US designates neo-Nazi Nordic group as global terrorists


Its activities have not been confined to Sweden, with the organisation facing a ban in Finland in 2020 due to its extremist activities, according to CNN…reports Asian Lite News

The US State Department has taken a significant step in its counterterrorism efforts by designating a neo-Nazi Nordic group (NRM) and three of its key leaders as terrorists. This marks only the second instance in history that the United States has classified a foreign white supremacist organisation in this manner, CNN reported.

NRM is the largest neo-Nazi group in Sweden, with branches in Norway, Denmark, Iceland, and also Finland, where it has been banned since 2020. NRM members have also taken steps to collect and prepare weapons and explosive materials, including on behalf of the group and in furtherance of its goals. In addition, NRM has organized training in violent tactics, including hand-to-hand combat and knife fighting, US State Department press release said.

On Friday, the State Department formally labelled the Nordic Resistance Movement (NRM), along with its top officials Tor Fredrik Vejdeland, Par Oberg, and Leif Robert Eklund, as Specially Designated Global Terrorists.

Matthew Miller, a spokesperson for the State Department, emphasised the gravity of the decision, highlighting that it is the first such designation made by the Biden administration against a white supremacist group. The Trump administration had previously designated the Russian Imperial Movement (RIM) and its leaders under similar terms in 2020.

Established in Sweden in 1997, the Nordic Resistance Movement has expanded its influence across Scandinavia, with branches operating in Norway, Denmark, Iceland, and Finland. Its activities have not been confined to Sweden, with the organisation facing a ban in Finland in 2020 due to its extremist activities, according to CNN.

According to the State Department’s statement, the NRM was singled out for its involvement in or attempts to commit acts of terrorism that pose a significant threat to US nationals, as well as to the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States. The organisation’s ideology is rooted in racism, anti-immigrant sentiments, anti-Semitism, and hostility towards LGBTQI+ individuals. Its members and leaders have been linked to violent attacks targeting political opponents, journalists, protestors, and others perceived as adversaries.

Miller highlighted some of the specific threats posed by the NRM, noting their efforts in weapon collection and preparation, including explosives. The group has also organised training sessions focusing on violent tactics such as hand-to-hand combat and knife fighting.

The decision to designate the NRM as terrorists comes amidst ongoing concerns raised by US officials regarding the persistent threat posed by white supremacist terror groups both domestically and internationally. The 2024 Annual Threat Assessment by the US Intelligence Community underscored the continuing danger posed by racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists, particularly those motivated by white supremacy, across various regions including Europe, South America, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, as reported by CNN.

In addressing these threats, the Biden-Harris Administration has reaffirmed its commitment to countering domestic terrorism, which encompasses the activities of racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists. Ian Moss, Deputy Coordinator for the Bureau of Counterterrorism, emphasised the increasing trend of transnational linkages among extremist groups, facilitated by communication through online platforms, gaming networks, and encrypted chat applications.

The State Department’s designation is part of a broader US government strategy to tackle the global dimensions of the threat posed by racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists. This approach includes measures to disrupt financial networks used by such groups, thereby hindering their ability to finance extremist activities through international financial systems. President Donald Trump had previously signed an executive order in 2019 granting the US government expanded authority to target groups involved in training terrorists, not solely those directly responsible for carrying out attacks. This regulatory framework has provided a legal basis for the recent designation of the NRM and its leaders as terrorists, underscoring the US government’s proactive stance in addressing extremist threa

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