A shadowy white supremacist group’s extensive chat logs, obtained by ProPublica, reveal shocking comments hailing the murder of a gay Jewish college student.
Californian Samuel Woodward is charged with the stabbing death of University of Pennsylvania student Blaze Bernstein, 19, in January. His body was buried in a shallow grave in Orange County, California. Woodward has pleaded not guilty.
Woodward, 20, is an avowed member of extremist group Atomwaffen Division (“nuclear weapons division”), whose members idolize Adolf Hitler and Charles Manson. Other group members have been linked to four other murders in the last eight months.
Atomwaffen Division promotes hatred of minorities, gays and Jews, and advocates a race war. The group’s YouTube videos show masked members firing weapons and burning the U.S. Constitution.
Among the 250,000 encrypted messages written over a six-month period that ProPublica obtained, one person hailed Woodward as a “one-man gay Jew wrecking crew.” Another said of an earlier ProPublica report on the slaying: “I love this.” Some were concerned about leakers talking to the media, and one warned: “Rats and traitors get the rope first.”
One person hoped Bernstein’s killing would inspire “copycat crimes.” Another commented that Bernstein “deserved” to die, but wasn’t certain if life imprisonment was worth it.
Woodward used to be part of the chats, and had railed at “Jews and mongrels” and gays, ProPublica reported. He praised Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” and war rapes.
Group members also praised mass murderers, including Timothy McVeigh, who blew up a federal building in Oklahoma City in 1995, killing 168 people, including children at a day-care center inside.
The Anti-Defamation League has issued a warning about Atomwaffen and its preparations for a “race war.” The group promotes the idea that “democracy and capitalism have ‘given way to Jewish oligarchies and globalist bankers resulting in the cultural and racial displacement of the white race,’” notes the ADL, quoting the group. Members “have been linked to violent crimes including murder and alleged plots to attack civilians, nuclear facilities and synagogues.”
The chats reveal information about some 20 Atomwaffen “cells” throughout the country, and “hate camps” training sessions where members practice shooting, according to ProPublica. The chats also include talk of terrorism, including attacks on water and power systems.
“We haven’t seen anything like Atomwaffen in quite a while,” Keegan Hankes, a researcher for the Southern Poverty Law Center, told ProPublica. “They should be taken seriously because they’re so extreme.”