U.S. Will Give Terrorist Label to White Supremacist Group for First Time

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tags: terrorism, Russia, State Department, White Supremacy


The authority for either the Treasury Department or the State Department to deem a group or an individual a specially designated global terrorist traces back to an executive order issued by President George W. Bush after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. President Trump in September signed an executive order expanding that authority to cover groups that provide training for terrorists even if the groups are not directly linked to any attack.

The system parallels in some ways but is different from when the government designates a group as a foreign terrorist organization, which has separate criteria and applies only to groups rather than individuals.

The move could cut against criticism that the Trump administration has played down the threat of white nationalist violence for political reasons, based on the so-called alt-right’s support for Mr. Trump and his statement in 2017 that there were “very fine people on both sides” of a deadly white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va.

The Russian Imperial Movement is not considered to be sponsored by the Russian government, officials said, although President Vladimir V. Putin has tolerated its activities and it has helped advance the Russian government’s external goals by recruiting Russian fighters to aid pro-Russia separatists in eastern Ukraine.

The group has also helped support neo-Nazi organizations in Scandinavia, which dovetails with the Russian government’s broader pattern of trying to stoke internal divisions, including along racial lines, and sow chaos in Western democracies.


Read entire article at The New York Times