HomeThe Base, Hezbollah: Inside Australia’s newest neo-Nazi terror group

The Base, Hezbollah: Inside Australia’s newest neo-Nazi terror group

A terrifying hate group has just been added to Australia’s terrorist organisation list. Here’s what you need to know about the country’s newest threat.

A “violent, racist neo-Nazi group” most Australians have never heard of has emerged as a new threat facing the nation.

As Australia prepares to reopen its borders post-Covid, authorities are on high alert for security concerns which are likely to increase along with the influx of people into the country.

In response, Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews on Wednesday announced two new groups – Hezbollah and The Base – would be added to Australia’s official list of terrorist organisations.

The move will give authorities the power to bring criminal charges against members of those groups, and according to Ms Andrews, the listing “sends a very strong message that Australia condemns the use of terrorism to achieve political, ideological or religious objectives”.

But while Hezbollah, a militant group from Lebanon, is already reasonably well known, The Base and its horrifying objectives remain shrouded in mystery for many Australians.

Here’s everything you need to know about Australia’s newest terror group.

What is The Base?

Described as a neo-Nazi hate group, The Base was founded in the US in mid-2018, with recruitment ramping up later that year.

In January 2020, The Guardian unmasked its founder – who previously operated under the aliases “Norman Spear” and “Roman Wolf” online – as American-born Rinaldo Nazzaro, who is now believed to be based in Russia.

The group now has branches in the United States, Canada, Australia, South Africa, and Europe and actively promotes a race war, specifically targeting those from Jewish and African backgrounds.

The group adheres to a so-called “accelerationist” ideology, with the goal of sparking a societal collapse as a means of winning this “race war”.

According to The Guardian, the group uses encrypted messages to co-ordinate racist attacks and has also established paramilitary training camps for members overseas.

Leading anti-hate organisation the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) reports that The Base is also known to distribute instruction manuals on “tactics used in warfare and urban settings, including sniper attacks” and in January 2020, seven men allegedly linked to the group were arrested in the US on “various murder, vandalism and gun charges”.

The ADL reports that a June 17, 2018 Gab post by “Norman Spear” sums up the group’s violent ideology: “It’s only terrorism if we lose – If we win, we get statues of us put up in parks.”

Australia’s stance is now in line with the Canadian and UK governments, with both also deeming The Base a terrorist entity earlier this year.

Chilling plan to infiltrate Australia

Earlier this year, explosive secret recordings were leaked which revealed how The Base was targeting young Australian men, including former federal One Nation candidate Dean Smith.

And last August, the Southern Poverty Law Centre (SPLC) in the US, which tracks far-right extremist groups, revealed that a Perth-based recruiter had interviewed many potential Australian members, with at least one dozen applying to join the white supremacist group by late 2019.

Analysing recorded interviews, application documents, social media posts and internal chats, the SPLC found that The Base had “made significant inroads into parts of Australia’s far right”, in particular with the white nationalist group the Lads Society, which once invited Christchurch mosque mass murderer Brenton Tarrant to be a member.

Chillingly, the SPLC investigation revealed a string of wannabe Australian The Base members had expressed glowing support for Tarrant’s murderous 2019 rampage, which left 51 Muslim worshippers dead and 40 injured.

Threat of ‘far-right terrorism’

The addition of The Base to Australia’s terror list comes amid fears Australia is facing a growing risk of far-right terrorism on home soil.

Writing in The Conversation last December, the University of Tasmania’s Kaz Ross claimed far-right extremism had been on the rise recently in response to the government’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.

That claim has been backed up by ASIO itself, which last year warned these types of groups were leveraging the pandemic to expand their membership, and that a violent attack in Australia was “plausible”.

“Covid-19 restrictions are being exploited by extreme right-wing narratives that paint the state as oppressive, and globalisation and democracy as flawed and failing,” an ASIO threat assessment stated last year.

“We assess the Covid-19 pandemic has reinforced an extreme right-wing belief in the inevitability of societal collapse and a ‘race war’.

“An extreme right-wing attack in Australia is plausible.”


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