German affiliate proclaimed its existence as AWD Deutschland (also known as AWDD or AWD Germany) in the summer of 2018 with a video featuring a masked individual and an AWD flag in front of a castle where Nazi SS officers trained during the Second World War.[48] In this video, the group declared fealty to AWD central, referring to members of the U.S.-based group as “our true commanders.”[49] In October 2019, the group released a message including the warning: “we are the Atomwaffen Division Germany and are continuing what began in America, as we are a globally networked far-right organization with contacts to militant groups throughout Europe and America.”[50] It is estimated to comprise “several dozen members.”[51]

As of July 2020, the group has threatened minorities and left-wing politicians but not committed any attacks. In June 2019, AWD Deutschland distributed pamphlets threatening acts of violence in a Muslim neighborhood in Cologne that was the site of a bombing by the neo-Nazi terrorist group National Socialist Underground in 2004.[52] In late October 2019, the group issued death threats against two Green Party politicians, one of whom has Turkish heritage.[53] The head of the group, whose identity is unknown, was reportedly arrested by law enforcement authorities in February 2020.[54] Days after the U.S.-based AWD claimed to disband in mid-March 2020, AWD Deutschland launched a new channel on the encrypted messaging app Telegram, where it began disseminating anti-Semitic and pro-Hitler propaganda.[55] The group also released a message deploring the alleged disbanding of AWD in the United States and asserting that it remains active.[56]

AWD Russia

On May 31, 2020, the Atomwaffen Division, via its German affiliate AWD Deutschland, announced a new branch in Russia and released Russian translations of its ideological texts.[57] The new AWD Russian affiliate launched a channel on the encrypted messaging app Telegram, which AWD then broadcasted to the public on its own channel.[58] This action came after AWD central in the United States had supposedly disbanded in March 2020. The official name of this Russian affiliate is unclear; for ease of reference, this profile has adopted the term “AWD Russia.” AWD Russia began broadcasting propaganda in Russian, including manifestos from extreme-right terrorists Dylann Roof and Anders Breivik, James Mason’s SIEGE, and The Turner Diaries, a foundational anti-Semitic text in the American neo-Nazi movement.[59] AWD Russia also maintains a page on the Russian social networking platform VK and solicits applications from prospective members.[60]

According to reporting from the Argentinian news outlet Infobae, members of AWD Russia allegedly received paramilitary training from the Russian Imperial Movement (RIM) around 2020.[61] RIM is an ultra-nationalist, white supremacist militant organization based in St. Petersburg, Russia that has fought on the side of pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine and provided instruction in combat skills to European extreme-right groups. This finding has not been independently confirmed, however.

Rivals

AWD Ukraine

Ukraine allegedly hosts a group claiming to be an AWD affiliate, though the cell is not sanctioned by AWD central in the United States. Like AWD Russia, the official name of this organization is unclear; for ease of reference, this profile has adopted the term “self-declared AWD Ukraine.” Some sources have referred to this group by the name “AWD Galizien.”[62] “Galizien” is a reference to a unit of the Nazi Waffen-SS composed largely of ethnic Ukrainians during the Second World War. In December 2019, the self-declared AWD Ukraine released a video featuring five men wearing camouflage fatigues with AWD patches and threatening violence against Ukrainian politicians.[63] The men also wore blurred-out patches for two Ukrainian far-right organizations, the Azov Battalion and Right Sector.[64] Unlike the U.S.-based AWD, the self-described AWD Ukraine does not direct recruits to a selective application process but instead calls on followers to directly engage in lone-wolf violent activity.[65] AWD’s U.S. leadership have condemned and disavowed the self-declared AWD Ukraine.[66] 

Allies

What is an AWD ally?

In contrast to its affiliates, AWD’s allies do not share the group’s branding and do not take ideological direction from AWD. While AWD often share some ideological principles or strategic objectives, the allies maintain distinct identities. They do not claim to be part of the transnational Atomwaffen Division movement and generally do not adhere to the “Siege culture” tradition derived from James Mason that forms the backbone of AWD and its affiliates’ worldview. AWD may publicly align with a group or collaborate with it, but the groups maintain independence from each other.

Order of Nine Angles

The Order of Nine Angles (O9A or ONA), a Satanist neo-Nazi organization active in the United Kingdom, has served as ideological inspiration for AWD. The group valorizes Hitler and champions the transgression of moral norms, including calling for rape and murder. Ultimately, O9A seeks to weaken society and replace it with a new civilization based on principles of fascism and Satanism.[67] O9A practices religious rituals in worship of Hitler and Nazism, which involve sexual acts and sacrifice (human or animal). Founded in the 1970s and originally based in the UK, O9A today operates decentralized networks active around the world.[68] British far-right extremist David Myatt reportedly started the group. Myatt allegedly leads O9A under the pseudonym Anton Long and writes most of its texts.[69] Given O9A’s secretive nature, accurate size estimates are difficult to assess and range from fewer than 50 members to over 2,000 worldwide.[70]

After John Cameron Denton took over leadership of AWD in 2017, he integrated aspects of O9A’s ideology into AWD’s set of beliefs.[71] For example, Denton added O9A’s book Hostia: Secret Teachings of the Order of Nine Angles to his organization’s reading list.[72] Neo-Nazi Satanism appears to be a long-term interest for Denton, evidenced by his social media posts featuring O9A logos in 2014 and 2015, well before he became the leader of AWD.[73] Though Denton’s ideological affinity for O9A alienated some members of AWD, proponents of O9A succeeded in reshaping the core tenets of AWD towards the neo-Nazi occult.[74] For example, in 2019, then-U.S. Army Private First Class Corwyn Storm Carver, reportedly a member of AWD, posted photos online of himself with O9A paraphernalia.[75] Other members of AWD have posted messages testifying to their support of O9A in online chat rooms.[76]

Tempel ov Blood

Tempel ov Blood (ToB) is a low-profile U.S.-based affiliate of the Order of Nine Angles (O9A). The group is an ally of AWD. Though ToB is officially independent from O9A, it derives its Satanist neo-Nazi ideology from the British-based group.[77] The group describes itself as “a hybrid between a traditional Satanic coven and a (religious) militant order.”[78] ToB is co-led by Joshua Caleb Sutter and his wife Jillian Hoy, who are based in South Carolina.[79] Sutter and Hoy have a history of adherence to extremist ideologies. In the early 2000s, Sutter served as a leader of the Aryan Nations and the Church of the Sons of Yaweh, two white supremacist Christian Identity groups.[80] In 2004, he founded the Rural People’s Party, a pro-North Korean political group. In 2009, he and his wife founded an apocalyptic Hindu sect from their property in Lexington, South Carolina.[81] Hoy and Sutter also operate the extreme-right Martinet Press, which publishes neo-Nazi ideological texts.[82] As leader of ToB, Sutter has participated in AWD online chat rooms, attended the group’s February 2018 “Hate Camp” training in the Nevada desert, and visited AWD leader John Cameron Denton and other members in Texas.[83] AWD has included ToB’s books, such as the novel Iron Gates, in its required reading lists for new recruits.[84]

The Base

AWD has cultivated an alliance with the Base, a neo-Nazi white supremacist organization active in the United States. The Base was founded in 2018 by Rinaldo Nazzaro, a U.S. citizen living in Russia. The group promotes a neo-Nazi anti-Semitic accelerationist ideology similar to that of AWD and aims to trigger the collapse of society in order to protect the white race.[85] Like AWD, the Base valorizes Mason’s SIEGE.[86] Some members of the Base have been found to adhere to Satanic principles, though Satanism does not appear to play as large a role in the Base’s ideology as it does for AWD.[87] In August 2019, AWD posted an image on one of its Telegram channels with the caption: “Let this post commemorate a known partnership and cooperation between Atomwaffen and The Base.”[88] According to the Soufan Center, AWD coordinates with the Base in participating in rallies and planning acts of violence.[89] The membership of the two groups overlaps.[90] For example, Cameron Shea is accused by federal authorities of serving as a recruiter for both AWD and the Base.[91] In another high-profile example, Richard Tobin, a member of both organizations, developed propaganda and fundraised for AWD and coordinated a vandalism campaign against synagogues in Michigan and Wisconsin for the Base in 2019.[92] The Base has also modeled its propaganda and graphics after AWD’s output.[93]

Contacts

Azov Battalion

AWD has made contact with the Azov Battalion, a unit of the Ukrainian National Guard that promotes white supremacy extremism and neo-Nazi beliefs. With the aid of foreign fighters recruited from around the world, the Azov Battalion has fought against pro-Russian separatists in the eastern half of the country. In 2015, AWD founder Brandon Russell reached out to an anonymous member of the Azov Battalion online. Presenting himself as “an avid supporter of the Azov Battalion” under the username “Odin,” Russell requested “some advice from you about my militia that I lead in the US.”[94] It is unclear what, if any, assistance he may have received from Azov Battalion members. In addition to Russell, the Azov Battalion is known to have made contact with at least one other member of AWD. In January 2016, Andrew Oneschuk, a roommate of Russell, served as a guest on the Azov Battalion’s podcast, which frequently hosts representatives of far-right organizations in Europe and North America. He spoke about challenges facing Americans who wish to join the Azov Battalion in Ukraine as foreign fighters and expressed interest in learning tips in boosting membership of the extreme right.[95]

Splinter Groups

A secretive organization called the “RapeWaffen Division” (RWD), organized via a channel on the encrypted messaging app Telegram, claims to be a splinter group of AWD. The group promotes white supremacy extremism, neo-Nazi Satanism, and rape against women.[96] Relative to AWD, RWD adheres more closely to the Order of Nine Angles neo-Nazi Satanic philosophy and emphasizes sexual violence more explicitly.[97] RWD boasts of transnational ties to like-minded extremists in Canada, Australia, and Russia.[98] The leader of RWD goes by the online names “Sinisterius” and “Sinistrovs," but the leader's true identity is unknown. [99]  The date of RWD’s founding is unclear, and its size is not known. The group came to public attention in June 2020 when two U.S. servicemembers, Ohio National Guard Pfc. Shandon Simpson and Pvt. Ethan P. Melzer, were investigated for ties to RWD.[100] After Melzer’s indictment, the group announced that it was disbanding; RWD, however, reportedly has a history of disappearing from public view and returning to operations not long after.[101]


[1] Singer-Emery, Jacques and Rex Bray III. “The Iron March Data Dump Provides a Window Into How White Supremacists Communicate and Recruit.” Lawfare. February 27, 2020. https://www.lawfareblog
.com/iron-march-data-dump-provides-window-how-white-supremacists-communicate-and-recruit

[2] Schiano, Chris. “LEAKED: Neo-Nazi Terrorist ‘Feuerkrieg Division’ Organizing Chats.” Unicorn Riot. March 20, 2020. https://unicornriot.ninja/2020/leaked-neo-nazi-terrorist-feuerkreig-divi...

[3] De Simone, Daniel. “Order of Nine Angles: What is this obscure Nazi Satanist group?” BBC News. June 23, 2020. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-53141759

[4] Lowles et al. “State of Hate 2019: The People Versus the Elite?” Hope not Hate. 2019. http://www.hopenothate.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/state-of-hate-2...

[5] Lowles et al. “State of Hate 2019: The People Versus the Elite?” Hope not Hate. 2019. http://www.hopenothate.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/state-of-hate-2...

[6] “Atomwaffen Division (AWD).” Anti-Defamation League. 2020. https://www.adl.org/resources/backgrounders/atomwaffen-division-awd

[7] Lowles et al. “State of Hate 2019: The People Versus the Elite?” Hope not Hate. 2019. http://www.hopenothate.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/state-of-hate-2...

[8] Lowles et al. “State of Hate 2019: The People Versus the Elite?” Hope not Hate. 2019. http://www.hopenothate.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/state-of-hate-2...

[9] Lowles et al. “State of Hate 2019: The People Versus the Elite?” Hope not Hate. 2019. http://www.hopenothate.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/state-of-hate-2...

[10] “Atomwaffen Division.” Counter Extremism Project. 2020. https://www.counterextremism.com/supremacy/atomwaffen-division

[11] “Atomwaffen Division.” Counter Extremism Project. 2020. https://www.counterextremism.com/supremacy/atomwaffen-division

[12] “Teenager who called Prince Harry a 'race traitor' sentenced.” The Guardian. June 18, 2019. https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/jun/18/michal-szewczuk-sentence...

[13] De Simone, Daniel. “Alleged neo-Nazi Andrew Dymock in court over terror charges.” BBC News. December 5, 2019. https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-50666909

[14] “Extremist neo-Nazi group to be banned under terror laws.” BBC News. February 24, 2020. https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-51618248

[15] Schiano, Chris. “LEAKED: Neo-Nazi Terrorist ‘Feuerkrieg Division’ Organizing Chats.” Unicorn Riot. March 20, 2020. https://unicornriot.ninja/2020/leaked-neo-nazi-terrorist-feuerkreig-divi...

[16] Schiano, Chris. “LEAKED: Neo-Nazi Terrorist ‘Feuerkrieg Division’ Organizing Chats.” Unicorn Riot. March 20, 2020. https://unicornriot.ninja/2020/leaked-neo-nazi-terrorist-feuerkreig-divi...

[17] “Feuerkrieg Division (FKD).” Anti-Defamation League. 2020. https://www.adl.org/resources
/backgrounders/feuerkrieg-division-fkd

[18] “Feuerkrieg Division Attempts to Recruit in the United States, Announces Creation of More ‘Cells.”’ American Odyssey (blog). August 8, 2019. https://medium.com/americanodyssey/feuerkrieg-division-atomwaffen-divisi...

[19] “Feuerkrieg Division Attempts to Recruit in the United States, Announces Creation of More ‘Cells.”’ American Odyssey (blog). August 8, 2019. https://medium.com/americanodyssey/feuerkrieg-division-atomwaffen-divisi...

[20] Kunzelman, Michael and Jari Tanner. “He led a neo-Nazi group linked to bomb plots. He was 13.” Associated Press. April 11, 2020. https://apnews.com/7067c03e1af0b157be7c15888cbe8c27. Drury, Colin. “‘Commander’ of Feuerkrieg far-right terror group unmasked by police as Estonian boy, 13.’” The Independent. April 11, 2020. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/far-right-terror-group-c...

[21] Schiano, Chris. “LEAKED: Neo-Nazi Terrorist ‘Feuerkrieg Division’ Organizing Chats.” Unicorn Riot. March 20, 2020. https://unicornriot.ninja/2020/leaked-neo-nazi-terrorist-feuerkreig-divi...

[22] Dearden, Lizzie. “New neo-Nazi terrorist groups will emerge as government bans ‘not effective’, experts warn.” The Independent. July 26, 2020. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/neo-nazi-terrorist-group...

[23] Schiano, Chris. “LEAKED: Neo-Nazi Terrorist ‘Feuerkrieg Division’ Organizing Chats.” Unicorn Riot. March 20, 2020. https://unicornriot.ninja/2020/leaked-neo-nazi-terrorist-feuerkreig-divi...

[24] “Feuerkrieg Division (FKD).” Anti-Defamation League. 2020. https://www.adl.org/resources
/backgrounders/feuerkrieg-division-fkd

[25] “Right wing terror group accused in court.” BBC News. October 9, 2019. https://www.bbc.com
/news/uk-england-tyne-49992201

[26] Schiano, Chris. “LEAKED: Neo-Nazi Terrorist ‘Feuerkrieg Division’ Organizing Chats.” Unicorn Riot. March 20, 2020. https://unicornriot.ninja/2020/leaked-neo-nazi-terrorist-feuerkreig-divi...

[27] Kunzelman, Michael and Jari Tanner. “He led a neo-Nazi group linked to bomb plots. He was 13.” Associated Press. April 11, 2020. https://apnews.com/7067c03e1af0b157be7c15888cbe8c27

[28] Sexton, Joe. “Las Vegas Man Arrested in Plots Against Jews Was Said to Be Affiliated With Atomwaffen Division.” ProPublica. August 14, 2019. https://www.propublica.org/article/las-vegas-man-conor-climo-was-said-to...

[29] “Durham neo-Nazi teenager detained for terror attack plan.” BBC News. January 7, 2020. https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-tyne-51022706. “Proscribed Terrorist Organizations.” UK Home Office. 2020. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk
/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/901434/20200717_Proscription.pdf

[30] Schiano, Chris. “LEAKED: Neo-Nazi Terrorist ‘Feuerkrieg Division’ Organizing Chats.” Unicorn Riot. March 20, 2020. https://unicornriot.ninja/2020/leaked-neo-nazi-terrorist-feuerkreig-divi...

[31] Schiano, Chris. “LEAKED: Neo-Nazi Terrorist ‘Feuerkrieg Division’ Organizing Chats.” Unicorn Riot. March 20, 2020. https://unicornriot.ninja/2020/leaked-neo-nazi-terrorist-feuerkreig-divi...

[32] Drury, Colin. “‘Commander’ of Feuerkrieg far-right terror group unmasked by police as Estonian boy, 13.’” The Independent. April 11, 2020. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/far-right-terror-group-c...

[33] Drury, Colin. “‘Commander’ of Feuerkrieg far-right terror group unmasked by police as Estonian boy, 13.’” The Independent. April 11, 2020. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/far-right-terror-group-c.... Kunzelman, Michael and Jari Tanner. “He led a neo-Nazi group linked to bomb plots. He was 13.” Associated Press. April 11, 2020. https://apnews.com/7067c03e1af0b157be7c15888cbe8c27

[34] Drury, Colin. “‘Commander’ of Feuerkrieg far-right terror group unmasked by police as Estonian boy, 13.’” The Independent. April 11, 2020. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/far-right-terror-group-c...

[35] Kunzelman, Michael and Jari Tanner. “He led a neo-Nazi group linked to bomb plots. He was 13.” Associated Press. April 11, 2020. https://apnews.com/7067c03e1af0b157be7c15888cbe8c27

[36] Schiano, Chris. “LEAKED: Neo-Nazi Terrorist ‘Feuerkrieg Division’ Organizing Chats.” Unicorn Riot. March 20, 2020. https://unicornriot.ninja/2020/leaked-neo-nazi-terrorist-feuerkreig-divi...

[37] Olding, Rachel. “FBI Rounds Up Five Alleged Neo-Nazis Tied to Murderous Atomwaffen Division.” The Daily Beast. February 26, 2020. https://www.thedailybeast.com/alleged-ex-atomwaffen-division-leader-john...

[38] Schiano, Chris. “LEAKED: Neo-Nazi Terrorist ‘Feuerkrieg Division’ Organizing Chats.” Unicorn Riot. March 20, 2020. https://unicornriot.ninja/2020/leaked-neo-nazi-terrorist-feuerkreig-divi...

[39] Dearden, Lizzie. “Why has Britain banned a neo-Nazi terrorist group that ‘no longer exists’?” The Independent. July 14, 2020. https://www.independent.co.uk/independentpremium/news-analysis/feuerkrie...

[40] Dearden, Lizzie. “Why has Britain banned a neo-Nazi terrorist group that ‘no longer exists’?” The Independent. July 14, 2020. https://www.independent.co.uk/independentpremium/news-analysis/feuerkrie...

[41] Lamoureux, Mack and Ben Makuch. “Violent Neo-Nazi Group Has Disturbing Plans For Canada.” VICE News. July 10, 2018. https://www.vice.com/en_ca/article/ev847a/violent-neo-nazi-group-has-dis...

[42] “Full Chatroom Logs of Neo-Nazi Alt-Right Montreal Now Public!” Montreal-Anti-Fasciste.info. May 6, 2018. https://montreal-antifasciste.info/en/2018/05/06/full-chatroom-logs-of-n...

[43] Lamoureux, Mack and Ben Makuch. “Violent Neo-Nazi Group Has Disturbing Plans For Canada.” VICE News. July 10, 2018. https://www.vice.com/en_ca/article/ev847a/violent-neo-nazi-group-has-dis...

[44] Lamoureux, Mack and Ben Makuch. “Violent Neo-Nazi Group Has Disturbing Plans For Canada.” VICE News. July 10, 2018. https://www.vice.com/en_ca/article/ev847a/violent-neo-nazi-group-has-dis...

[45] Lamoureux, Mack and Ben Makuch. “Member of a Neo-Nazi Terror Group Appears To Be Former Canadian Soldier.” VICE News. August 2, 2018. https://www.vice.com/en_ca/article/7xqe8z/member-of-a-neo-nazi-terror-gr...

[46] “EXPOSED: Prominent member of neo-Nazi group Atomwaffen Division is former soldier.” Canadian Anti-Hate Network. 2018. https://www.antihate.ca/exposed_prominent_member_of_neo_nazi_group
_atomwaffen_division_is_former_soldier

[47] Lamoureux, Mack and Ben Makuch. “Atomwaffen, an American Neo-Nazi Terror Group, Is in Canada.” VICE News. June 19, 2018. https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/a3a8ae/atomwaffen-an-american-neo-naz...

[48] Mekhennet, Souad and Rachel Weiner. “As Trump vows crackdown on ‘antifa,’ growth of right-wing extremism frustrates Europeans.” The Washington Post. June 5, 2020. https://www.washingtonpost.com
/national-security/as-trump-vows-crackdown-on-antifa-growth-of-right-wing-extremism-frustrates-europeans/2020/06/05/7006eb40-9b94-11ea-ad09-8da7ec214672_story.html

[49] Blazakis et al. “Special Report: The Atomwaffen Division: The Evolution of the White Supremacy Threat.” The Soufan Center. August 2020. https://thesoufancenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/The-Atomwaffen-Di...

[50] Mekhennet, Souad and Rachel Weiner. “As Trump vows crackdown on ‘antifa,’ growth of right-wing extremism frustrates Europeans.” The Washington Post. June 5, 2020. https://www.washingtonpost.com
/national-security/as-trump-vows-crackdown-on-antifa-growth-of-right-wing-extremism-frustrates-europeans/2020/06/05/7006eb40-9b94-11ea-ad09-8da7ec214672_story.html

[51] “Outrage in Germany over neo-Nazis' political 'kill list.'” The Local Germany. November 4, 2019. https://www.thelocal.de/20191104/outrage-in-germany-over-neo-nazis-polit...

[52] Walsh, Alistair. “Neo-Nazi pamphlets target Cologne area hit by racist nail bomb.” Deutsche Welle. June 7, 2019. https://www.dw.com/en/neo-nazi-pamphlets-target-cologne-area-hit-by-raci...

[53] “Outrage in Germany over neo-Nazis' political 'kill list.'” The Local Germany. November 4, 2019. https://www.thelocal.de/20191104/outrage-in-germany-over-neo-nazis-polit...

[54] Winston, Ali. “This Deadly Neo-Nazi Group’s Media Obsession Could Be Its Downfall.” The Daily Beast. March 1, 2020. https://www.thedailybeast.com/neo-nazi-group-atomwaffen-divisions-media-...

[55] “Right-wing extremist ‘Atomwaffendivision Deutschland’ remains active.” IBSA. July 16, 2020. https://iibsa.org/right-wing-extremist-atomwaffendivision-deutschland-re...

[56] “Right-wing extremist ‘Atomwaffendivision Deutschland’ remains active.” IBSA. July 16, 2020. https://iibsa.org/right-wing-extremist-atomwaffendivision-deutschland-re...

[57] Mekhennet, Souad and Rachel Weiner. “As Trump vows crackdown on ‘antifa,’ growth of right-wing extremism frustrates Europeans.” The Washington Post. June 5, 2020. https://www.washingtonpost.com
/national-security/as-trump-vows-crackdown-on-antifa-growth-of-right-wing-extremism-frustrates-europeans/2020/06/05/7006eb40-9b94-11ea-ad09-8da7ec214672_story.html. “Extremist Content Online: Extremists Continue Exploiting U.S. Protests & Civil Unrest on Telegram.” Counter Extremism Project. June 8, 2020. https://www.counterextremism.com/press/extremist-content-online-extremis...

[58] “Extremist Content Online: Extremists Continue Exploiting U.S. Protests & Civil Unrest on Telegram.” Counter Extremism Project. June 8, 2020. https://www.counterextremism.com/press/extremist-content-online-extremis...

[59] “Extremist Content Online: Extremists Continue Exploiting U.S. Protests & Civil Unrest on Telegram.” Counter Extremism Project. June 8, 2020. https://www.counterextremism.com/press/extremist-content-online-extremis...

[60] “Extremist Content Online: Extremists Continue Exploiting U.S. Protests & Civil Unrest on Telegram.” Counter Extremism Project. June 8, 2020. https://www.counterextremism.com/press/extremist-content-online-extremis...

[61] Sierra, Gustavo. “Club Partizan, el campo de entrenamiento militar en Rusia para los neonazis del mundo.” Infobae. 14 June 2020. https://www.infobae.com/america/mundo/2020/06/14/club-partizan-el-campo-...

[62] Blazakis et al. “Special Report: The Atomwaffen Division: The Evolution of the White Supremacy Threat.” The Soufan Center. August 2020. https://thesoufancenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/The-Atomwaffen-Di...

[63] “Extremist Content Online: White Supremacists Celebrate Jersey City Shooting on Telegram.” Counter Extremism Project. December 17, 2019. https://www.counterextremism.com/press/extremist-content-online-white-su...

[64] “Extremist Content Online: White Supremacists Celebrate Jersey City Shooting on Telegram.” Counter Extremism Project. December 17, 2019. https://www.counterextremism.com/press/extremist-content-online-white-su...

[65] “Extremist Content Online: White Supremacists Celebrate Jersey City Shooting on Telegram.” Counter Extremism Project. December 17, 2019. https://www.counterextremism.com/press/extremist-content-online-white-su...

[66] “Extremist Content Online: Extremists Continue Exploiting U.S. Protests & Civil Unrest on Telegram.” Counter Extremism Project. June 8, 2020. https://www.counterextremism.com/press/extremist-content-online-extremis...

[67] De Simone, Daniel. “Order of Nine Angles: What is this obscure Nazi Satanist group?” BBC News. June 23, 2020. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-53141759

[68] De Simone, Daniel. “Order of Nine Angles: What is this obscure Nazi Satanist group?” BBC News. June 23, 2020. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-53141759

[69] Lowles et al. “State of Hate 2020: Far Right Terror Goes Global.” Hope not Hate. 2020. https://www.hopenothate.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/state-of-hate-...

[70] Lowles et al. “State of Hate 2020: Far Right Terror Goes Global.” Hope not Hate. 2020. https://www.hopenothate.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/state-of-hate-...

[71] Weill, Kelly. “Satanism Drama Is Tearing Apart the Murderous Neo-Nazi Group Atomwaffen.” The Daily Beast. March 21, 2018. https://www.thedailybeast.com/satanism-drama-is-tearing-apart-the-murder.... “Atomwaffen Division (AWD).” Anti-Defamation League. 2020. https://www.adl.org/resources/backgrounders/atomwaffen-division-awd

[72] “Atomwaffen and the SIEGE parallax: how one neo-Nazi’s life’s work is fueling a younger generation.” Hatewatch. Southern Poverty Law Center. February 22, 2018. https://www.splcenter.org
/hatewatch/2018/02/22/atomwaffen-and-siege-parallax-how-one-neo-nazi’s-life’s-work-fueling-younger-generation

[73] Weill, Kelly. “Satanism Drama Is Tearing Apart the Murderous Neo-Nazi Group Atomwaffen.” The Daily Beast. March 21, 2018. https://www.thedailybeast.com/satanism-drama-is-tearing-apart-the-murder...

[74] Lowles et al. “State of Hate 2020: Far Right Terror Goes Global.” Hope not Hate. 2020. https://www.hopenothate.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/state-of-hate-...

[75] Lowles et al. “State of Hate 2020: Far Right Terror Goes Global.” Hope not Hate. 2020. https://www.hopenothate.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/state-of-hate-...

[76] Lowles et al. “State of Hate 2019: The People Versus the Elite?” Hope not Hate. 2019. http://www.hopenothate.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/state-of-hate-2...

[77] Weill, Kelly. “Satanism Drama Is Tearing Apart the Murderous Neo-Nazi Group Atomwaffen.” The Daily Beast. March 21, 2018. https://www.thedailybeast.com/satanism-drama-is-tearing-apart-the-murder...

[78] “Atomwaffen and the SIEGE parallax: how one neo-Nazi’s life’s work is fueling a younger generation.” Hatewatch. Southern Poverty Law Center. February 22, 2018. https://www.splcenter.org
/hatewatch/2018/02/22/atomwaffen-and-siege-parallax-how-one-neo-nazi’s-life’s-work-fueling-younger-generation

[79] Winston, Ali. “This Deadly Neo-Nazi Group’s Media Obsession Could Be Its Downfall.” The Daily Beast. March 1, 2020. https://www.thedailybeast.com/neo-nazi-group-atomwaffen-divisions-media-...

[80] Thayer, Nate. “White Power and apocalyptic cults: Pro-DPRK Americans revealed.” NK News. May 6, 2013. https://www.nknews.org/2013/05/white-power-and-apocalyptic-cults-pro-dpr...

[81] Thayer, Nate. “White Power and apocalyptic cults: Pro-DPRK Americans revealed.” NK News. May 6, 2013. https://www.nknews.org/2013/05/white-power-and-apocalyptic-cults-pro-dpr...

[82] Winston, Ali. “This Deadly Neo-Nazi Group’s Media Obsession Could Be Its Downfall.” The Daily Beast. March 1, 2020. https://www.thedailybeast.com/neo-nazi-group-atomwaffen-divisions-media-...

[83] Winston, Ali. “This Deadly Neo-Nazi Group’s Media Obsession Could Be Its Downfall.” The Daily Beast. March 1, 2020. https://www.thedailybeast.com/neo-nazi-group-atomwaffen-divisions-media-...

[84] Weill, Kelly. “Satanism Drama Is Tearing Apart the Murderous Neo-Nazi Group Atomwaffen.” The Daily Beast. March 21, 2018. https://www.thedailybeast.com/satanism-drama-is-tearing-apart-the-murder...

[85] “The Base.” Anti-Defamation League. 2020. https://www.adl.org/resources/backgrounders/the-base

[86] “The Base.” Southern Poverty Law Center. 2020. https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/extremist-files/group/base

[87] Makuch, Ben and Mack Lemoureux. “Neo-Nazi Memoir Describes Terror Group’s Acid-Soaked Ram Sacrifice.” VICE News. June 24, 2020. https://www.vice.com/en_ca/article/z3e3ew/neo-nazi-memoir-describes-terr...

[88] Blazakis et al. “Special Report: The Atomwaffen Division: The Evolution of the White Supremacy Threat.” The Soufan Center. August 2020. https://thesoufancenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/The-Atomwaffen-Di...

[89] Blazakis et al. “Special Report: The Atomwaffen Division: The Evolution of the White Supremacy Threat.” The Soufan Center. August 2020. https://thesoufancenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/The-Atomwaffen-Di...

[90] Mallin, Alexander and Luke Barr. “Inside the neo-Nazi hate group 'The Base,' which is the center of an FBI investigation.” ABC News. January 23, 2020. https://abcnews.go.com/US/inside-neo-nazi-hate-group-base-center-%20fbi/...

[91] Winston, Ali. “This Deadly Neo-Nazi Group’s Media Obsession Could Be Its Downfall.” The Daily Beast. March 1, 2020. https://www.thedailybeast.com/neo-nazi-group-atomwaffen-divisions-media-...

[92] Lamoureux, Mack, Ben Makuch, and Zachery Kamel. “Man Arrested for Synagogue Vandalism Was Active in Two Militant Neo-Nazi Groups.” VICE News. November 20, 2019. https://www.vice.com
/en_ca/article/pa75jk/man-arrested-for-synagogue-vandalism-was-active-in-two-militant-neo-nazi-groups

[93] “The Base.” Southern Poverty Law Center. 2020. https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/extremist-files/group/base

[94] Lister, Tim. “The Nexus Between Far-Right Extremists in the United States and Ukraine.” CTC Sentinel 13, no. 5 (April 2020): 30–41. https://ctc.usma.edu/the-nexus-between-far-right-extremists-in-the-unite...

[95] Kuzmenko, Oleksiy. “‘Defend the White Race’: American Extremists Being Co-Opted by Ukraine's Far-Right.” Bellingcat. February 15, 2019. https://www.bellingcat.com/news/uk-and-europe/2019/02/15/defend-the-whit...

[96] Lamothe, Dan and Souad Mekhennet. “Soldiers’ cases highlight reach of white supremacy in U.S. military.” The Washington Post. June 25, 2020. https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/soldiers-cases-highligh...

[97] Hermansson, Patrik. “The Rapewaffen Telegram Channel.” Hope Not Hate. June 23, 2020. https://www.hopenothate.org.uk/2020/06/23/the-rapewaffen-telegram-channel/

[98] Lamothe, Dan and Souad Mekhennet. “Soldiers’ cases highlight reach of white supremacy in U.S. military.” The Washington Post. June 25, 2020. https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/soldiers-cases-highligh...

[99] Lamothe, Dan and Souad Mekhennet. “Soldiers’ cases highlight reach of white supremacy in U.S. military.” The Washington Post. June 25, 2020. https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/soldiers-cases-highligh...

[100] Lamothe, Dan and Souad Mekhennet. “Soldiers’ cases highlight reach of white supremacy in U.S. military.” The Washington Post. June 25, 2020. https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/soldiers-cases-highligh...

[101] Hermansson, Patrik. “The Rapewaffen Telegram Channel.” Hope Not Hate. June 23, 2020. https://www.hopenothate.org.uk/2020/06/23/the-rapewaffen-telegram-channel/

State Sponsors and External Influences

There are no publicly available external influences for this group.

Maps

The project develops a series of interactive diagrams that “map” relationships among groups and show how those relationships change over time. The user can change map settings to display different features (e.g., leadership changes), adjust the time scale, and trace individual groups.