The head of an extremist neo-Nazi group under investigation by U.S. counterterrorism officials was revealed Friday to be a man with strong Philadelphia-area connections, including graduating from a prestigious New Jersey prep school and attending a Main Line university in the 1990s, according to the British newspaper the Guardian. Rinaldo Nazzaro, 46, previously known by the aliases “Norman Spear” and “Roman Wolf,” is reportedly the founder of The Base, a white nationalist group formed in 2018, which has advocated for a race war and creation of a white ethnostate in the Pacific Northwest. (…) A Villanova spokesperson told The Inquirer on Friday that a student named Ronald Nazzaro attended the university from 1991 to 1994, then withdrew before graduating. The student newspaper at the time listed him as a philosophy major. Nazzaro could not be reached by The Inquirer on Friday afternoon, and did not respond to requests for comment from the Guardian and BBC. He has held an address in North Bergen, N.J., but is now believed to be living in Russia. A video posted online in March showed him in Russia wearing a T-shirt with the image of President Vladimir Putin and the words Russia, absolute power.

via inquier: Extremist neo-Nazi leader is a former Villanova student, N.J. resident, reports say

siehe auch: Members of U.S. Neo-Nazi Terror Group Believed Their Leader Was in Russia For Years. The mysterious leader of the group, known by the alias “Norman Spear” has allegedly been identified as Rinaldo Nazzarro. But he has long left digital breadcrumbs suggesting he lives abroad. The man who singlehandedly built a neo-Nazi terror group in order to set off a white supremacist insurgency in America may be living in Russia. The leader of The Base, who has gone by the aliases Norman Spear and Roman Wolf, was recently reported by the Guardian to be a 46-year-old New Jersey native named Rinaldo Nazzaro. The BBC followed the Guardian’s story today and provided evidence that Nazzaro left New York to live in St Petersburg, Russia with his Russian wife two years ago. (…) Prior to the Guardian investigation, little was known about the group’s shadowy leader. He longed for a race war and encouraged his members to undertake covert “direct action”—shorthand in militant circles for terrorist attacks. Seven members of The Base were arrested in a nationwide FBI operation last week, some for plotting assassinations and others for a plan to open fire at a gun rally in Virginia. Spear, on the other hand, remains free, appearing only in court documents under one of his aliases as a mysterious boss who manages a network of militants across the U.S. Since its inception Spear was able to freely travel across the United States helping organize regional cells. Spear was also, according to statements made in 2018, active in the Northwest Front—a deeply racist political movement working towards establishing a white ethnostate in the Pacific Northwest—and was an acquaintance of the movement’s leader, the late Harold Covington, who died in August 2018. The Guardian was able to trace Spear’s identity because of a parcel of land he bought in the Pacific Northwest. Spear formed The Base shortly after Covington’s death. Much like the neo-Nazi group Atomwaffen Division—which is linked to five murders (…) To become a member of The Base, an applicant must fill out a survey on its official website and answer several questions on how a prospective recruit came to their neo-Nazi ideology. If a potential member passes the questionnaire, they undertake a voice call with Spear and other vetting team leaders comprised of senior members of the terror group. Questions would concern neo-Nazi ideology, military tactics, and the recruit’s willingness to meet in real life. From there, the recruit would meet with a nearby member in person and become a full-fledged member; Neo-Nazi Rinaldo Nazzaro running US militant group The Base from Russia. The American founder of US-based militant neo-Nazi group The Base is directing the organisation from Russia, a BBC investigation has found. Rinaldo Nazzaro, 46, who uses the aliases “Norman Spear” and “Roman Wolf”, left New York for St Petersburg less than two years ago. The Base is a major counter terrorism focus for the FBI. Seven alleged members were charged this month with various offences, including conspiracy to commit murder. Court documents prepared by the FBI describe The Base as a “racially motivated violent extremist group” that “seeks to accelerate the downfall of the United States government, incite a race war, and establish a white ethno-state”. (…) In social media posts that year, “Norman Spear” posted imagery and videos by the outlawed British terrorist group National Action, praised al-Qaeda, and asked for volunteers possessing various skills, including with weapons, for his new organisation.Audio recordings posted online capture “Spear” lecturing on subjects such as “guerrilla warfare”. He is variously described as a military veteran, a former CIA field officer, and a defence studies expert.”Norman Spear” was previously associated with an obscure movement that seeks a “white homeland” in the US Pacific Northwest, which includes the area where “Base Global” purchased land.Following the nationwide FBI arrests of alleged Base members last week, an online channel used by the group to post propaganda carried a defiant statement from “Roman Wolf”, saying “we will continue our struggle for survival undeterred”.