As #Trump vows crackdown on ‘#antifa,’ growth of right-wing extremism frustrates Europeans – #atomwaffendivision #awd #terror


The day that President Trump declared he would label the far-left “antifa” movement a domestic terrorist organization last week, a far-right group also based in the United States announced a new international branch in Russia. The Atomwaffen Division, a small but violent neo-Nazi group, claimed in March that it had disbanded after its alleged leader and four other members were arrested on federal charges. But the group has continued to put out polished propaganda videos and establish affiliates around the globe. Security experts and officials in Europe say they are frustrated that U.S. authorities have not taken bolder steps to combat growing right-wing extremism. Their concern has been exacerbated by Trump’s focus on antifa as responsible for violence at nationwide protests sparked by the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis. “Our requests to our U.S. counterparts for legal assistance and information exchange in matters of right-wing extremist groups would often be unanswered,” said a European intelligence official, who, like other officials, spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the issue publicly. When European authorities do get a response, the official said, they are often told that the concerning behavior “is protected as freedom of speech in the U.S.” Trump’s announcement on antifa “came as a surprise,” one European security official said. Short for anti-fascist, antifa is more of a loosely defined movement, unlike many far-right groups, which “have not only argued for violent acts against Jews, African Americans and others, but who have acted upon it,” the official said. (…) Atomwaffen has expanded to Canada, Britain and Switzerland in addition to Russia, where it announced its launch May 31 with a translation of its whites-only agenda into Russian. The German version went online just after the group’s claimed dissolution in March. The German arm of Atomwaffen announced itself publicly in the summer of 2018 with a video of a masked member unfurling an Atomwaffen Division flag outside a castle where the Nazi SS officers trained. A section of the video greets “comrades in the USA.” Authorities in Europe say Atomwaffen Germany has threatened minorities and politicians. Muslims in the country found fliers in their mailboxes in May 2019 warning them to leave the country or they would be attacked. In October, two Green Party politicians reported receiving a threat that said, “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.”

via washington post: As Trump vows crackdown on ‘antifa,’ growth of right-wing extremism frustrates Europeans