Enemy within By Zarrar Khuhro

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BRENTON Tarrant, the white terrorist who murdered 51 people at a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, has finally been sentenced, but the ideology that guided his murderous actions is only gaining strength.

His manifesto, The Great Replacement, was derived directly from alt-right and white supremacist forums where there is a deeply held belief that the white ‘race’ is undergoing a genocide. The mongrel races are outbreeding us in our own lands, they say, and point towards the influx of refugees and immigrants as part of this plot which, in their view, is aided and abetted by the white ‘race traitors’ who make up the ruling liberal class of Western nations.

It is a call to arms that was answered not just by Tarrant, but also by Anders Breivik and Alexandre Bissonnette among many others, who saw themselves not as terrorists but as soldiers in a cosmic war for survival. Despite being self-trained and having no military experience, they claimed a combined body count of over 130 souls. What might they have achieved if they actually had been trained by a professional army?

This is not a hypothetical question: there has been a steady stream of news that points towards the increasing inroads white supremacist organisations are making into Western militaries and police forces. Why these groups would target military personnel for recruitment is obvious: trained soldiers bring expertise when it comes to planning and carrying out terror attacks and can also provide intelligence, access to deadly weapons and a great deal of credibility to such groups. And after all, when the main deployments of Western armies happens to be in non-white countries, where killing people of colour is literally your job, the ground is already prepared for radicalisation.

In 2009, the US Department of Homeland Security released a report on the threat of domestic right-wing terrorism and noted that every surge in Ku Klux Klan membership — from the 1860s to the present day — immediately followed the end of a foreign war. It warned that “right-wing extremists will attempt to recruit and radicalize returning veterans in order to boost their violent capabilities”. The report was met with outrage from US veterans, conservative pundits, politicians and media outlets and was shelved, but remains nonetheless true.

Take Frazier Glenn Miller, currently jailed for the murder of three people at a Jewish centre in Kansas. A Vietnam war veteran and former Green Beret, he founded a group called the White Patriot Party, members of which would dress in fatigues and parade on streets while bearing arms.

He also received funding from a larger group known as The Order, and paid $50,000 for weapons — including anti-tank rockets — stolen from a US military base. He was a fervent recruiter who specifically targeted active-duty soldiers, even paying them to train his forces.

Then there’s Marine corps veteran Christopher Hasson who wrote his own Breivik-inspired manifesto calling for “focused violence [to] establish a white homeland” in the US by killing selected judges, politicians and media personnel.

These are just two examples of many, but all those pale in comparison with what happened in the elite German special forces unit called the KSK.

Earlier this year, this entire unit — deployed in Afghanistan since 2001 — was disbanded after it was found that far-right extremists had infiltrated its ranks. Some 500 German soldiers were being investigated, with 20 of them belonging to the KSK. The accusations stem as far back as 2017, when KSK members gave the Nazi salute at a party. Later that year, a KSK sergeant-major was found in possession of Nazi paraphernalia as well as weapons and explosives. At least 48,000 rounds of ammo and 60 kilograms of explosives are also ‘missing’ from KSK inventories.

Last year, an investigative report revealed that Canadian soldier Patrik Mathews — trained in explosives and firearms use —was a member of a neo Nazi group called The Base which aims to start a race war, and videos are available detailing how Mathews planned to poison water supplies and derail trains in order to start a civil war in the US. Exposed, he was discharged from the army and fled to shelter with his comrades in the US, and was eventually arrested.

More disturbing though is the case of naval officer Boris Mihailovic, who was suspended after anonymous hackers revealed him to be an active member of a violent Nazi website called Iron March. After an investigation lasting only a few months, this extremist soldier was reinstated and returned to active duty, with the Canadian navy declaring him magically deradicalised.

And just now, former FBI agent Michael German has penned a report laying bare the extensive links between law-enforcement agencies in the US and white supremacists. For all the billions the West spends on wars abroad, they have yet to realise that the real enemy is within.