Australia Just Designated a Major Neo-Nazi Group a Terrorist Organization. Should the U.S. Follow Suit?

Last month, Canberra followed London and Ontario in putting the Base, a white-supremacist group with the bulk of its membership in the United States, on its terrorism list. Daveed Gartenstein-Ross and Varsha Koduvayur describe the group, and why they think America should take similar steps:

The Base was established in 2018 by Rinaldo Nazzaro, a U.S. citizen living in Russia. Although the group has not carried out any attacks, its explicit goals make the dangers associated with it clear enough. The Base’s ideology is accelerationist: it aims to commit violent acts to foment a civil war, to overthrow the current system, and ultimately to establish a white ethno-state. Nazzaro, who goes by the pseudonym Norman Spear, has defended the use of terrorism to achieve the Base’s goals.

In a June 2018 post on Gab, a social network associated with the far-right, he wrote “it’s only terrorism if we lose. If we win, we get statues of us put up in parks.” The group’s ideology is also overtly anti-Semitic; Nazzaro tweeted in 2018 that his goal was to “prepare for the armed struggle against Z0G,” using the acronym for “Zionist Occupied Government,” a term often employed by white supremacists that reflects the belief that Jews secretly control the U.S. government. Nazzaro went on to state his mission was to free “our people from Z0G oppression.”

In October, two members were sentenced to prison for plotting to carry out an attack at a gun-rights rally in Richmond, Virginia. In February, a member pled guilty for stirring up an intimidation campaign against Jewish Americans and Black Americans, during which he encouraged his online followers to vandalize property belonging to these two groups, calling it “Kristallnacht,” in reference to the 1938 Nazi pogrom. Three other Base members were charged in Georgia for being part of a criminal street gang and for plotting to murder a couple they thought belonged to the far-left group Antifa.

Read more at Foreign Policy

More about: Anti-Semitism, Australia, neo-Nazis, Terrorism

Israel Just Sent Iran a Clear Message

Early Friday morning, Israel attacked military installations near the Iranian cities of Isfahan and nearby Natanz, the latter being one of the hubs of the country’s nuclear program. Jerusalem is not taking credit for the attack, and none of the details are too certain, but it seems that the attack involved multiple drones, likely launched from within Iran, as well as one or more missiles fired from Syrian or Iraqi airspace. Strikes on Syrian radar systems shortly beforehand probably helped make the attack possible, and there were reportedly strikes on Iraq as well.

Iran itself is downplaying the attack, but the S-300 air-defense batteries in Isfahan appear to have been destroyed or damaged. This is a sophisticated Russian-made system positioned to protect the Natanz nuclear installation. In other words, Israel has demonstrated that Iran’s best technology can’t protect the country’s skies from the IDF. As Yossi Kuperwasser puts it, the attack, combined with the response to the assault on April 13,

clarified to the Iranians that whereas we [Israelis] are not as vulnerable as they thought, they are more vulnerable than they thought. They have difficulty hitting us, but we have no difficulty hitting them.

Nobody knows exactly how the operation was carried out. . . . It is good that a question mark hovers over . . . what exactly Israel did. Let’s keep them wondering. It is good for deniability and good for keeping the enemy uncertain.

The fact that we chose targets that were in the vicinity of a major nuclear facility but were linked to the Iranian missile and air forces was a good message. It communicated that we can reach other targets as well but, as we don’t want escalation, we chose targets nearby that were involved in the attack against Israel. I think it sends the message that if we want to, we can send a stronger message. Israel is not seeking escalation at the moment.

Read more at Jewish Chronicle

More about: Iran, Israeli Security