Home News US designates Sweden’s largest neo-Nazi group a terrorist organization

US designates Sweden’s largest neo-Nazi group a terrorist organization

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The U.S. State Department on Friday Designating Sweden’s largest neo-Nazi group and its leader as terroristsIt’s the second time the group has applied the label to a white supremacist group known for its long history of violence.

Officials said the decision comes as the Nordic resistance group has been inciting violence online and connecting with like-minded groups and people in the United States, actions that have raised concerns among federal law enforcement officials tasked with combating domestic terrorism.

“Members and leaders of the group have engaged in violent attacks against political opponents, protesters, journalists, and others perceived as adversaries,” the State Department said in a statement.

The Biden administration said the designations were part of a broader effort to combat white extremists. Announce its strategy He was commended for combating domestic terrorism and said addressing the threat of terrorism requires a “multifaceted response from the federal government and beyond.”

The designation gives the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control the power to freeze any U.S. property or assets of the group. It also prohibits Americans from conducting financial transactions with the group and makes it easier to ban its members from traveling to the United States.

But Mary McCord, a former senior Justice Department official, said that while the designation was an important step, the U.S. could have gone further and designated it as a so-called foreign terrorist organization.

“This is an important and welcome step in the fight against transnational white supremacy, but it does not trigger the material support statute, which is one of the government’s most powerful tools in the fight against foreign terrorist organizations,” she said.

The Nordic Resistance Movement was founded in 1997 and has chapters in Norway, Denmark, Iceland and Finland, according to the U.S. State Department. The group has been banned in Finland since 2020. The group’s goal is to replace the Nordic democracies with a “united Nordic nation-state.”

The Anti-Defamation League said the group was distinguished from others in the region and across Europe in part by its “fervent Nazi ideology, coupled with its declared goal of revolution at any cost.”

The group’s violent ideology appeared to be on display hours earlier when a neo-Nazi suspected of links to the group stabbed a 12-year-old child at a shopping mall in Finland. Local news mediaThe child is said to be of foreign background.

Finland banned the group in 2020 after a member attacked a man during a demonstration in 2016. The man later died from his injuries.

This year, masked members of the group attacked a migrant camp north of Stockholm.

On Friday, the State Department named three members of the Nordic Resistance Movement: Tor Fredrik Vejdeland, the group’s leader, Par Oberg, a member of the group’s national committee and head of its parliamentary branch, and Leif Robert Eklund, a member of the group’s national committee and coordinator of Swedish units.

Although former President Donald J. Trump was accused of ignoring the threat of domestic terrorism, his administration included the threat in the National Counterterrorism Strategy.

In 2020, the Trump administration designated the extreme nationalist Russian Imperial Movement as a terrorist organization, the first time the United States has taken such action against a white supremacist group.

The group helps support neo-Nazi groups in Scandinavia, in line with a broader pattern of the Russian government fomenting internal divisions. Including racial boundariesAnd bring chaos to Western democracies.

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