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FLORIDA: Walpole natives shot, police uncover neo-Nazi items – Wicked Local Walpole

Jason Dearen and Michael Kunzelman/Associated Press

Editor’s note: Information from television partner WCVB was added to this report. Find their ongoing coverage here: http://bit.ly/2rUPw7B.

Investigators found white supremacist propaganda, bomb-making materials and a framed photograph of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh at a Florida apartment where a teenager killed two roommates who had once shared his neo-Nazi beliefs before he converted to Islam, police and the FBI said.

Devon Arthurs, 18, led police to the two bodies inside his Tampa apartment last Friday, saying he killed them after they showed disrespect for his new faith, according to police and FBI reports released Monday.

A fourth roommate, a member of the Florida National Guard, was arrested on charges related to the alleged discovery of bomb-making materials.

The investigation began unfolding Friday, when Arthurs held two customers and an employee hostage at gunpoint at a Tampa smoke shop, police said.

Arthurs said he converted to Islam and was upset about American bombings in Muslim countries, among other issues, according to a Tampa police report. He is being charged with two counts of first-degree murder and other charges, and court records did not list an attorney for him.

Officers talked Arthurs into letting the hostages go and dropping his weapon, and took him into custody, according to officials. Police said Arthurs started talking about killing two people, and then he directed them to a condominium complex where the four roommates shared an apartment.

When they arrived at the apartment the fourth roommate, Brandon Russell, was crying and standing outside the apartment’s front door in his military uniform. He had just finished duty with the Florida National Guard.

Inside lay the bodies of 22-year-old Jeremy Himmelman and 18-year-old Andrew Oneschuk. Both had been shot. According to television station WCVB, both Himmelman and Oneschuk are from Walpole.

Investigators also found a cooler filled with bomb-making material, two radioactive substances and the Nazi propaganda, according to the FBI. Federal agents arrested Russell, 21, on Saturday on charges related to the explosives.

The FBI said Russell “admitted to his neo-Nazi beliefs” and said he was a member of a group called Atomwaffen, which is German for “atomic weapon.”

At first, Russell told agents he kept the explosives from his days in an engineering club at the University of South Florida in 2013, and that he used the substances to boost homemade rockets. The agents wrote that the substance found was “too energetic and volatile for these types of uses.”

Russell has been charged with possession of an unregistered destructive device and unlawful storage of explosive material. Court records did not list an attorney for him.

Andrew Auernheimer, a notorious computer hacker and internet troll, wrote a post about the killings for The Daily Stormer, a leading neo-Nazi website.

Auernheimer, known online as “weev,” said in Sunday’s post that he knew the shooting suspect and both of the shooting victims. He said he banned Arthurs from The Daily Stormer’s Discord server, an online forum, for posting “Muslim terrorist propaganda” earlier this year.

“He came in to convert people to Islam,” Auernheimer said during a telephone interview Monday. “It didn’t work out very well for him.”

Auernheimer described Himmelman and Oneschuk as “friends of friends” and said they belonged to the Atomwaffen group.

“Atomwaffen are a bunch of good dudes. They’ve posted tons of fliers with absolutely killer graphics at tons of universities over the years. They generally have a lot of fun and party,” he wrote.

Heidi Beirich, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project, said the law center had seen recent news reports on Atomwaffen members posting neo-Nazi fliers on college campuses. But the SPLC hadn’t examined the group’s membership or the “ins and outs” of the organization before Friday’s shooting.

“Once again, we see how violent these people are,” she said. “In the neo-Nazi movement, we’ve seen a long string of bombers and murderers.”

___

Dearen reported from Gainesville, Florida. Kunzelman from Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

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FLORIDA: Walpole natives shot, police uncover neo-Nazi items – Wicked Local Walpole

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May 25, 2017   Posted in: Heidi Beirich  Comments Closed

Slain Maryland student gets degree on graduation day – St. Louis American

CNN) — Today should have been the day Richard Collins III walked across a stage in a cap and gown.

Instead, his gown lay draped over a chair in the front row at Bowie State University’s commencement ceremony.

Collins was three days away from graduating when he was stabbed to death at a bus stop while visiting friends at the University of Maryland.

The FBI is investigating whether Collins was killed in a hate crime. Police said the suspect was a member of a Facebook group that spewed hatred toward minorities.

But what the suspect didn’t know was that Collins had just been commissioned as a US Army lieutenant two days earlier. That he had served in the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps and planned to keep serving his country after graduation, his father told NBC News.

The young man “would go out of his way, sometimes to my chagrin, to go and help others — but you want to try to encourage that in your children,” Richard Collins Jr. said.

But now, “the parent’s worst nightmare has just reached my doorstep.”

Celebration and mourning

Incidentally, Tuesday’s Bowie State graduation ceremony took place on the University of Maryland’s campus.

As the Class of 2017 streamed in, their faces alternated from joyous to somber.

Collins’ relatives sat in the front row, near the gown he should have been wearing.

“We gather this morning with heavy hearts,” Bowie State University President Dr. Mickey L. Burnim said.

“One of our graduates, in the prime of his life, has fallen victim to an unprovoked assault in yet one more manifestation of the senseless violence permeating our society.”

The president called for a moment of silence and asked the graduates to contemplate “what each of us might do to promote greater peace, harmony and love that seems to be so lacking in our country, in our world today.”

Collins was later posthumously awarded his bachelor’s degree. His family accepted his diploma for him.

Bizarre commands end in stabbing

Around 3 a.m. Saturday, Collins and his friends were standing at a bus stop waiting for an Uber when suspect Sean Christopher Urbanski approached them, police said.

Witnesses reported Urbanski yelling bizarre commands at Collins, University of Maryland Police Chief David Mitchell said.

“He said to the victim, ‘Step left, step left if you know what’s good for you,'” the witnesses said, according to the police chief.

“The victim looked at him puzzled with the other friends of his and said ‘No,'” Mitchell said. “It was then that (the suspect) stabbed the victim in his chest.”

Urbanski has been charged with first- and second-degree murder as well as first-degree assault. His attorney, William C. Brennan Jr., said at a bond hearing Monday that his client was intoxicated at the time.

But Maryland District Judge Patrice E. Lewis denied bond for Urbanski, calling him “an absolute danger to the community.”

‘Alt-Reich’ group now offline

The police chief said Urbanski was a member of the “Alt-Reich” Facebook group.

“When I looked at the information that’s contained on that website … it’s despicable,” Mitchell said.

“It shows extreme bias against women, Latinos, members of the Jewish faith and especially African-Americans, which brings up questions as to the motive of this case.”

The Facebook page has since been taken offline.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate crimes and hate groups, said it had not heard of “Alt-Reich” before the Maryland killing.

In recent months, there has been a jump in racist groups naming themselves variations of the term “alt-right,” said Heidi Beirich, director of the SPLC’s Intelligence Project.

Maryland State Attorney Angela D. Alsobrooks said authorities “need something probably more than just a Facebook posting” for the killing to be considered a hate crime.

While investigators try to determine whether Urbanski should be charged with a hate crime, one fact is already apparent, the prosecutor said: Collins was “a person who represented in every way possible the very best of this community.”

“He was already a person who had accomplished so much,” she said, “more than many of us will accomplish in a whole lifetime.”

— CNN’s Lauren del Valle, Aileen Graef and Darran Simon contributed to this report.

The-CNN-Wire

& 2017 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

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Slain Maryland student gets degree on graduation day – St. Louis American

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May 23, 2017   Posted in: Heidi Beirich  Comments Closed

Police find Nazi items, explosives during murder probe – Albany Times Union

Police find Nazi items, explosives during murder probe

Investigators found white supremacist propaganda, bomb-making materials and a framed photograph of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh at a Florida apartment where a teenager killed two roommates who had once shared his neo-Nazi beliefs before he converted to Islam, police and the FBI said.

Devon Arthurs, 18, led police to the two bodies inside his Tampa apartment last Friday, saying he killed them after they showed disrespect for his new faith, according to police and FBI reports released Monday.

A fourth roommate, a member of the Florida National Guard, was arrested on charges related to the alleged discovery of bomb-making materials.

The investigation began unfolding Friday, when Arthurs held two customers and an employee hostage at gunpoint at a Tampa smoke shop, police said.

Arthurs said he converted to Islam and was upset about American bombings in Muslim countries, among other issues, according to a Tampa police report. He is being charged with two counts of first-degree murder and other charges, and court records did not list an attorney for him.

Officers talked Arthurs into letting the hostages go and dropping his weapon, and took him into custody, according to officials. Police said Arthurs started talking about killing two people, and then he directed them to a condominium complex where the four roommates shared an apartment.

When they arrived at the apartment the fourth roommate, Brandon Russell, was crying and standing outside the apartment’s front door in his military uniform. He had just finished duty with the Florida National Guard.

Inside lay the bodies of 22-year-old Jeremy Himmelman and 18-year-old Andrew Oneschuk. Both had been shot.

Investigators also found a cooler filled with bomb-making material, two radioactive substances and the Nazi propaganda, according to the FBI. Federal agents arrested Russell, 21, on Saturday on charges related to the explosives.

The FBI said Russell “admitted to his neo-Nazi beliefs” and said he was a member of a group called Atomwaffen, which is German for “atomic weapon.”

At first, Russell told agents he kept the explosives from his days in an engineering club at the University of South Florida in 2013, and that he used the substances to boost homemade rockets. The agents wrote that the substance found was “too energetic and volatile for these types of uses.”

Russell has been charged with possession of an unregistered destructive device and unlawful storage of explosive material. Court records did not list an attorney for him.

Andrew Auernheimer, a notorious computer hacker and internet troll, wrote a post about the killings for The Daily Stormer, a leading neo-Nazi website.

Auernheimer, known online as “weev,” said in Sunday’s post that he knew the shooting suspect and both of the shooting victims. He said he banned Arthurs from The Daily Stormer’s Discord server, an online forum, for posting “Muslim terrorist propaganda” earlier this year.

“He came in to convert people to Islam,” Auernheimer said during a telephone interview Monday. “It didn’t work out very well for him.”

Auernheimer described Himmelman and Oneschuk as “friends of friends” and said they belonged to the Atomwaffen group.

“Atomwaffen are a bunch of good dudes. They’ve posted tons of fliers with absolutely killer graphics at tons of universities over the years. They generally have a lot of fun and party,” he wrote.

Heidi Beirich, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project, said the law center had seen recent news reports on Atomwaffen members posting neo-Nazi fliers on college campuses. But the SPLC hadn’t examined the group’s membership or the “ins and outs” of the organization before Friday’s shooting.

“Once again, we see how violent these people are,” she said. “In the neo-Nazi movement, we’ve seen a long string of bombers and murderers.”

___

Dearen reported from Gainesville, Florida. Kunzelman from Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

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Police find Nazi items, explosives during murder probe – Albany Times Union

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May 23, 2017   Posted in: Heidi Beirich  Comments Closed

University of Maryland Fatal Stabbing Investigated by FBI as … – NBCNews.com

Richard Spencer speaks at the Texas A&M University campus Dec. 6, 2016, in College Station, Texas. David J. Phillip / AP file

Advocates told NBC News that although authorities were still investigating the specifics of this case, bias incidents and enlistment by groups espousing such ideologies has been increasing in American schools, especially after the contentious 2016 presidential election.

Jonathan Greenblatt, the executive director of the Anti-Defamation League, told NBC News that Collins’ murder was “appalling and deeply disturbing.”

“This also comes on the heels of an increased tempo of recruiting on college campuses by white supremacists,” he said.

Greenblatt said the groups had not been highly engaged in college campuses in years past, “but this year has been different.” He added that members of groups espousing racist ideology had also increasingly turned to social media to recruit people or terrorize their victims.

The

Heidi Beirich, director of Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project, told NBC News that the group had also noticed an increase in such incidents.

“We’ve seen a rise in bias incidents from hate speech and everything leading up to attacks on people, both in the K-12 section and on college campuses,” she said.

Although the group began tracking the data much more thoroughly after the election, in its most recent report chronicling bias incidents the group tracked a total of 1,863 reported cases from Nov. 9 through March 31, including 614 that took place on school grounds. The SPLC said 330 of those incidents took place on college campuses and 284 took places in schools grades K-12.

The group also tracked 178 “white nationalist flyer” incidents, with 87 percent of those cases taking place on college campuses.

Beirich also said the group had found that “increasingly people are getting radicalized online,” citing convicted Charleston church killer Dylann Roof as one example. Roof

When asked about the feeling on campus following the allegations in Collins’ murder, and the incident involving the noose last month, Mitchell said Sunday there was a “tension” at the school.

“Well, I think there’s not only tension on this campus, but campuses throughout the United States,” he said.

“We’re part of America and America is seeing tension. We see it here and we’re doing our best to combat that with our student body,” he added.

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University of Maryland Fatal Stabbing Investigated by FBI as … – NBCNews.com

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The woman tracking hate in America – ABC News

For Heidi Beirich, director of the nations premiere hate-monitoring publication, the political ascension of Donald Trump brought with it the rise of some dangerous ideas that she has spent years denouncing.

He sanctioned them. He made them mainstream, said Beirich. In fact, Trump is the biggest mainstreaming-of-hate person weve ever had.

At the Southern Poverty Law Center, Beirich has built a career on hate. She has spent decades studying it in all of its forms, tracking its manifestations and calling it out by name when possible. Her group, the Intelligence Project, publishes both a Hatewatch blog and the award-winning Intelligence Report the countrys leading periodical monitoring extremist, right-wing groups in America. To maintain her expertise, she spends hours each day immersing herself in their world.

Its a lot of hours on websites, or reading publications these organizations put out, said Beirich. And then we have to make a hard call. You know, we dont want to name groups willy nilly as hate groups because thats a hell of a thing to say about somebody.

During our conversation, Beirich opened up about the roots of her interest in this kind of work an emotionally-exhausting and dangerous enterprise that can draw the ire of the same groups shes tracking. As a teenager in northern California, Beirich saw firsthand the devastating effects local neo-Nazi groups had on her circle of friends, some of whom were pulled in by what she calls “magnetic” messaging.

Some committed violent acts, in the name of ideology, and ended up in prison. Families, Beirich says, were torn apart. Thirty years later, shes watched the messages, tactics and targets of groups shift over time. As America evolves, Beirich says, so have its hate groups, both in style and scope.

In the February 2017 issue of the Intelligence Report, the SPLC reported that the number of hate groups rose to 917 in 2016, up from 892 in 2015; the most dramatic growth was the anti-Muslim hate groups, which rose from 34 in 2015 to 101 in 2016.

I think sometimes Americans forget that this country was founded on white supremacy, said Beirich. This country is very soon going to have no majority population. We cant live and be successful as a democracy if we have civil strife like this. Its a really bad thing for our future.

Beirich is among those who weren’t convinced by Trump’s “stop it” line, delivered during a television interview in which he was pressed about supporters committing acts of violence. She saw his February 2016 condemnation of a wave of anti-Semitic threats — after weeks of criticism for his failure to address them — as “too little, too late.”

Theres no simple answers but it would be nice if it started from the top, to say this stuff is bad, she said. Weve been through these scenarios before. And what makes it better is taking a stand for civil rights and equality.

Check out the full conversation on this weeks episode of Uncomfortable.

Download and subscribe to the “Uncomfortable” podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, Stitcher, and ABC News podcasts.

Beirich was interviewed as part of a series called “Uncomfortable,” hosted by Amna Nawaz, that offers in-depth and honest conversations with influential figures about issues dividing America.

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The woman tracking hate in America – ABC News

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El Daily Stormer: Neo-Nazi website is now in Spanish, too – Redwood Times

How does a leading neo-Nazi website that has railed against Hispanic immigrants expand its audience beyond a loyal base of U.S. white supremacists? By publishing a Spanish-language edition, of course.

The Daily Stormer infamous for orchestrating internet harassment campaigns by its “Troll Army” of readers recently launched El Daily Stormer as a “news portal” tailoring its racist, anti-Semitic content for readers in Spain and Latin America.

Andrew Auernheimer, a notorious computer hacker and internet troll who writes for the English-language site, says the Spanish edition fits their mission to spread Hitlerism across the world.

“We want our message to reach millions more people,” he said in a telephone interview.

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Hate sites have realized that the U.S. has no monopoly on white nationalists and other far-right extremists, says Heidi Beirich, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project. Others, such as Stormfront, already created multilingual forums.

“The white supremacist movement has really viewed itself as past borders, reaching out to white people in other countries,” Beirich said.

The law center represents a Montana real estate agent who sued The Daily Stormer’s founder, Andrew Anglin, last month for unleashing an anti-Semitic “campaign of terror” against her family.

Anonymous trolls bombarded Tanya Gersh’s family with hateful and threatening messages after Anglin published the family’s personal information in a December post that accused Gersh and other Jewish residents of Whitefish, Montana, of engaging in an “extortion racket” against the mother of white nationalist Richard Spencer.

Anglin’s site takes its name from Der Strmer, a newspaper that published Nazi propaganda. It includes sections called “Jewish Problem” and “Race War.”

El Daily Stormer titles its anti-Semitic section “Judiadas,” an offensive term with roots in medieval Spain, where it was invoked to justify genocidal attacks on Jews.

The Spanish site also includes appeals for donations and unpaid articles, and a forum where people complain about Chile and Argentina filling up with “negros,” referring to people from Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay.

Auernheimer, known online as “weev,” said a team of volunteers is writing original content for the Spanish-language site. The site’s appeal for unpaid collaborators says being a dissident “has never been a lucrative activity,” and that it is looking for writers “willing to risk everything for the survival of our race.”

“We have a big Spanish-speaking population on our forums, so it was an easy direction to branch out into,” he said.

About 40 percent of The Daily Stormer’s 3.2 million unique monthly visitors are in the U.S.; the Spanish edition has added fewer than 10,000 since its recent launch, Auernheimer said.

Surpassing Stormfront as the top U.S. hate site hasn’t been a financial boon for The Daily Stormer, which calls itself “100 percent reader-supported.” Anglin complained in January that a Ukrainian advertising company had banned them, leaving an Australian electrician as the site’s only advertiser.

“We don’t have revenue commensurate with a publication of our size,” Auernheimer said.

___

Associated Press writer Mike Warren in Atlanta contributed to this report.

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El Daily Stormer: Neo-Nazi website is now in Spanish, too – Redwood Times

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AP News in Brief at 6:04 am EDT – Miami Herald


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AP News in Brief at 6:04 am EDT
Miami Herald
Hate sites have realized that the U.S. has no monopoly on white nationalists and other far-right extremists, says Heidi Beirich, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center's Intelligence Project. Others, such as Stormfront, already created
Trump revealed highly classified information to Russian foreign minister and ambassadorWashington Post
Israel Said to Be Source of Secret Intelligence Trump Gave to RussiansNew York Times

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AP News in Brief at 6:04 am EDT – Miami Herald

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Nation and World briefs for May 17 – Hawaii Tribune Herald

Nation and World briefs for May 17
Hawaii Tribune Herald
Hate sites have realized that the U.S. has no monopoly on white nationalists and other far-right extremists, says Heidi Beirich, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center's Intelligence Project. Others, such as Stormfront, already created

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Nation and World briefs for May 17 – Hawaii Tribune Herald

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Alabama history tour covers Civil War, cotton … but not slaves – Durham Herald Sun


Durham Herald Sun
Alabama history tour covers Civil War, cotton … but not slaves
Durham Herald Sun
You're essentially giving money to push historical narratives that we haven't heard since the Klan era in the 1920s, said Heidi Beirich, director of the hate-watching Intelligence Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center. The museum perseveres in a

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Alabama history tour covers Civil War, cotton … but not slaves – Durham Herald Sun

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May 13, 2017   Posted in: Heidi Beirich  Comments Closed

FLORIDA: Walpole natives shot, police uncover neo-Nazi items – Wicked Local Walpole

Jason Dearen and Michael Kunzelman/Associated Press Editor’s note: Information from television partner WCVB was added to this report. Find their ongoing coverage here: http://bit.ly/2rUPw7B. Investigators found white supremacist propaganda, bomb-making materials and a framed photograph of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh at a Florida apartment where a teenager killed two roommates who had once shared his neo-Nazi beliefs before he converted to Islam, police and the FBI said. Devon Arthurs, 18, led police to the two bodies inside his Tampa apartment last Friday, saying he killed them after they showed disrespect for his new faith, according to police and FBI reports released Monday. A fourth roommate, a member of the Florida National Guard, was arrested on charges related to the alleged discovery of bomb-making materials. The investigation began unfolding Friday, when Arthurs held two customers and an employee hostage at gunpoint at a Tampa smoke shop, police said. Arthurs said he converted to Islam and was upset about American bombings in Muslim countries, among other issues, according to a Tampa police report. He is being charged with two counts of first-degree murder and other charges, and court records did not list an attorney for him. Officers talked Arthurs into letting the hostages go and dropping his weapon, and took him into custody, according to officials. Police said Arthurs started talking about killing two people, and then he directed them to a condominium complex where the four roommates shared an apartment. When they arrived at the apartment the fourth roommate, Brandon Russell, was crying and standing outside the apartment’s front door in his military uniform. He had just finished duty with the Florida National Guard. Inside lay the bodies of 22-year-old Jeremy Himmelman and 18-year-old Andrew Oneschuk. Both had been shot. According to television station WCVB, both Himmelman and Oneschuk are from Walpole. Investigators also found a cooler filled with bomb-making material, two radioactive substances and the Nazi propaganda, according to the FBI. Federal agents arrested Russell, 21, on Saturday on charges related to the explosives. The FBI said Russell “admitted to his neo-Nazi beliefs” and said he was a member of a group called Atomwaffen, which is German for “atomic weapon.” At first, Russell told agents he kept the explosives from his days in an engineering club at the University of South Florida in 2013, and that he used the substances to boost homemade rockets. The agents wrote that the substance found was “too energetic and volatile for these types of uses.” Russell has been charged with possession of an unregistered destructive device and unlawful storage of explosive material. Court records did not list an attorney for him. Andrew Auernheimer, a notorious computer hacker and internet troll, wrote a post about the killings for The Daily Stormer, a leading neo-Nazi website. Auernheimer, known online as “weev,” said in Sunday’s post that he knew the shooting suspect and both of the shooting victims. He said he banned Arthurs from The Daily Stormer’s Discord server, an online forum, for posting “Muslim terrorist propaganda” earlier this year. “He came in to convert people to Islam,” Auernheimer said during a telephone interview Monday. “It didn’t work out very well for him.” Auernheimer described Himmelman and Oneschuk as “friends of friends” and said they belonged to the Atomwaffen group. “Atomwaffen are a bunch of good dudes. They’ve posted tons of fliers with absolutely killer graphics at tons of universities over the years. They generally have a lot of fun and party,” he wrote. Heidi Beirich, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project, said the law center had seen recent news reports on Atomwaffen members posting neo-Nazi fliers on college campuses. But the SPLC hadn’t examined the group’s membership or the “ins and outs” of the organization before Friday’s shooting. “Once again, we see how violent these people are,” she said. “In the neo-Nazi movement, we’ve seen a long string of bombers and murderers.” ___ Dearen reported from Gainesville, Florida. Kunzelman from Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

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Slain Maryland student gets degree on graduation day – St. Louis American

CNN) — Today should have been the day Richard Collins III walked across a stage in a cap and gown. Instead, his gown lay draped over a chair in the front row at Bowie State University’s commencement ceremony. Collins was three days away from graduating when he was stabbed to death at a bus stop while visiting friends at the University of Maryland. The FBI is investigating whether Collins was killed in a hate crime. Police said the suspect was a member of a Facebook group that spewed hatred toward minorities. But what the suspect didn’t know was that Collins had just been commissioned as a US Army lieutenant two days earlier. That he had served in the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps and planned to keep serving his country after graduation, his father told NBC News. The young man “would go out of his way, sometimes to my chagrin, to go and help others — but you want to try to encourage that in your children,” Richard Collins Jr. said. But now, “the parent’s worst nightmare has just reached my doorstep.” Celebration and mourning Incidentally, Tuesday’s Bowie State graduation ceremony took place on the University of Maryland’s campus. As the Class of 2017 streamed in, their faces alternated from joyous to somber. Collins’ relatives sat in the front row, near the gown he should have been wearing. “We gather this morning with heavy hearts,” Bowie State University President Dr. Mickey L. Burnim said. “One of our graduates, in the prime of his life, has fallen victim to an unprovoked assault in yet one more manifestation of the senseless violence permeating our society.” The president called for a moment of silence and asked the graduates to contemplate “what each of us might do to promote greater peace, harmony and love that seems to be so lacking in our country, in our world today.” Collins was later posthumously awarded his bachelor’s degree. His family accepted his diploma for him. Bizarre commands end in stabbing Around 3 a.m. Saturday, Collins and his friends were standing at a bus stop waiting for an Uber when suspect Sean Christopher Urbanski approached them, police said. Witnesses reported Urbanski yelling bizarre commands at Collins, University of Maryland Police Chief David Mitchell said. “He said to the victim, ‘Step left, step left if you know what’s good for you,'” the witnesses said, according to the police chief. “The victim looked at him puzzled with the other friends of his and said ‘No,'” Mitchell said. “It was then that (the suspect) stabbed the victim in his chest.” Urbanski has been charged with first- and second-degree murder as well as first-degree assault. His attorney, William C. Brennan Jr., said at a bond hearing Monday that his client was intoxicated at the time. But Maryland District Judge Patrice E. Lewis denied bond for Urbanski, calling him “an absolute danger to the community.” ‘Alt-Reich’ group now offline The police chief said Urbanski was a member of the “Alt-Reich” Facebook group. “When I looked at the information that’s contained on that website … it’s despicable,” Mitchell said. “It shows extreme bias against women, Latinos, members of the Jewish faith and especially African-Americans, which brings up questions as to the motive of this case.” The Facebook page has since been taken offline. The Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate crimes and hate groups, said it had not heard of “Alt-Reich” before the Maryland killing. In recent months, there has been a jump in racist groups naming themselves variations of the term “alt-right,” said Heidi Beirich, director of the SPLC’s Intelligence Project. Maryland State Attorney Angela D. Alsobrooks said authorities “need something probably more than just a Facebook posting” for the killing to be considered a hate crime. While investigators try to determine whether Urbanski should be charged with a hate crime, one fact is already apparent, the prosecutor said: Collins was “a person who represented in every way possible the very best of this community.” “He was already a person who had accomplished so much,” she said, “more than many of us will accomplish in a whole lifetime.” — CNN’s Lauren del Valle, Aileen Graef and Darran Simon contributed to this report. The-CNN-Wire & 2017 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

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May 23, 2017   Posted in: Heidi Beirich  Comments Closed

Police find Nazi items, explosives during murder probe – Albany Times Union

Police find Nazi items, explosives during murder probe Investigators found white supremacist propaganda, bomb-making materials and a framed photograph of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh at a Florida apartment where a teenager killed two roommates who had once shared his neo-Nazi beliefs before he converted to Islam, police and the FBI said. Devon Arthurs, 18, led police to the two bodies inside his Tampa apartment last Friday, saying he killed them after they showed disrespect for his new faith, according to police and FBI reports released Monday. A fourth roommate, a member of the Florida National Guard, was arrested on charges related to the alleged discovery of bomb-making materials. The investigation began unfolding Friday, when Arthurs held two customers and an employee hostage at gunpoint at a Tampa smoke shop, police said. Arthurs said he converted to Islam and was upset about American bombings in Muslim countries, among other issues, according to a Tampa police report. He is being charged with two counts of first-degree murder and other charges, and court records did not list an attorney for him. Officers talked Arthurs into letting the hostages go and dropping his weapon, and took him into custody, according to officials. Police said Arthurs started talking about killing two people, and then he directed them to a condominium complex where the four roommates shared an apartment. When they arrived at the apartment the fourth roommate, Brandon Russell, was crying and standing outside the apartment’s front door in his military uniform. He had just finished duty with the Florida National Guard. Inside lay the bodies of 22-year-old Jeremy Himmelman and 18-year-old Andrew Oneschuk. Both had been shot. Investigators also found a cooler filled with bomb-making material, two radioactive substances and the Nazi propaganda, according to the FBI. Federal agents arrested Russell, 21, on Saturday on charges related to the explosives. The FBI said Russell “admitted to his neo-Nazi beliefs” and said he was a member of a group called Atomwaffen, which is German for “atomic weapon.” At first, Russell told agents he kept the explosives from his days in an engineering club at the University of South Florida in 2013, and that he used the substances to boost homemade rockets. The agents wrote that the substance found was “too energetic and volatile for these types of uses.” Russell has been charged with possession of an unregistered destructive device and unlawful storage of explosive material. Court records did not list an attorney for him. Andrew Auernheimer, a notorious computer hacker and internet troll, wrote a post about the killings for The Daily Stormer, a leading neo-Nazi website. Auernheimer, known online as “weev,” said in Sunday’s post that he knew the shooting suspect and both of the shooting victims. He said he banned Arthurs from The Daily Stormer’s Discord server, an online forum, for posting “Muslim terrorist propaganda” earlier this year. “He came in to convert people to Islam,” Auernheimer said during a telephone interview Monday. “It didn’t work out very well for him.” Auernheimer described Himmelman and Oneschuk as “friends of friends” and said they belonged to the Atomwaffen group. “Atomwaffen are a bunch of good dudes. They’ve posted tons of fliers with absolutely killer graphics at tons of universities over the years. They generally have a lot of fun and party,” he wrote. Heidi Beirich, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project, said the law center had seen recent news reports on Atomwaffen members posting neo-Nazi fliers on college campuses. But the SPLC hadn’t examined the group’s membership or the “ins and outs” of the organization before Friday’s shooting. “Once again, we see how violent these people are,” she said. “In the neo-Nazi movement, we’ve seen a long string of bombers and murderers.” ___ Dearen reported from Gainesville, Florida. Kunzelman from Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

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May 23, 2017   Posted in: Heidi Beirich  Comments Closed

University of Maryland Fatal Stabbing Investigated by FBI as … – NBCNews.com

Richard Spencer speaks at the Texas A&M University campus Dec. 6, 2016, in College Station, Texas. David J. Phillip / AP file Advocates told NBC News that although authorities were still investigating the specifics of this case, bias incidents and enlistment by groups espousing such ideologies has been increasing in American schools, especially after the contentious 2016 presidential election. Jonathan Greenblatt, the executive director of the Anti-Defamation League, told NBC News that Collins’ murder was “appalling and deeply disturbing.” “This also comes on the heels of an increased tempo of recruiting on college campuses by white supremacists,” he said. Greenblatt said the groups had not been highly engaged in college campuses in years past, “but this year has been different.” He added that members of groups espousing racist ideology had also increasingly turned to social media to recruit people or terrorize their victims. The Heidi Beirich, director of Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project, told NBC News that the group had also noticed an increase in such incidents. “We’ve seen a rise in bias incidents from hate speech and everything leading up to attacks on people, both in the K-12 section and on college campuses,” she said. Although the group began tracking the data much more thoroughly after the election, in its most recent report chronicling bias incidents the group tracked a total of 1,863 reported cases from Nov. 9 through March 31, including 614 that took place on school grounds. The SPLC said 330 of those incidents took place on college campuses and 284 took places in schools grades K-12. The group also tracked 178 “white nationalist flyer” incidents, with 87 percent of those cases taking place on college campuses. Beirich also said the group had found that “increasingly people are getting radicalized online,” citing convicted Charleston church killer Dylann Roof as one example. Roof When asked about the feeling on campus following the allegations in Collins’ murder, and the incident involving the noose last month, Mitchell said Sunday there was a “tension” at the school. “Well, I think there’s not only tension on this campus, but campuses throughout the United States,” he said. “We’re part of America and America is seeing tension. We see it here and we’re doing our best to combat that with our student body,” he added.

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May 23, 2017   Posted in: Heidi Beirich  Comments Closed

The woman tracking hate in America – ABC News

For Heidi Beirich, director of the nations premiere hate-monitoring publication, the political ascension of Donald Trump brought with it the rise of some dangerous ideas that she has spent years denouncing. He sanctioned them. He made them mainstream, said Beirich. In fact, Trump is the biggest mainstreaming-of-hate person weve ever had. At the Southern Poverty Law Center, Beirich has built a career on hate. She has spent decades studying it in all of its forms, tracking its manifestations and calling it out by name when possible. Her group, the Intelligence Project, publishes both a Hatewatch blog and the award-winning Intelligence Report the countrys leading periodical monitoring extremist, right-wing groups in America. To maintain her expertise, she spends hours each day immersing herself in their world. Its a lot of hours on websites, or reading publications these organizations put out, said Beirich. And then we have to make a hard call. You know, we dont want to name groups willy nilly as hate groups because thats a hell of a thing to say about somebody. During our conversation, Beirich opened up about the roots of her interest in this kind of work an emotionally-exhausting and dangerous enterprise that can draw the ire of the same groups shes tracking. As a teenager in northern California, Beirich saw firsthand the devastating effects local neo-Nazi groups had on her circle of friends, some of whom were pulled in by what she calls “magnetic” messaging. Some committed violent acts, in the name of ideology, and ended up in prison. Families, Beirich says, were torn apart. Thirty years later, shes watched the messages, tactics and targets of groups shift over time. As America evolves, Beirich says, so have its hate groups, both in style and scope. In the February 2017 issue of the Intelligence Report, the SPLC reported that the number of hate groups rose to 917 in 2016, up from 892 in 2015; the most dramatic growth was the anti-Muslim hate groups, which rose from 34 in 2015 to 101 in 2016. I think sometimes Americans forget that this country was founded on white supremacy, said Beirich. This country is very soon going to have no majority population. We cant live and be successful as a democracy if we have civil strife like this. Its a really bad thing for our future. Beirich is among those who weren’t convinced by Trump’s “stop it” line, delivered during a television interview in which he was pressed about supporters committing acts of violence. She saw his February 2016 condemnation of a wave of anti-Semitic threats — after weeks of criticism for his failure to address them — as “too little, too late.” Theres no simple answers but it would be nice if it started from the top, to say this stuff is bad, she said. Weve been through these scenarios before. And what makes it better is taking a stand for civil rights and equality. Check out the full conversation on this weeks episode of Uncomfortable. Download and subscribe to the “Uncomfortable” podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, Stitcher, and ABC News podcasts. Beirich was interviewed as part of a series called “Uncomfortable,” hosted by Amna Nawaz, that offers in-depth and honest conversations with influential figures about issues dividing America.

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May 17, 2017   Posted in: Heidi Beirich  Comments Closed

El Daily Stormer: Neo-Nazi website is now in Spanish, too – Redwood Times

How does a leading neo-Nazi website that has railed against Hispanic immigrants expand its audience beyond a loyal base of U.S. white supremacists? By publishing a Spanish-language edition, of course. The Daily Stormer infamous for orchestrating internet harassment campaigns by its “Troll Army” of readers recently launched El Daily Stormer as a “news portal” tailoring its racist, anti-Semitic content for readers in Spain and Latin America. Andrew Auernheimer, a notorious computer hacker and internet troll who writes for the English-language site, says the Spanish edition fits their mission to spread Hitlerism across the world. “We want our message to reach millions more people,” he said in a telephone interview. Advertisement Hate sites have realized that the U.S. has no monopoly on white nationalists and other far-right extremists, says Heidi Beirich, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project. Others, such as Stormfront, already created multilingual forums. “The white supremacist movement has really viewed itself as past borders, reaching out to white people in other countries,” Beirich said. The law center represents a Montana real estate agent who sued The Daily Stormer’s founder, Andrew Anglin, last month for unleashing an anti-Semitic “campaign of terror” against her family. Anonymous trolls bombarded Tanya Gersh’s family with hateful and threatening messages after Anglin published the family’s personal information in a December post that accused Gersh and other Jewish residents of Whitefish, Montana, of engaging in an “extortion racket” against the mother of white nationalist Richard Spencer. Anglin’s site takes its name from Der Strmer, a newspaper that published Nazi propaganda. It includes sections called “Jewish Problem” and “Race War.” El Daily Stormer titles its anti-Semitic section “Judiadas,” an offensive term with roots in medieval Spain, where it was invoked to justify genocidal attacks on Jews. The Spanish site also includes appeals for donations and unpaid articles, and a forum where people complain about Chile and Argentina filling up with “negros,” referring to people from Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay. Auernheimer, known online as “weev,” said a team of volunteers is writing original content for the Spanish-language site. The site’s appeal for unpaid collaborators says being a dissident “has never been a lucrative activity,” and that it is looking for writers “willing to risk everything for the survival of our race.” “We have a big Spanish-speaking population on our forums, so it was an easy direction to branch out into,” he said. About 40 percent of The Daily Stormer’s 3.2 million unique monthly visitors are in the U.S.; the Spanish edition has added fewer than 10,000 since its recent launch, Auernheimer said. Surpassing Stormfront as the top U.S. hate site hasn’t been a financial boon for The Daily Stormer, which calls itself “100 percent reader-supported.” Anglin complained in January that a Ukrainian advertising company had banned them, leaving an Australian electrician as the site’s only advertiser. “We don’t have revenue commensurate with a publication of our size,” Auernheimer said. ___ Associated Press writer Mike Warren in Atlanta contributed to this report.

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May 17, 2017   Posted in: Heidi Beirich  Comments Closed

AP News in Brief at 6:04 am EDT – Miami Herald

News18 AP News in Brief at 6:04 am EDT Miami Herald Hate sites have realized that the U.S. has no monopoly on white nationalists and other far-right extremists, says Heidi Beirich , director of the Southern Poverty Law Center's Intelligence Project. Others, such as Stormfront, already created … Trump revealed highly classified information to Russian foreign minister and ambassador Washington Post Israel Said to Be Source of Secret Intelligence Trump Gave to Russians New York Times all 2,115 news articles »

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May 17, 2017   Posted in: Heidi Beirich  Comments Closed

Nation and World briefs for May 17 – Hawaii Tribune Herald

Nation and World briefs for May 17 Hawaii Tribune Herald Hate sites have realized that the U.S. has no monopoly on white nationalists and other far-right extremists, says Heidi Beirich , director of the Southern Poverty Law Center's Intelligence Project. Others, such as Stormfront, already created … and more »

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May 17, 2017   Posted in: Heidi Beirich  Comments Closed

Alabama history tour covers Civil War, cotton … but not slaves – Durham Herald Sun

Durham Herald Sun Alabama history tour covers Civil War, cotton … but not slaves Durham Herald Sun You're essentially giving money to push historical narratives that we haven't heard since the Klan era in the 1920s, said Heidi Beirich , director of the hate-watching Intelligence Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center. The museum perseveres in a … and more »

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May 13, 2017   Posted in: Heidi Beirich  Comments Closed


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