Yeah Nah Pasaran! #003 w Jason Wilson on neo-nazi terrorists The Base : January 30, 2020

Update (February 5, 2020) : The journalist who infiltrated The Base (‘Ryan Thorpe of the Winnipeg Free Press talks about his extraordinary experience going undercover in the neo-Nazi group and outing an army reservist as one of its recruiters’), Nick R. Martin, The Informant, February 3, 2020 /// (January 31, 2020) : The BBC has published an exposé on Alisher Mukhitdino(v) (AKA Alexander Slavros), the Russian-based founder of now-defunct neo-Nazi website Iron March (the one what helped spawn Atomwaffen in the US, National Action in the UK and Antipodean Resistance in Australia).

On this week’s episode of Yeah Nah, we talk to freelance journalist and dog lover (Dr) Jason Wilson about neo-Nazi terror gruppe ‘The Base’. See :

Revealed: the true identity of the leader of an American neo-Nazi terror group, The Guardian, January 24, 2020
Prepping for a race war: documents reveal inner workings of neo-Nazi group, The Guardian, January 25, 2020
Neo-Nazi Rinaldo Nazzaro running US militant group The Base from Russia, Daniel De Simone, Andrei Soshnikov & Ali Winston, BBC News, January 24, 2020
Neo-Nazi Terror Group Leader Calls FBI Arrests ‘Witch Hunt’: Eight members were arrested and charged with serious crimes, but The Base leader is not backing down., Ben Makuch and Mack Lamoureux, VICE, January 22, 2020
Virginia Capital on Edge as F.B.I. Arrests Suspected Neo-Nazis Before Gun Rally, Timothy Williams, Adam Goldman and Neil MacFarquhar, The New York Times, January 16/20, 2020

You can read more of Wilson’s work on The Guardian, and follow them on Twitter.

4.30pm, Thursday, January 30, 2020 /// 3CR /// 855AM / streaming live on the 3CR website

• We also have a Facebook page for the show, which you’re invited to ‘Like’ and to ‘Follow’.
• I have a Patreon account which youse are also invited to support (and if youse do youse get some sweet stickers …)


About @ndy

I live in Melbourne, Australia. I like anarchy. I don't like nazis. I enjoy eating pizza and drinking beer. I barrack for the greatest football team on Earth: Collingwood Magpies. The 2024 premiership's a cakewalk for the good old Collingwood.
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7 Responses to Yeah Nah Pasaran! #003 w Jason Wilson on neo-nazi terrorists The Base : January 30, 2020

  1. @ndy says:

    Intent on Unsettling E.U., Russia Taps Foot Soldiers From the Fringe
    Andrew Higgins
    The New York Times
    December 24, 2016

    BONY, Hungary — To his neighbors in a village in western Hungary, 76-year-old Istvan Gyorkos was just an old man who mostly kept to himself. Hardly anyone looked askance at his passion for guns and for training youths in paramilitary tactics.

    In late October, however, Mr. Gyorkos, a veteran neo-Nazi and the leader of a tiny fringe outfit called the Hungarian National Front, suddenly took on a more sinister visage when, according to Hungarian police officers who raided his home in search of illegal weapons, he shot and killed a member of the police team with an assault rifle. Members of his family say the dead policeman was shot by a fellow officer.

    The saga then took an even stranger turn: Hungarian intelligence officials told a parliamentary committee in Budapest that Mr. Gyorkos had for years been under scrutiny for his role in a network of extremists linked to and encouraged by Russia. So close was the relationship, the committee heard, that Russian military intelligence officers, masquerading as diplomats, staged regular mock combat exercises using plastic guns with neo-Nazi activists near Mr. Gyorkos’s home.

    That Russia, a nation intensely proud of its huge role in the defeat of Hitler’s Germany in World War II, would want anything to do with marginal, anti-Semitic crackpots who revere Hitler’s wartime allies in Hungary might, at first glance, seem beyond comprehension.

    But Andras Racz, a Russia expert at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs, said it fit into a scattershot strategy of placing small bets, directly or through proxies, on ready-made fringe groups in an effort to destabilize or simply disorient the European Union.

    Most of these bets fail, but reaching out to those on the margins costs little and sometimes hits pay dirt. That happened with Jobbik, a once-marginal far-right Hungarian group that is now the country’s leading opposition party — and a big fan of President Vladimir V. Putin, as is Hungary’s prime minister, Viktor Orban.

    At a time when Russia’s relations with the West, or at least with established parties there, have soured dramatically over Syria, Ukraine and accusations of interference on all sides, Mr. Putin has enjoyed an extraordinary run of apparent good luck, as exemplified by the surprise election victory of Donald J. Trump, who has repeatedly voiced admiration for the Russian leader. Pro-Russia candidates won presidential elections recently in Bulgaria and Moldova, and France’s National Front, which received bank loans worth nearly $12 million from Russian banks, is now a serious contender for the French presidency next year.

    Britain, which has generally taken a tough stance on Russia and its meddling abroad, has turned in on itself amid rancorous internal struggles over how to leave the European Union after a referendum in June.

    Even in Estonia, a Baltic nation deeply suspicious of Moscow, a party long reviled as a Russian tool recently took charge of a new government.

    Each country has its own particular and often very local reasons for its Russia-friendly turn. Mr. Putin did not engineer the shift single-handedly, but he has been adept at making his own luck, deploying Orthodox priests, Russian-funded news media outlets like RT, spies and computer hackers to ride and help create the wave of populist anger now battering the foundations of the post-1945 European order.

    Mr. Gyorkos, one of the foot soldiers in that assault, is now in jail but, according to his lawyer, has not yet been formally charged. A few days before he was accused of opening fire on police officers, a court in the southern Norwegian town of Tonsberg ordered the detention of Jan Petrovsky, a longtime local resident of Russian nationality who, according to a confidential 19-page report by Norway’s security service, belonged to “a network of people characterized by abnormal interest in weapons” and a “shared enmity towards Norwegian democracy and other democracies.”

    Mr. Petrovsky, the report said, posed a “threat to fundamental national interests” because of his involvement with far-right extremists in Norway, his trips to eastern Ukraine to fight alongside Russian-backed separatists and his efforts to recruit Scandinavians to the pro-Russian cause.

    There is no evidence that Mr. Petrovsky, 29, acted on instructions from the Russian state. He instead served a murky Russian nationalist movement that, under Mr. Putin, has provided muscle for Kremlin-backed operations to subvert government control in eastern Ukraine and, more recently, in the Balkan nation of Montenegro.

    After his detention in Norway, the immigration authorities stripped him of his residency permit and sent him back to Russia. Mr. Petrovsky, now in St. Petersburg helping nationalists there train for combat, declined to be interviewed. His Oslo lawyer, Nils Christian Nordhus, dismissed Norway’s assessment as untrue and said his client would appeal the revocation of his Norwegian visa and permanent-residency status.

    Lorant Gyori, an analyst with Political Capital, a research group in Budapest that has studied Russia’s outreach to extremist groups, said Russian methods today mimicked those of the Soviet era, when the K.G.B. had a department dedicated to “active measures.” These went beyond merely collecting intelligence and included disinformation and subversion, often involving various front organizations and Moscow-funded fringe parties that worked to shape, not just spy on, events in foreign countries.

    This department, Section A of the K.G.B.’s First Chief Directorate, survived the collapse of Communism and now operates as part of Russia’s foreign intelligence service, known as the S.V.R. Russian military intelligence, the G.R.U., has its own teams expert in subversion, disinformation and other tools of hybrid warfare.

    Casting a Wide Net

    Russia has spread its net wide, reaching out to mainstream parties and politicians — like former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder of Germany, who was given a lucrative job by Russia’s state-controlled Gazprom energy giant — while also targeting figures widely dismissed as kooks.

    Others, like Hungary’s prime minister, Mr. Orban, have been attracted by Mr. Putin’s hostility toward liberal democracy and Russia’s readiness to hand out cash, like a $10 billion loan to Hungary to pay for the construction by Russia of a nuclear power plant.

    While polls show that public opinion in Hungary remains far more favorable to the West than to Russia, which crushed uprisings there in 1848 and 1956, Mr. Orban and the leader of Jobbik have both ditched their previous hostility toward Moscow and focused their fire on the West instead, particularly the European Union.

    The turnaround by Jobbik has been particularly spectacular and is linked to the role of Bela Kovacs, an enigmatic Hungarian businessman who worked for years in Russia. He joined the far-right party when it was still a struggling band of marginal nationalists in 2005; provided it with funds to stave off bankruptcy, ostensibly out of his own pocket; and took charge of its foreign relations. Mr. Kovacs, now a member of the European Parliament, has been under investigation by Hungarian prosecutors since 2014 over suspicions that he and his Russian-born wife have been recruited as Russian agents.

    Widely mocked as KGBela, the businessman has denied any links to Russian intelligence but has never explained big gaps in his biography, which include long periods when he disappeared in Russia. Also unexplained is why he gave Jobbik money and where it came from.

    The European Parliament last year lifted his immunity so the investigation could proceed, but the authorities in Hungary have so far shown little real interest in pursuing the matter.

    The government has shown similar reluctance to probe too deeply into Russia’s links to Mr. Gyorkos, the neo-Nazi in Bony. Those connections were revealed in October by Index, a well-regarded opposition news media outlet, and were then confirmed and expanded upon by security officials who briefed the parliamentary security committee, members of the committee said.

    Mr. Gyorkos, the committee was told, had such close relations with Russians acting under diplomatic cover at the embassy in Budapest that they traveled to his remote village as many as five times a year to join his supporters for games of airsoft, a form of mock combat that involves the firing of plastic pellets with replica guns. The Russian Embassy in Budapest did not respond to a request for comment.

    Zsolt Molnar, the head of the security committee, said that the diplomats were believed to be members of Russia’s G.R.U. military intelligence agency, and that the games were a form of military training.

    “It was all entirely legal,” Mr. Molnar said. “There was no problem, and this is precisely the problem.” He expressed dismay at how easily and openly supposed Russian diplomats had cultivated ties with violent and disruptive elements on Hungary’s political fringe.

    Bernadett Szel, a legislator from Hungary’s small green party and a member of the security committee, said she had this month proposed a full-scale parliamentary investigation into Russian meddling in Hungary but the move was blocked by Mr. Orban’s governing party, Fidesz. Members of the security committee from Fidesz declined to comment.

    Kolas Gyorkos, the arrested man’s son, who is a gunsmith, said he had not participated in the exercises, organized by his father for followers, and did not know if any Russians had taken part. He denied that his father was a neo-Nazi, saying he was simply a Hungarist, a reference to a Hungarian fascist party set up in the 1930s with much the same ideology as the Nazis.

    The mock military games, which peaked between 2010 and 2012, seem to have been merely a prelude to what security officials believe was Russia’s primary goal: taking control of a far-right website, Hidfo, or the Bridgehead, that Mr. Gyorkos’s group had set up, and turning it into a platform for Russian disinformation.

    The website,, began as a bulletin board for rants by members of the Hungarian National Front and other extremist groups but has since switched its server to Russia — it is now — and serves as a portal for more sober but heavily slanted articles on military and geopolitical affairs with a decidedly pro-Russian tilt.

    It is also an outlet for fake news, including an invented report in 2014 that Hungary was sending tanks to Ukraine, which set off a diplomatic incident. Recent reports, all false, asserted that the United States Department of Homeland Security had declared the November presidential election free of any cyberattack; that Austria wanted to lift sanctions against Russia; and that NATO’s secretary general had pledged to make European nations vassals of Washington. A special section offered a Russian expert’s opinions on how the United States and its allies use hybrid warfare to undermine their rivals around the world.

    Efforts in Scandinavia

    Russian efforts to disrupt the normal functioning of democracy have also been on display in Scandinavia. There, an extremist and avowedly revolutionary outfit called Nordic Resistance has formed a curious alliance with the Russian Imperial Movement, a far-right group that, while not sponsored by the Russian state, has helped the Kremlin by recruiting Russian fighters for the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

    The Russian group announced last year that it had given an unspecified “monetary sum” to Nordic Resistance, but the Russian group’s leader, Stanislav Vorobyov, said in a recent interview that this amounted to just 150 euros.

    His group has nonetheless played a prominent role in rallying extremists from Europe and the United States into a common front against what they see as a globalized elite out of touch with their people and traditional values. It joined a Russian political party, Rodina, in organizing a conference in March 2015 in St. Petersburg that was attended by white supremacists from the United States like Jared Taylor and many of Europe’s most prominent far-right figures. Mr. Petrovsky, the Russian recently expelled from Norway, also attended.

    Thor Bach, a Norwegian youth worker who has followed far-right extremism in Norway for decades, said the influx of new blood, ideas and possibly even money from Russia had helped revive what had until recently, at least in Norway, been a moribund cause.

    “The neo-Nazi scene here was dead, but it has had a reawakening this year,” he said. “Someone in Russia thinks it is a good idea to support neo-Nazis in Scandinavia.”

    He said that there was no evidence of direct support by the Russian state but that there had clearly been an intermingling of Russian and Scandinavian extremists who all see Mr. Putin as a standard-bearer for muscular nationalism. “All the loonies are gathering under the banner of Putin, and now also Trump,” he said.

    Correction: Jan. 21, 2017

    An article on Dec. 25 about Russia’s cultivation of far-right extremist groups in other countries to destabilize the European Union referred imprecisely to the political party of a Hungarian legislator who proposed a parliamentary investigation into Russian meddling in Hungary. While it is a green party, its official name is Politics Can Be Different, not the Green Party.

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