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Members of U.S. Neo-Nazi Terror Group Believed Their Leader Was in Russia For Years

This article originally appeared on VICE Canada.The man who singlehandedly built a neo-Nazi terror group in order to set off a white supremacist insurgency in America may be living in Russia. The leader of The Base, who has gone by the aliases Norman Spear and Roman Wolf, was recently reported by the Guardian to be…

Members of U.S. Neo-Nazi Terror Group Believed Their Leader Was in Russia For Years

This article originally appeared on VICE Canada.

The man who singlehandedly built a neo-Nazi terror group in order to set off a white supremacist insurgency in America may be living in Russia.

The leader of The Base, who has gone by the aliases Norman Spear and Roman Wolf, was recently reported by the Guardian to be a 46-year-old New Jersey native named Rinaldo Nazzaro. The BBC followed the Guardian’s story today and provided evidence that Nazzaro left New York to live in St. Petersburg, Russia with his Russian wife two years ago.

As early as October 2018, members of The Base were aware of Spear’s alleged presence in Russia. A source inside of the terror group, at the time, showed VICE transcripts of internal chatroom exchanges. When one member wondered where Spear was upon the publication of a VICE investigation, another member replied: “Norman is asleep in Russia.”

In another exchange from the same period, Spear describes wanting to purchase firearms in Russia then complaining about the gun laws in the country, after going to a gun shop.

“I found out today that you can own a hunting rifle in Russia, but you can’t keep it in your home,” he said. “And it’s a five-year process to obtain the necessary permit. No pistols allowed.”

“They probably sell RPGs under the counter,” he suggested to another member.

Spear also spoke about being able to provide other members with flags for The Base, because, “they make ‘em relatively cheap here in Russia.”

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The Guardian reported that Spear was connected to Omega Solutions International LLC, a security company based in New York who on an archived version of their website described themselves as “specializing in command, control, and intelligence (C2I) for homeland security, counterterrorism, and counterinsurgency missions at every echelon.”

“Our associates have worked with various government and military agencies, including multiple wartime deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan,” reads the description.

It’s long been speculated in the neo-Nazi community that Spear was an intelligence officer aligned with either the Kremlin or the FBI. The BBC reported that Nazzaro attended a Russian government security exhibition in Moscow last year as a guest. The exhibition allegedly focused on “the demonstration of the results of state policy and achievements.”

Prior to the Guardian investigation, little was known about the group’s shadowy leader. He longed for a race war and encouraged his members to undertake covert “direct action”—shorthand in militant circles for terrorist attacks. Seven members of The Base were arrested in a nationwide FBI operation last week, some for plotting assassinations and others for a plan to open fire at a gun rally in Virginia.

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