The Aryan Nations Web site describes Redfearin as "an individual of cunning mind, violent tendencies and radical outlook who aided in the evolution of the Aryan Nations worldview as the organization moved into a future which was very different than that perhaps originally envisioned by the Aryan activists of past generations."
Aryan Nations as a Terrorist Organization
Setbacks since the 1990s has largely left the Aryan Nations a "shadow of its former self," (Hoffman 2006, 110). However small its membership might be relative to the population as a whole, the Aryan Nations remains a formidable force. The organization's Web site indicates a slight ideological change, towards more radical and violent approaches to creating a constant state of "revolution" to dismantle the current social and political order (Aryan Nations). The Aryan Nations remains committed to racial purification but "it is prerequisite and indeed necessary that 'the System' be disrupted and broken down" (Aryan Nations). Jews also seem to be targeted almost exclusively. Many white supremacists recently supported Barack Obama because they viewed him as a racialist (Peisner 2009).
Violence is a key component of Aryan Nations strategy, and the violent ideology is fueled by religious fervor. Moreover, Aryan Nations recruits continue to come from the criminal population. Willingness to use weapons and possibly even martyrdom make the Aryan Nations a domestic terror group. The Aryan Nations continues to woo new recruits from the inmate population, and its Web site is another one of its propaganda tools. More recently, law enforcement has witnessed the disturbing trend of recruiting "disaffected teenagers," (Gibson 2005). Local police and the FBI found a large weapons cache belonging to a volunteer high school football coach "and the teenagers he had recruited for a neo-Nazi group" in Riverside, California (Gibson 2005, 2).
The decentralization of Aryan Nations power might also mean more of a possibility for "lone wolf" terrorist attacks. Timothy McVeigh is heralded as a hero by the Aryan Nations organization, even though the domestic terrorist bore no official allegiance to the group. McVeigh was widely known to espouse the beliefs of Christian Patriotism. Similar terrorist figures may fall under the radar of the FBI due to the lack of hierarchical structure among the current white supremacist movement.
The fierce independence underlying Aryan Nations ideology may strengthen the possibility that future threats will come from individuals like McVeigh rather than from a large organization. Because they act completely independently, "lone wolf" terrorists are not susceptible to the political in fighting that might occur in more centralized terrorist organizations.
Aryan Nations and other white supremacist groups have been sparking fear of domestic terrorism. A neo-Nazi group calling itself the National Socialist Movement, using banners and flags that resemble those of Hitler's Nazi party even more than those of the Aryan Nations, recently staged a high-profile demonstration in California. The demonstration also took place in Riverside, where the volunteer high school coach was accused of recruiting youth into a neo-Nazi organization. The demonstration that took place about a week ago protested immigrants.
The Aryan Nations and other neo-Nazi groups threaten peace and security beyond American borders. In Great Britain, neo-Nazism has also thrived in an underground scene not dissimilar from the one in the United States. In fact, a recent report cites the threat of "lone-wolf" domestic terrorists in the United Kingdom (Ford 2009).
Conclusion: Forecast for the Future
Neo-Nazi sentiments are alive and well in the United States and abroad. Last year a neo-Nazi named James von Brunn killed a security guard at the United States Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. Brunn was loosely associated with the Aryan Nations. One family recently named their child Adolf Hitler; they are fighting a court battle to keep the name. The threat of "lone wolf" domestic terrorism looms.
Militant groups with a similar anti-American ideology such as the Militia of Montana continue to flourish and may enjoy crossover memberships (Hoffman 2006). The FBI has its eye on a number of small militias around the country. The possession of large amounts of firearms makes such militia groups a nebulous threat that is difficult for law enforcement to manage. Militia groups tend also to have strong survivalist skills and live in isolated communities. Therefore, they are difficult to track. Law enforcement offers are often the targets of militia attacks because of their anti-government, anti-authority ideology.
Small militia groups that occasionally join forces under an umbrella organization like the Aryan Nations appear to be the most immanent threat to national security. Neo-Nazi groups boast a well-trained and heavily armed membership base, coupled with a religious dedication to the ideological cause. The FBI and local law enforcement agencies are working together to prevent potential attacks.
Al-Khattar, Aref M. 2003. Religion and Terrorism; An Interfaith Perspective. Westport, CT: Praeger.
Aryan Nations. http://www.aryan-nations.org / (Accessed Nov 11, 2009).
Borgeson, Kevin, and Valeri, Robin. 2009. Terrorism in America. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett.
Federal Bureau of Investigation. "Aryan Nation." http://foia.fbi.gov/foiaindex/anation.htm (Accessed Nov 11, 2009).
Ford, Richard. 2009. "Britain Under Threat from Neo-Nazi Lone Wolves." The Times Online. Nov 11, 2009. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/crime/article6911697.ece (Accessed Nov 11, 2009.
Gibson, Charles. 2005. "Secret FBI Report Highlights Domestic Terror." ABC News. April 18, 2005, http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/Investigation/Story?id=681288&page=1 (Accessed Nov 11, 2009).
Hoffman, Bruce. 2006. Inside Terrorism. New York: Columbia University Press.
Morlin, Bill. 1988. "Aryans Still Dedicated to a White Revolution." Spokesman-Review. July 25, 1988. http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1314&dat=19880725&id=xx0SAAAAIBAJ&sjid=-u8DAAAAIBAJ&pg=6671,6141836 (Accessed Nov 11, 2009).
Peisner, David. "Why White Supremacists Support Barack Obama." Esquire. June 11, 2009. http://www.esquire.com/the-side/feature/racists-support-obama-061308 (Accessed Nov 11, 2009).