Cops: 13-Year-Old Wanted to Attack Vegas Synagogue, News Network

Estonian boy was allegedly 'Commander' of international neo-Nazi group Feuerkrieg Division
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 11, 2020 9:00 AM CDT
Cops: Neo-Nazi Group Leader Tied to Bomb Plots Was 13
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/Chainarong Prasertthai)

He called himself "Commander” online. He was said to be the leader of an international neo-Nazi group linked to plots to attack a Las Vegas synagogue and detonate a car bomb at a major US news network. He was also just 13 years old. The boy who led Feuerkrieg Division lived in Estonia and apparently cut ties with the group after authorities there confronted him earlier this year, per police and local media. Harrys Puusepp, rep for the Estonian Internal Security Service, tells the AP that the police agency "intervened in early January because of a suspicion of danger" and "suspended this person's activities in" Feuerkrieg Division. The Anti-Defamation League has described the group, formed in 2018, as one that advocates for a race war and promotes some of the most extreme views of the white supremacist movement.

Oren Segal, vice president of the ADL's Center on Extremism, says children aren't just a target audience for online forums that glorify white supremacy and violence—they also maintain such sites, captivated by their ability to join or influence an international movement from a home computer, he says. "That young kids are getting that sense of belonging from a hate movement is more common than most people realize and very disturbing," Segal says. "But accessing a world of hate online today is as easy as it was tuning into Saturday morning cartoons on television." Feuerkrieg Division members communicated over the Wire online platform. The FBI used confidential sources to infiltrate the group’s encrypted chats, per federal court records. The messages don't indicate that other Feuerkrieg Division members knew the group leader was 13, Segal notes.

(Read more Neo-Nazi stories.)

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