Details of Patriot Front’s European trip to meet fascist groups revealed
The annual march on the anniversary of Poland’s Independence Day has become one of the largest gatherings of racists in the world. In recent years, the US-based White Nationalist Patriot Front has been among the ranks of neo-Nazis and fascists taking part in the march.
A man who claims to have infiltrated the Patriot Front from 2018 to 2020 has provided the Daily Dot with a document detailing a trip he took to Europe. The document discusses networking with extremists in Poland, Germany, Latvia, Italy and Sweden. In it, he mentions fundraising strategies the group has learned, notes nights spent in bars, and highlights ways in which the group can embrace European models of fascism.
A report by the Anti-Defamation League confirms that a trip took place in 2019, showing the Patriot Front marching in Poland with the Europeans fascist parties.
The Daily Dot is the first to report on the document summarizing it, provided to the Daily Dot by a source who infiltrated the Patriot Front. Little was known before about this trip. It seems to have little mention in hacked documents recently released by left-leaning media collective Unicorn Riot. In a phone conversation last month, the man who says he infiltrated the group told the Daily Dot that when they returned, the Patriot Front tried to brush off his discussions of their travels because Homeland Security questioned a senior executive on the trip.
The 10-page document outlines the activities and groups the Patriot Front is linked to at each stage of the journey. Groups include National Independence in Poland; CasaPound and Forza Nuova in Italy; Verrogs in Latvia; Nordic resistance movement in Sweden; and the Junge Nationalisten and National Democratic Party of Germany affiliates.
The document is entitled “Reflections on Nationalist Organizations in Europe. What we can learn, what we can report and what should be pursued. It analyzes each group’s network, infrastructure and finances, with discussions of what they could implement.
The purpose of the trip appears to have been less to forge close transatlantic alliances than to figure out how to be more successful as a group – complete with some partying, sightseeing and incitement. The Patriot Front visited tourist destinations such as the Vatican, ate regional cuisine, and were served a traditional Swedish Christmas feast by members of the neo-Nazi military Nordic resistance movement. According to the document, Patriot Front also took part in marches, distributed leaflets, put up stickers and practiced “activism” unknown throughout Europe. According to the document, a member of Junge Nationalisten gave the group Nazi paraphernalia as a gift.
In other leaked conversations, the group shared images of their stickers pasted across Rome.
But the pub crawl in Latvia was apparently also a highlight, as it was mentioned twice in the document.
Each group’s hospitality was criticized after the trip.
Determining a source of funds appears to have been the primary focus, as the document takes particular care to detail each group’s fundraising activities and whether Patriot Front could possibly implement the same. At the time, he rejected the idea of charging dues, but seemed keen enough to open a business, like many of the groups he visited.
“Customer-facing/retail businesses are definitely a way forward, but those working in these establishments must be prepared to be doxxed if the establishment is discovered by our adversaries,” he says. “I think businesses other than retail and e-commerce would be the way to go if PF decided to go down this road.”
Of a visit to a traditional German bakery, he says, “Great business idea, put it in retirement communities and it would be a fireeeee.”
The National Independence Day march was the highlight of the trip, according to Billy, the anti-fascist who says he infiltrated the Patriot Front and provided material to the Daily Dot. Billy said he joined them while they were in Poland.
“It’s not an explicitly fascist thing,” Billy said [who was granted a pseudonym by the Daily Dot] a walk. “…[But] he kind of has this darker parallel experience.
Billy said he provided members of the media and anti-fascist groups with information about the Patriot Front for about two years before the white supremacist organization abruptly revoked his credentials on their private chats. He assumes they figured out he was behind several reported leaks from 2018 to 2020, while he says he was embedded in the group.
Some of the leaked documents include chat logs from November 2019, around the time of the Europe trip, which were published by the anti-fascist network Torch. In chats, members discuss their activities and refer to the same European groups of the trip summary document.
A comment dated November 24, 2019 approvingly referenced an article by Nordfront, a Swedish-language website then run by the Nordic Resistance Movement. A article posted on the site that day referred to activities mentioned by Patriot Front in its recap of the trip, including eating a traditional Swedish Christmas meal and handing out flyers at a fair in Gothenburg, Sweden.
The march in Poland is organized by the fascists National Radical Camp (WE R). Reuters reports that tens of thousands of people participated in the ONR march in 2019, making it one of the largest far-right rallies in the world. Billy said this was at least the Patriot Front’s second appearance. In its document summarizing the trip, Patriot Front wrote that it interacted with nationalists from Spain, Austria and Germany during the march.
Although Billy said he was only there for the Polish part of the trip, he also attended a post-trip meeting on their trip. He said Patriot Front was deeply impressed with the Europeans.
“In many ways, far-right groups in Europe are more established. I think Patriot Front was a bit impressed,” he said.
“They can barely put together a flash mob demonstration,” Billy added.
He said they were “in awe” outside the CasaPound Italia compound. The document bears witness to this.
“Walking around the complex is a religious experience like no other,” he says. “In terms of brand value, this is one of CasaPound’s most valuable assets.”
CasaPound is a far-right group that also embraces fascism. His compound is a state-owned building which he has occupied since 2003 under a legal mechanism similar to adverse possession, the Washington Post reports.
While Patriot Front praised European bands, it did not spare its criticism, particularly towards CasaPound and its Italian colleague Forza Nuova. He felt that their businesses are unsustainable and called the latter’s hospitality disappointing.
He also described the two as acting like gangs and wrote disapprovingly of CasaPound’s approach to violence.
“One line that stood out was, ‘Casapound is not an organization that engages in violence, but we are not a nonviolent organization.’ Patriot Front cannot adopt this mentality if we hope to last,” the document states.
“Acting as a gang cannot be part of our strategy moving forward, not only is it unnecessary, but it exposes the organization and its members to significant risk.”
“The last thing this organization needs to become is a meat grinder for its members.”
He added that CasaPound takes unnecessary risks, such as the Storming 2013 of a building of the European Union which resulted in arrests and injuries among several members. (Fear of arrest is a pervasive feature of the Patriot Front.)
He also criticized CasaPound for not using encrypted communications or other operational security.
Rivalries and feuds are common among far-right groups. Its European tour gave the Patriot Front a glimmer of hope to put aside its differences with other groups, even temporarily, to rally around a common cause.
“The ONR’s willingness to entertain and work with other nationalist groups on their march also shows that we don’t have to hate each other,” he wrote.
It doesn’t look like they’ve had much success on that front, but maybe that doesn’t bother them too much.
“It’s not like they’re focused on building international bridges,” Billy said. “…Maybe on some level they just wanted to take a trip to Europe and do some sightseeing.”