Atomwaffen Division Breaks Public Silence With New Recruitment Video, Propaganda

After nearly a year of public silence, the Atomwaffen Division (AWD)— an American neo-Nazi organization linked to at least five murders — has uploaded new recruitment material on social media.

On May 9, 2019, YouTube user 167724262 c98988E uploaded a video titled “Atomwaffen Division — Accelerating Vengeance!” that showed members of the group conducting live fire training exercises and burning flags of other organizations, including the United Nations and Black Lives Matter. The video calls on viewers to “Join your local Nazis!” and displays an email address for prospective members to contact.

In lieu of sharing the video here, I have decided to post GIFs of it below. (Researchers, journalists, and activists may message me on Twitter for a copy.)

The organization’s latest comes after a recent uptick in AWD activity on Gab. On May 9, Gab accounts a_sun_berserk and Atomwaffen Ostfront — which claims to represent “Atomwaffen Division East Coast”— shared the video with the website’s notorious “Read SIEGE” group.

Perhaps not coincidentally, both accounts appear to have been created a few days apart in April: a_sun_berserk first posted on April 15, and Atomwaffen Ostfront’s first post was on April 21 with the message, “The Sun Rises in the East.”

a_sun_berserk’s first Gab post, April 15, 2019.
Atomwaffen Ostfront’s first Gab post, April 21, 2019.

Since then, both accounts have shared the following propaganda images. Of significant note is the image uploaded on May 2, which warns at the bottom, “The saints are coming!” As reported by the Counter Extremism Project, terrorists Dylann Roof, Brenton Tarrant, John Earnest, and Robert Bowers are referred to as “saints” in online hate communities, especially on Gab and the chans. The May 2 poster also resonated the most with the Read SIEGE group: Out of the five new propaganda images, this one received the most likes (28) and comments (13). (On May 12, Atomwaffen Ostfront also posted a GIF with the same message, “The Saints Are Coming!”)

Left: Uploaded on May 1 — Right: May 2
Left: Uploaded on May 2 — Right: May 9
Uploaded on May 18

When asked if they made the propaganda themselves, a_sun_berserk responded on May 11 that the images were produced “from AWD nucleus.”

But not everyone was satisfied with AWD’s new propaganda. Under the May 2 image, user Einar The Hammer whined that the design was confusing to read and “makes little to so (sic) sense.”

“What the fuck kind of propaganda takes more than a minute to fucking read?” he wrote.

“I CAN’T FKING READ THIS,” another user complained.

Nevertheless, recent AWD activity appears to be driving up interest in the group. On May 12 and 21, two different users inquired about joining the organization…

Yet another example of extremist organizations recruiting on Gab.

…and the official accounts of The Base and Feuerkrieg Division (FKD)—international neo-Nazi groups — are now following a_sun_berserk. FKD’s new account, @FK_Division, also follows Atomwaffen Ostfront.

In addition, a purported member of Feuerkrieg Division shared AWD’s video on YouTube. On May 11, two days after the original copy was published, YouTube user Eks D re-uploaded it under the title “AWD Accelerating Vengeance! (Reupload).” (The video was later taken down for “violating YouTube’s Terms of Service.”)

Interestingly, some viewers thought Eks D was a member of AWD, to which he responded: “No im not part of AWD just reuploded their vid since the last one got zucced.”

AWD’s latest comes nearly a year since the group released a 139-second video featuring former leader Brandon Russell, who is currently serving a 5-year prison sentence for possessing bomb-making materials. In it, the group threatened to retaliate against “comrades… who have abandoned ship” and exposed the identities of former members.

Posts of interest

Left: Uploaded on May 22 — Right: May 21
Left: Posted on May 11, links to a video that doxxes former AWD members— Right: May 18