The Growing Threat of Accelorationists Worldwide

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04/20/2020

As the world is paralyzed by the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), some violent non-state actors have welcomed the global pandemic as an opportunity to push their propaganda and ideology, and perhaps to strike at their perceived foes. White supremacist extremists see the pandemic as confirmation of many of the movement’s preexisting beliefs, and as an opportunity to pursue their violent aims, as the virus induces anxiety related to the economy, immigration, and uncertainty over the future. A group known as “accelerationists,” in particular, has seized on the pandemic. Online, they have advanced a raft of conspiracy theories, disinformation, and hateful propaganda accusing Jews and migrants of responsibility for starting and spreading the virus, respectively. Atomwaffen has inspired a number of related organizations with shared ideologies and occasionally overlapping memberships—including not only AWD Deutschland, but also Feuerkrieg Division (FKD) and Sonnenkrieg Division. While the scope of the group’s U.S. presence is unclear, at least one former member, Conor Climo, has admitted to discussing attacks on Jewish and LGBT sites in Las Vegas, Nevada, and conducting surveillance in support of potential plots. Climo was also found to have assembled bomb-making materials in his home.

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