Street-Fighting US Neo-Nazi Leader Captured in Romania

Robert Rundo has been on the run in Europe for several years. He faces rioting charges back in the United States.
Sam Eagan
New York, US
Robert Rundo doing a Nazi salute in front of a statue in Greece.

An influential American neo-Nazi who has been on the run in Europe was arrested this week in Romania in connection to charges in the United States. 

Robert Rundo was arrested in Bucharest on March 29 by heavily armed Romanian Police, reports Romania news outlet Digi24. Earlier this week American authorities put in an application to have the neo-Nazi extradited to face rioting charges, according to a press release put out by Romanian Police.


Rundo has been bouncing around the Balkans for the last three years. 

Rundo is infamous in the neo-Nazi and white nationalist circles. He initially founded the Rise Above Movement (RAM) a street-fighting organization that was the center point of several violent protests in the late 2010s. Rundo faces several conspiracy to riot charges in connection to those protests and it’s alleged he trained and prepared RAM members to be violent during those events. 

In recent years, Rundo has spearheaded a campaign to create neo-Nazi cells organized around physical fitness and training in martial arts, which he dubbed "active clubs." The effort has been successful, and clubs can be found in multiple countries and in over 16 states. 

Last summer, the Southern California Active Club held a boxing tournament in which neo-Nazis from across the United States attended. Rundo excitedly promised his followers more of these events in a recent YouTube interview and claimed that he was creating the new “street culture of white nationalism.”

If you have any information regarding neo-Nazi organizing or Active Clubs we would love to hear from you. Please reach out to Mack Lamoureux or Sam Eagan via email at and or on Twitter at @macklamoureux and @sam_eagan.

Joshua Fisher-Birch, an analyst for the Counter Extremism Project, told VICE News that Rundo’s arrest is a “positive development” but it likely won’t deeply impact the “active clubs.”  

“Even though Rundo has been the public face of the movement, it is unlikely that his arrest will blunt its growth, mainly because active clubs are local entities with their own local structure,” said Fisher-Birch. “Rundo’s potential detention will likely be a specific rallying call going forward for the movement and allied groups as they seek to create new narratives and expand.” 

This is not the first time the neo-Nazi had to be extradited for the charges. In 2018, he was extradited from central America after initially fleeing the charges. Upon returning to the U.S. the charges were dismissed by a judge and Rundo once again fled the United States, this time for Europe. The dismissal was reversed in 2021 and the U.S. government resumed prosecution. In January, Rundo was reindicted. 

Rundo remains in a Bucharest prison.