Spokane police are investigating rumors that members of a militant neo-Nazi group known as The Base are planning to travel through Spokane this month en route to a gathering they call a “hate camp.”
Police believe that if the rumors are accurate, the gathering would take place outside Spokane County.
The rumors surfaced last weekend when Eugene Antifa, a group of anonymous left-wing activists in Eugene, Oregon, posted on Twitter that members of The Base “are flying in from around the country to Spokane” to hold the event.
Eugene Antifa said the leader of The Base, who uses the aliases Norman Spear and Roman Wolf, recently purchased land near Colville or Chewelah. The Spokesman-Review’s attempts to verify that claim were unsuccessful.
The Base is a secretive network of neo-Nazis that emerged online last summer with the explicit goal of plotting and training for terrorist attacks. It is said to share members and ideology with the Atomwaffen Division, another terrorist group that has been linked with killings and has recruited members of the U.S. military.
Vice News, which gained access to one of the group’s online chat rooms, reported in November that The Base maintains “a trove of manuals with instructions on lone wolf terror tactics, gunsmithing, data mining, interrogation tactics, counter-surveillance techniques, bomb making, chemical weapons creation and guerrilla warfare.”
In an email, Officer John O’Brien, a spokesman for the Spokane Police Department, said “the information we have indicates some members of that group may be flying into the Spokane airport. The event is not being held in the city limits or the county of Spokane. It is not known how they will get from the airport to their venue. (If they show up.)”
According to Eugene Antifa, the “hate camp” event would not be a public demonstration or rally, but rather a series of paramilitary exercises for members of The Base.
Police said they couldn’t provide further information about the potential date or location of the event.
“Our intel suggests it is being held outside Spokane County,” O’Brien said.
Police Sgt. Terry Preuninger said that if the event does happen, it likely would attract a small number of extremists.
FBI spokesman Katherine Zackel said the agency is aware of reports about The Base coming to the area.
“We work with our federal, state and local law enforcement partners to identify any possible threats of force or violence to our communities and to protect all individuals’ rights to First Amendment protected activity,” Zackel said in a statement.
Editor’s note: This story was updated on Saturday, Aug. 10, 2019, to include a statement from the FBI.
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