A violent, neo-Nazi group called The Base is recruiting current and former U.S. soldiers — and is planning a military response to what it believes will be the collapse of society, according to a new report.
“Our mission’s very, very simple. It is training and networking, preparing for collapse,” the white supremacist group’s leader, Rinaldo Nazzaro, was taped telling prospective recruits in an audio recording obtained by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
“We want to be in a position where we’re ready, we’re prepared enough, ready enough that we can take advantage of whatever chaos, power vacuum, that might emerge,” he tells the prospects, NBC News reports of the SPLC’s chilling tapes.
“We want to try and fill that power vacuum and take advantage of the chaos.”
The SPLC, which monitors hate groups, has amassed 80 hours of tapes involving the white supremacist group and its leader, Nazzaro, NBC says.
On the tapes, the U.S.-born Nazzaro says he runs the group from an apartment in St. Petersburg, Russia, where he lives with his Russia-born wife — raising the potential of foreign influence, NBC says.
On the tapes — recorded starting in November 2018 — 20 percent of more than 100 prospective recruits to The Base said they were active-duty military or had served in the military in some capacity.
Recruiting current and former soldiers is a common tactic among the most volatile fringe hate groups, Mollie Saltskog, senior intelligence analyst at The Soufan Group, an international security consultancy, told NBC.
“Extremely lethal and dangerous operations that believe in an impending race war like The Base or Atomwaffen make a concerted effort to recruit people with military experience,” she told the network.
“Having these types of people in these types of organizations increases their operational capabilities to commit acts of terrorism.”
Excerpts from the 80 hours of audio are featured in a new, three-part series that is part of the SPLC’s “Sounds Like Hate” podcast.