The ex-Marine who is attempting to lead a mass migration of neo-Nazis to Maine to create a white ethnostate, a project he described in peaceful terms, once told followers how to target and shoot truckers in sniper operations.
The streamed video, obtained by VICE News through an antifascist researcher, shows Chris Pohlhaus, 34, a four-year veteran of the Marine Corps, sitting behind a Confederate flag describing in detail how his followers could undertake the operation that could theoretically and easily disrupt the United States’ supply chain.
“It’s easy to stop trucks. You don’t need anybody; you barely need anyone. Twenty-five dudes,” Pohlhaus said in the video from August 2020. “Twenty-five dudes trained with a (rifle).”
“Each one of those guys shoots and moves and hides, shoots two truckers a day. That’s 50 truckers (shot) every day.”
Pohlhaus commands a Telegram channel of thousands of followers. He often presses people to arm themselves and adheres to the violent political ideology of accelerationism, which preaches terrorism to hasten the collapse of world governments and is widely adopted by a hardcore stratum of the far-right that believes in a fantasy race war.
Pohlhaus denied telling followers to shoot truckers and said the full context of the video was discussing historical hypotheticals involving whether epic figures like Genghis Khan or Alexander the Great could conquer the modern world. He said the trucker analogy was meant to show that it’s easy to attack a society he considers on the brink of demise.
“The illustration was meant to show the fragility of the system currently because only 2 percent of people actually produce food and the supply lines are entirely too long and overly complicated,” he said in a text exchange with VICE News. “This system is incredibly fragile, and what I did was show a way 25 men could bring it completely to its knees. And I am right, as always. They could.
“It is only a matter of time before something happens and this fragile little world falls apart. You need to come to terms with this reality and prepare for the absolute hell that is coming for us.”
In recent months, Pohlhaus coordinated a national counterprotest on the anniversary of George Floyd’s murder and has been calling for followers to move to Maine, an overwhelmingly white state with favorable gun laws, to arm up and prepare for the “collapse” of society. (He told VICE News that his planned migration is simply him “trying to build a community of family men.”)
While hyper-violent neo-Nazi terrorist groups like The Base and Atomwaffen Division have always believed in accelerationism as a founding doctrine, in recent years the ideology has bled further into the mainstream among neo-Nazis like Pohlhaus, who operate openly. It also is yet another example of a military veteran, with soldiering tradecraft and years of training from the U.S. military, sharing their knowledge with like-minded individuals online. The mob attack on Capitol Hill in January, for example, consisted of many veterans and active-duty soldiers.
Pohlhaus’ streamed video, which had hundreds of viewers, comes as accelerationism has progressed beyond the hundred or so hardcore domestic terrorists who were known to the FBI only years ago into a wider audience. That development and the events of January 6 are part of why the Biden administration has put together a new National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism, as the threat of far-right terror migrates into wider right-wing circles.
Do you have information about extremist groups? We would love to hear from you. You can reach Ben Makuch by contacting 267-713-9832 on Signal or @ben.makuch on the Wire app.
In the report, which promises hundreds of millions in new funds for law enforcement agencies to take on domestic terrorists, the Biden administration singles out white supremacists as the top concern for law enforcement in the country.
“Black church members slaughtered during their Bible study in Charleston. A synagogue in Pittsburgh targeted for supporting immigrants. A gunman spraying bullets at an El Paso Walmart to target Latinos,” Biden said in a written message that precedes the report. “We cannot ignore this threat or wish it away. Preventing domestic terrorism and reducing the factors that fuel it demand a multifaceted response across the federal government and beyond.”
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