New details are emerging in the story of a violent white supremacist gang that made headlines last year for targeted attacks in California. Now, four of its members are in custody, and the FBI is alleging that they have ties to a militant group in Ukraine…
Four members of the Neo-Nazi gang that calls itself the “Rise Above Movement” have been arrested and are facing charges for a series of violent attacks. But the FBI is alleging that their ties go beyond the United States.
The Rise Above Movement has been described as a racist and violent gang that specifically trains for the targeted attacks it pursues. According to an investigative report on the group’s origin, It consists of around 50 members, they are based in Southern California, and their purpose is physically attacking ideological foes.
Members of the group have taken to social media to boast of their violent acts during protests in Huntington Beach, San Bernardino and Berkeley. In addition to their acts in the United States, the group has attracted the attention of federal agents, and a recently released FBI complaint claims that several members traveled to Germany, Ukraine and Italy to celebrate Adolf Hitler’s birthday and meet with members of European white supremacy extremist groups.
But the criminal complaint from the FBI actually claims that there is a lot more to this group and that the members who were arrested have ties to the Azov Battalion from Ukraine. The FBI described the Battalion as a unit of the Ukrainian National Guard that is known for its association with Neo-Nazi ideology and for its use of Nazi Symbolism. This is a group that is known for using violent tactics to intimidate court proceedings, overturning local elections, and it has even been reported that they have set fire to media buildings and threatened journalists.
So initial reports claimed that the four members of the Rise Above Movement who were recently arrested were taken into custody for inciting violence after they were caught traveling to Europe to celebrate Adolf Hitler’s birthday. BUT if it is true that they were training and working with the Azov Battalion, it raises a lot of questions about how that influence could impact that way these groups continue to incite violence here in the U.S.
For now, at least four members of the Rise Above Movement are facing charges for inciting and organizing riots and acts of violence, and the FBI’s accusation that they were working with neo-Nazi groups in Ukraine could have serious consequences.