Taking a Page from the KGB Playbook, Russia Supports Neo-Nazis across the Globe

In 2020, the Russian Imperial Movement (RIM) became the first white-supremacist group to be officially designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. government. RIM, writes Oved Lobel, “is inextricably intertwined with Russian intelligence.” And it is not alone in that regard:

The group trains white supremacists and neo-Nazis from across Europe, including the former members of the neo-Nazi Nordic Resistance Movement that conducted bombings in Sweden in 2017, and has even allegedly networked with U.S.-based far-right extremists. It has also directly participated in Russia’s destabilization and then invasion of Ukraine since at least 2014. In 2022, the U.S. sanctioned two key facilitators of the group, which it said is “building a global network of violent groups that foster extremist views and subvert democratic processes” and continues “to exacerbate Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine.”

Nor is this a remotely new phenomenon. Russia was the original state sponsor of terrorism, having not only infiltrated and co-opted neo-Nazi movements in the West during the cold war since at least the 1960s, but supporting and even controlling, both directly and via their client states and proxies, the full spectrum of terrorist groups throughout the world, most famously the groups comprising the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

The Russian Imperial Movement is also directly linked to the Wagner group, Russia’s “implausible deniability” imperial tool built around a neo-Nazi core that commits horrific atrocities and massacres across Africa, the Middle East, and Ukraine.

As Lobel also notes, Wagner “works closely” with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which similarly sponsors a network of jihadist terrorist groups.

Read more at Fresh Air

More about: KGB, neo-Nazis, Russia, 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