Neo-Nazis sentenced to 9 years in prison for domestic terrorist plots are only the tip of the iceberg

Neo-Nazis sentenced to 9 years in prison for domestic terrorist plots are only the tip of the iceberg

On Thursday, October 28, neo-Nazis Patrik Jordan Mathews and Brian Mark Lemley were both sentenced to nine years in federal prison for their role in domestic terrorist plots. Matthews and Lemley, according to the Associated Press, were members of a neo-Nazi/White supremacist group called The Base. And their activities are only one example of the terrorist threat that the United States is facing from far-right White supremacist, White nationalist and militia groups.

"The judge who sentenced Mathews and Lemley to prison concluded that they intended to engage in terrorist activity," AP reports. "U.S. District Judge Theodore Chuang's decision to apply a 'terrorism enhancement' to their sentences significantly increased their recommended prison terms under federal guidelines. Chuang said recorded conversations between Mathews and Lemley captured the 'virulence' and 'passion' in their willingness to kill people and bring down the U.S. government."

According to AP, the terrorist activity that Mathews and Lemley had in mind included "breaking racist mass killer Dylann Roof out of prison, where he is on Death Row, assassinating a Virginia lawmaker, destroying rail lines and power lines, derailing trains and poisoning water supplies, prosecutors said."

Roof is the White supremacist who carried out a mass shooting in 2015 at Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, killing nine people simply because they were Black.

AP notes that The Base and another White supremacist group, Atomwaffen Division, have been "leading proponents" of what is known as "accelerationism," which advocates "using mass violence to hasten society's collapse." The Southern Poverty Law Center's website, on June 23, 2020, published an in-depth article explaining what accelerationism is.

But The Base and Atomwaffen Division are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the ongoing threat of violence from White supremacists, White nationalists, militia groups and others on the far right. And there are many examples:

  • On January 6, a variety of far-right groups were involved in the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol Building, including members of QAnon, the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers. Some of the extremists who stormed the Capitol that day were chanting, "Hang Mike Pence, hang Mike Pence" and set up a gallows outside — as they believed that Pence had betrayed then-President Donald Trump by failing to overturn the 2020 election results and prevent the certification of now-President Joe Biden's Electoral College victory.
  • In Michigan, militia extremists planned to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, subject her to a bogus "trial" and execute her if found guilty.
  • In 2017 at the Unite the Right Rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, activist and counterdemonstrator Heather Heyer was fatally run over by White supremacist James Alex Fields, Jr. while protesting against White supremacists and White nationalists.
  • In 2019 at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, a mass shooting resulted in 23 deaths. The accused gunman posted online that he wanted to "stop the Hispanic invasion of Texas."
  • On October 27, 2018, 11 people were killed during a mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh.

Violent White supremacy and White nationalism are out of control in the United States, and the Matthews/Lemley case is but one of many examples.

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