Neo-Nazi group identified as concern in report on violent U.S. extremists

People gather at Freedom Plaza to protest the white nationalist Unite the Right rally held in front of the White House on the one-year anniversary of the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, VA, in downtown Washington, U.S., August 12, 2018. REUTERS/ Leah Millis

(Reuters)


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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The neo-Nazi group The Base was identified as a domestic extremism concern in a non-published version of a recent report by U.S. spy agencies but not mentioned in a public version of the same report, three sources familiar with both versions said.

The non-public version of the report also reported that Americans had traveled to Ukraine to fight with pro-Russian forces against the country's elected central government, two of the sources said.

The public version of the report, principally compiled by the National Counterterrorism Center, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security, was released by the Office of Director of National Intelligence earlier this month.

In the March 17 report, U.S. spy agencies warned of an ongoing threat that racially motivated violent extremists, such as white supremacists, will carry out mass-casualty attacks on civilians while militia groups target police and government personnel and buildings.

But the four-page public version of the report provides few details about such groups or movements and names no names.

The non-public version of the report, which the sources said was considerably longer than the public version, does identify specific extremist groups who fit some of the categories, though the sources said that even the non-public accounts are basic.

It is standard practice for U.S. spy agencies to issue a shorter public version than the non-public one. Agencies involved in producing the report declined to comment on the document's non-public version or on why it was shortened for public consumption.

The Counter-Extremist Project (CEP), which monitors political extremists, described The Base as an "accelerationist group" that encourages anarchy and trains members to fight a race war.

Members of The Base, whose American leader now reportedly lives in Russia, portray themselves as vigilante soldiers defending the "European race" from a broken system infected by Jewish values, according to the Anti-Defamation League, another monitoring group.

Reuters was unable to make contact with The Base.

(Reporting by Mark Hosenball; Editing by Andy Sullivan and Howard GollerG)

© Copyright Thomson Reuters 2021

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