The UK is to ban the neo-Nazi group formerly led by a 13-year-old Estonian boy

The United Kingdom is going to ban the neo-Nazi group formerly led by a 13-year-old Estonian boy and brand it as a terrorist organisation.

According to the BBC, the organisation, called the Feuerkrieg Division (“feuerkrieg” means “firewar” in German), an international group that mostly existed on the internet, had earlier in 2020 said it dissolved; now, however, the British Home Secretary, Priti Patel, has asked the parliament for permission to outlaw it in the UK. It would become a criminal offence to be a member of the group or invite support for it.

“This vile white supremacist group advocates violence and seeks to sow division, targeting young and vulnerable people online,” Patel said, according to the BBC. The British Home Office said in a statement that the organisation advocated the “use of violence and mass murder in pursuit of an apocalyptic race war”.

The British Home Secretary, Priti Patel. Photo by the Home Office.

The information about the Feuerkrieg Division first emerged in the Estonian media in April 2020 when a report in the Estonian weekly, Eesti Ekspress, and a subsequent report on Estonian World said the Estonian Internal Security Service – KAPO for short – had captured its ringleader, a 13-year-old Estonian schoolboy who lived in a small town.

The group’s membership increasingly American

KAPO stopped the activities of the boy, using a “Commander FKD” or “Kriegsherr” (“Warlord” in German) pseudonym in the encrypted FKD online forums, in January. The boy, who cannot be prosecuted (nor named) due to his age, was the ringleader of the Feuerkrieg Division – a small, international neo-Nazi organisation founded in late 2018.

According to the New York-based Jewish NGO, the Anti-Defamation League – an international anti-hate organisation – the Feuerkrieg Division embraced the most extreme interpretations of white supremacist ideology. “Their current leader lives in Estonia, but the group’s membership is increasingly American. The group celebrates the concepts promoted in Siege, a collection of noxious essays written by US-based neo-Nazi James Mason,” the ADL said in a brief, written before the capture of the Estonian ringleader.

The “FKD was established in October 2018 in the Baltics, most likely Estonia. Over time, the group has expanded its footprint to include Belgium, [the] UK, Ireland, [the] Netherlands, Norway, Latvia, Germany and Russia. In 2019, [the] FKD continued to expand their recruitment efforts in Europe and in North America, including Canada and especially the US,” the ADL noted.

An image used by the Feuerkrieg Division (ADL).

Enemies included Jews, Muslims, the LGBTQ community, religious leaders and police

The Feuerkrieg Division was heavily influenced by the Atomwaffen Division (“Atomic Weapon Division” in German), a neo-Nazi group allegedly tied to five murders across the US. The “FKD advocates similar core beliefs, racist and vitriolic propaganda with shared graphics and general subculture. While the bulk of their activity is online, members have engaged in leafleting efforts, distributing violent, racist and anti-Semitic propaganda,” the ADL said in a brief, seen by Estonian World.

The FKD’s stated enemies included a range of ideological and symbolic targets, in addition to minority groups including Jews, Muslims, the LGBTQ community, religious leaders and police, among others.

“They refer to their calls for violence as holy war, which they term ‘white jihad’. In private chats, FKD members discuss elaborate plans to target ‘the system’, including kidnapping, executing or otherwise harming others, while applauding previous deadly white supremacist attacks,” the ADL said.

The cover image is illustrative. Photo by Max Bender/Unsplash.

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