Identity Evropa + Identity ISIS = Branding
Identity Evropa a white nationalist group created in 2016 its founder Nathan Damigo was a former Marine who carried out an armed robbery after returning from two tours in Iraq.
On being released from prison in 2014 Damigo led the National Youth Front, the youth wing of the American Freedom Party. The group classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and Anti-Defamation League, the SPLC reporting that it was founded by “racist Southern California skinheads that aims to deport immigrants and return the United States to white rule.”
ISIS which originated as Jama’at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad in 1999 and participated in the Iraqi insurgency following the 2003 invasion of Iraq by the United States and in 2014, ISIS proclaimed itself to be a worldwide caliphate with Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi – known by his followers as Amir al-Mu’minin, the group renamed itself ad-Dawlah al-Islāmiyah (“Islamic State” (IS)).
Elliot Kline (also known as Eli Mosley), took over Identity Evropa from Damigo in August 2017 and played a key role in organising the Unite the Right rally in the same month in Charlottesville, Virginia. The rally occurred with backdrop of controversy generated by the removal of Confederate monuments throughout the United States in response to the Charleston church shooting in 2015 by Dylann Roof, a 21-year-old white supremacist, who murdered nine black Americans during a prayer service.
December 2017, Kline resigned and Patrick Casey (who also called himself Reinhard Wolff) became the group’s new CEO. Casey distanced Identity Evropa from the Charlottesville fallout through more private events rather than large gatherings like Unite the Right.
Here we can see the main difference between the Islamists and the White Nationalists in branding – the white nationalists keep rebranding their ideology which sends a message that they are not comfortable in their identity and that shows unstability. Islamists when and if they rebrand they generally keep on message which gives their movements more stability in those who are looking for a stable indentity.
As a Muslim – I know of many Sunni, Shia, Salafi and Sufi, conservative Muslims and liberal Muslims as well as Muslim leaders around the world who condemned and denounced ISIS not merely as un-Islamic but actively anti-Islamic – this message reached the corners of the world and was heard by nearly all who have the ears to listen and the eyes that could see – Muslim and non-Muslim.
White European leaders to the best of my knowledge not condemned enmasse – maybe the reason is that ‘as yet’ White Nationalism its not a worldwide insurgency let by a strong political ideology ? – which is its both strength and weakness:
The fluid identity of white nationalism today is that is seems open and accepts a broad spectrum of people who self idenitfy as ‘white’ whereas if it was following the National Socialist doctrine of Adolf Hitler (the Caliph of Extreme White Nationalists) it would only accept Northern European Aryan/Germanic/Anglo Saxon whites.
The weakness of this ‘fluidity’ is that white nationalism as it stands today is used for individual political and corporate agendas which do not match the traditional ideology of National Socialism (Nazism) – example is the targeting of Muslims and Islam internationally – groups as diverse as Hindu and Jewish fundamentalists, Black african evangelicals and others who have grudges against Muslim now see white nationalist as allys or useful idiots to quote a former Neo Nazi in London who now works to tackle radicalisation of white British people by his former colleagues.
The lack of seriousness within the wider communities (white English, German, North American etc) will open the way up for a charismatic ‘leader’ or leaders among White Nationalists who will be much more extreme and organised in their tribalism – watch for this in the next 12 to 18 months as a new crop of leaders emerge – and THIS is what Identity Evropa has been working on – leadership – quality not quantity.
Identity Evropa : Targeted efforts on university campuses. In 2017 it appeared on more than 30 college campuses, and sought to start student groups.It talked about “ready to make a real difference for the future of our people” and the group used as its logo an old European design of a dragon’s eye with a “Y” inside, representing the choice between good and evil, – according to Identity Evropa. Even if it is now banned on University campusues there are cells – that are focused and dedicated in their overall mission and should the ideology take shape with a focused leadership it will become a force that would be difficult to dislodge within ‘white Europeans’ who are now being radicalised – to increase its effectiveness they need – Identity ISIS to survive so Identity Evropa can thrive.
Identity ISIS : Middle of 2015 ISIS expanded its focus from conquering territory to establishing authority, it increased efforts to recruit foreign doctors and and other professionals internationally – here in the UK it picked up speed in using contacts through the now banned Al-Muhajiroun network including online through social media – Al Muhajroun (and it associate groups and individuals) networks in the UK and Europe although not extensive as it made itself out to be were key to recruiting physically ISIS recruits in the UK. Regardless if the Islamic State in Iraq & Syria is destroyed – radicalised networks of ISIS individuals and small groups are still intrenched within some areas of the UK and Europe – including the United States and other nations – they need Identity Evropa to survive so Identity ISIS can thrive.
Identity Evropa has been involved in violence across the United States, a few examples are:
April 15, 2017, Damigo punched a protester in the face. Students at California State University at Stanislaus, where Damigo is a student, signed a petition to the university stating they do not feel safe with Damigo on campus. And then in August 7, 2017, Portland, Oregon, members of Identity Evropa were responsible for violent confrontations with counter-protesters. They are ‘finding their feet’.
May 22, 2013, the murder of Lee Rigby was carried out by two members of Al-Muhajiroun, Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale. Adebolajo insisted to be called during the Rigby trial “Mujahid”. – Identity ISIS affiliates Al Muhajiroun have been responsible for a host of terrorist cases in the UK. This is just one case.
Expect a more hardline Identity Evropa:
Evropa as yet are not as organised as ISIS affiliates Al Muhajiroun – and thats why its focused on professionals and building leaders – the same way Hizbut Tahrir was in the late 1980s and 1990s – Al Muhajiroun was born out of Hizut Tahrir and expect another more extreme group to be born out of Identity Evropa.
- Identity Evropa: August 27, 2017: “We have lit a beautiful fire that is engulfing the Western world. The existence of our people is not negotiable, and a new order is now emerging as the old paradigm spasms and flails under the weight of its own contradictions.” – Nathan Damigo. On July 28, 2017: Identity Evropa graphic advertising the Unite the Right rally: “You will not replace us” . And then on July 15, 2017: Identity Evropa Twitter account: “The #WarOnWhites is an imminent threat to the security of our nations and the future of our people. Fight back!” As yet their message is not as focused or strong as ISIS. Danger of implosion and fragmentation into smaller more extreme groups as its overall ideology is not rooted except in racial terms.
- Al-Muhajiroun/Identity ISIS: Said they wish to establish public awareness about Islam and influence public opinion in favour of the shariah. That Islam is inherently political and it unites Muslims on a global scale in the threats facing the Ummah and to resume the Islamic way of life by re-establishing the Islamic Caliphate. Members have carried out numerous murders and terrorist attacks. Rooted message using Islamic terms and forms its idelogy around a more extreme Wahhabi understanding of Islam to control and manage.
Radical Islamist violence exists and we should not shy away from that term as thats what it is. But who is dealing with radical Nationalist/Rascist violence and terrorism as in the case of the terrorist attack on New Zealand Muslims.
We need to focus on the trajectory of terrorism no matter what side terrorism comes from. Osama bin Laden demonstrated ability to match deeds to his words and inflict lasting damage on the United States but as he and his organisation was destroyed others more extreme in their identity and ruthlessness took shape. Look for the wannabe Osama bin Ladens in white idenity politics, Hindvta and other groups.
Understand that whilst we are focused on Identity Evropa – there are individuals and groups out there – take the UK:
National Action which has been proscribed in the UK under the Terrorism Act 2000 since 16 December 2016 has organised itself in a similar way to the banned ISIS/Al-Muhajiroun network – with smaller groups such as ‘Scottish Dawn, NS131, System Resistance Network and TripleK Mafia and has styled itself as a “revolutionary nationalist” organisation and has made effective, large-scale use of social media and blogging platforms.
Then there are groups such as Combat 18, British Democrats, National Front, For Britain Movement, UK Independence Party, Britain First which as much as fight Muslims and other minorities fight amongst themselves more.
As tribalism increases so should the cooperation between intelligence services around the world and we need to understand that this so called Global War on Terror will continue for a long time if the focus remains just on Islamist terrorism and ignores the growing elephant in the room.