An image from the insurrection on Capitol Hill, January 6. (Samuel Corum/Getty Images)
A Massachussets-based neo-Nazi street gang with a leader who previously was in one of the most violent American terrorist groups in decades continues to advertise its involvement in the Capitol Hill insurrection. But the FBI, despite its well-documented crackdown on extremists connected to January 6, has yet to arrest any of its members.NSC-131 (the NSC stands for Nationalist Social Club and the 131 alphanumerically signifies “Anti-Communist Action”) was founded and is currently led by Chris Hood, 22, a former member of the Base, a neo-Nazi terror group under an FBI counterterrorism probe. Immediately after the events of January 6, the group bragged online about its presence on Capitol Hill, even posting an image of a stolen riot-cop helmet with a trophy emoji and “#FuckThePolice” along with images from deep inside the protests captioned “The U.S. Capitol is now a 131 zone.”
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Since the insurrection, NSC-131 hasn’t tempered its online presence out of fear of authorities, but has instead taken the active approach of regularly advertising its activities in New England. Its Telegram channel has posted images of armed paramilitary training in the woods, graffitied neo-Nazi symbols, and snaps of NSC-131 propaganda in public. And one of its members, who claims to be a 21 year-old university student from the Boston area, also bragged to a chatroom on Telegram that he participated in the insurrection in D.C. (VICE News obtained a screenshot.)“I’m a Boston [boy]” boasted "Amerikan Werewolf" to other neo-Nazis in a Telegram chatroom. “[I] was in D.C.”According to an independent researcher familiar with the inner workings of NSC-131 who requested anonymity out of fear of retribution from the group, Hood, Amerikan Werewolf, and another member made the trip from New England to D.C., with the latter two being responsible for stealing the helmet. It isn’t clear if the group breached congressional buildings as many insurrectionists infamously did.The night before the storming of the Capitol, Hood tagged a post under his known alias about attending the rally in D.C. calling on followers to join in: “NSC New England is in Washington to ensure white safety,” he wrote with a unique photo of the United States Capitol dome lit up in the night sky. “Contact us if you’d like to get involved!”
Hood, when reached through encrypted messaging on his Telegram account, didn’t refute the allegations that he was in D.C. on January 6 and said “I have no comment.” Telegram messages to Amerikan Werewolf were received but went unanswered.
Besides discussing his attendance in D.C., in the same chat room Amerikan Werewolf talked about vandalizing various locations around Boston with NSC-131 propaganda and advised a potential recruit, “If you ever move here just DM Chris [Hood] (his @ is the NSC New England bio) and we can vet you.”Carla Hill, an associate director for the Center on Extremism at the Anti-Defamation League who tracks NSC-131 and organizations like it, said the light digital footprint left behind by the group on the 6th could be part of why none of its members have been traced to the insurrection or identified as being part of it.“The posts do not show the images of the individuals and so it would be impossible for law enforcement to identify them and charge them with anything,” she said. Hill wasn’t surprised to see NSC-131 showing a stolen police helmet, because the group is known to be anti-law enforcement, but the photos alone don’t reveal an identity or person to charge.
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“Other than the possession of the helmet. Somebody could have taken it away from the Capitol and thrown it down and they got it … There's a lot of wiggle room there,” she said. “We certainly shared that information with law enforcement.”Though it is known as something of a disorganized fighting and drinking club, there’s no doubt NSC-131 has attracted radical neo-Nazis who believe in the violent downfall of the U.S. government, the type of recruits who are willing to mix that political radicalism with street fighting. The group something akin to the Rise Above Movement (RAM), a notoriously violent California-based white supremacist fight club that played a role in the deadly “Unite the Right” Charlottesville, Virginia rally in 2017.At some of the many Black Lives Matter protests across the country, NSC-131 intimidatingly announced its presence at rallies, claiming to deface BLM signs and in some cases posting photos of members stalking protesters. In July, five suspected members of one of its southern chapters went a step further and were arrested for fighting at a BLM protest in Tennessee. The group also has grown its ranks across the ocean: In September, federal authorities in Germany raided the homes of far-right activists they said were members of NSC-131 and its new German chapter. Hood has been a puzzling figure in the American neo-Nazi scene to many analysts and antifascist activists who monitor it, both for his many connections to violent groups and his somehow managing to never get arrested. In June, government prosecutors overseeing the case against members of the Georgia cell of the Base, who face charges for an assassination plot, referred to a Boston-area man who was a “racially motivated violent extremist” and was allegedly facilitating secret communication between the three accused. The contact with this unnamed Boston extremist was used as a pretext to deny bond. In response to the story, inside an NSC-131 chat room with dozens of members, the same alias believed to be Hood’s said that he was the man prosecutors were referring to. “They got denied bail or whatever for talking/’coordinating’ with me,” said Hood’s alias. “Yeah it was in the article.”
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