White Supremacist Group Recorded Plotting Paramilitary Trainings, Insists They’re Totally Not Domestic Terrorists or Anything

Illustration for article titled White Supremacist Group Recorded Plotting Paramilitary Trainings, Insists They’re Totally Not Domestic Terrorists or Anything
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Secret recordings published by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) revealed that a white nationalist group plotted paramilitary training for its members.


According to CNN, the SPLC acquired about 83 hours of phone calls from over 100 people linked to The Base, a white nationalist organization. One of the calls involved the vetting of a man using the pseudonym “Erik.” During the call, two of the members expressed both the importance of paramilitary training and having a location to conduct such training.

Erik, who says he’s 17, offers up his mother’s property to conduct the training. In a later call, the training is postponed after his mother expressed nervousness around the idea. It’s unclear if the training was ever held, though the two other members expressed using a lot of ammunition during a prior training event.

The calls were recorded throughout the course of 2018 up to January 2020 for the SPLC’s podcast, “Sounds Like Hate.” Jamila Paksima, co-host of the podcast, told CNN the calls were supplied by a confidential source, and their authenticity was vetted by field experts who matched the voice of the leader to other audio recordings.

The leader of this particular cell of The Base is Rinaldo Nazzaro, whose voice was heard on many of the calls. Nazzaro, who according to the SPLC now lives in St. Petersburg, Russia, was responsible for recruiting new members to the organization. The main factors for recruitment included youth, whiteness, and military training.

CNN contacted Nazzaro by email to ask him about the recordings. He didn’t deny being a leader of the group, though he did push back on it being characterized as a white nationalist organization.

“The Base is a survivalism and self-defense network. Our objective is sharing knowledge and training to prepare for crisis situations,” Nazzaro told CNN in an email. “The Base is not a neo-Nazi organization or a terrorist group. We do not encourage violence beyond self-defense situations.”


Oh okay, no worries folks, it’s just a glorified self-defense class.

Except, according to Nazzaro, it’s not. In the recorded calls, Nazzaro explicitly states the white nationalist underpinnings of The Base. “Most of us are national socialists, but there are others who just consider themselves white nationalists,” he said in one of the calls, because, as we all know, there is a world of difference between Nazis and white nationalists.


He added in another call that being “pro-white” was one of the primary criteria for joining the group.

This, right here, is what pisses me off about these groups. They wanna talk all this hard shit about how they’re gonna “create an ethno-state,” and, as Nazzaro comically states at one point, “create order out of chaos,” but you can’t even be fucking honest about what you are.


Granted, if they were really honest about who they are, they would realize they’re nothing but a bunch of whiney white boys who failed to learn all that they needed was a C-average, just a hint of charisma, and they could become the goddamn president if they wanted to.

Look at who’s in the Oval Office, and tell me I’m wrong.

Jonathan Lewis, a research fellow at the Program on Extremism at George Washington University, describes The Base as “[a] small accelerationist Neo-Nazi movement,” whose “primary goal is to recruit, radicalize, inspire, train others, to commit violence and bringing about a societal collapse.” The group also heavily encourages its members to enlist in the army so they can utilize that training to see through their goals.


So, as much as they want to spin it, they’re domestic terrorists who encourage their members to enlist so they can become more effective domestic terrorists. The problem is, this isn’t new information.

Like at all.

Just last year, FBI Director Christopher Wray said that white nationalists were one of the biggest threats to homeland security, and their presence in the armed forces and law enforcement is also well-documented. Despite this, efforts to weed out white nationalists in the army have been shut down, and “radical leftists” have been framed as the real threats to domestic security.


Whiteness. Clearly, it’s one hell of a drug.

The stylin', profilin', limousine riding, jet flying, wheelin' and dealin' nerd of The Root.



Just a friendly reminder that The Base is the English translation of “al-Qaeda.”