The leader of terror group the Base once worked for an agency tasked with coordinating the U.S. government’s counterterrorism efforts. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) confirmed it once employed an American neo-Nazi terror leader now based in Russia after he posted what he said were letters of appreciation that DHS and the Pentagon sent him thanking him for his service. Earlier this month, Rinaldo Nazzaro, 47, founder and leader of the Base, one of the most violent American domestic terror groups in years, posted three undated letters from U.S. agencies lauding him for his service. One was from DHS—an agency tasked with thwarting terrorism in the U.S.—and two were on Marine Corps letterhead. All spoke glowingly of Nazzaro. Since late 2019, nine members of the Base, the group he founded, have been arrested in the U.S. for alleged crimes as wide-ranging as an assassination plot, ghost-gun making, plans for train derailments, and a mass shooting. The Canadian government has designated it as a terrorist group. While it wouldn’t authenticate the letter addressed to Nazzaro, DHS verified he had worked with the department in the past. “I can confirm that Rinaldo Nazzaro worked at DHS from 2004 to 2006,” said a DHS spokesperson. VICE News previously reported that Nazzaro was said to have worked with U.S special forces on the Pentagon’s dime. (Previously, the BBC reported that Nazzaro was an FBI analyst and had been a contractor with the Department of Defense.) The confirmation that Nazzaro worked for DHS is indicative of a significant problem American law enforcement and counterterrorism officials are facing: Some veterans and people who have worked for the government during recent wars, with real tradecraft and understandings of insurgency, now see that government as the enemy. “Your outstanding service has been greatly appreciated,” says a letter Nazzaro posted, claiming a DHS official had addressed it to him. (…) In a May 2019 conversation in an encrypted chat room, Nazzaro told other members of the Base that he had worked with the military during the aughts as a contractor.  “[I did] multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan over five years,” said Nazzaro in an encrypted chat room with his followers. Nazzaro continues to maintain that the Base is no terrorist organization, but a “survivalism and self-defense network for nationalists.” Long dubbed a “fed” (short for federal informant) by some neo-Nazis, he seems to have anticipated that the documents would not go over well among his followers. After the documents were uploaded, he posted he “didn’t mean to break your hearts,” but wanted to be transparent.

via vice: Department of Homeland Security Confirms Neo-Nazi Leader Used to Work For It

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By <a href=”//;action=edit&amp;redlink=1″ class=”new” title=”User:John Banks Trent (page does not exist)”>John Banks Trent</a> – <span class=”int-own-work” lang=”en”>Own work</span>, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link