FBI Arrests Leader, Members of Violent White Supremacy Group

White Supremacy Group-White Nationalists Rally--AP File Photo
Image Credit: AP/Steve Hellber

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) arrested the leader and two members of a violent and radical white supremacy group based in Southern California.

According to the federal complaint unsealed on Wednesday, the FBI captured Robert Paul Rundo, the leader of the extremist neo-Nazi gang called Rise Above Movement (RAM).  The agency also apprehended RAM members Robert Boman and Tyler Laube.

Federal authorities are still looking for a fourth RAM member identified as Aaron Eason. The four white nationalists are facing charges for allegedly violating the federal conspiracy and riots statutes.

The indictment alleged that the defendants used the internet “with intent to incite, organize, promote, encourage, or participate in or carry on riots or to commit acts of violence…”

RAM members violently attacked counter-protestors are political rallies

In 2017, “the defendants and other RAM members traveled to political rallies” across California and “violently attacked and assaulted counter-protestors, according to the indictment.

In an affidavit supporting the indictment, FBI special agent Scott Bierwirth stated that “RAM and its members documented their white supremacy extremist ideology in both private and public internet postings.”  They also used graffiti to promote their ideology.

Bierwirth also noted that RAM members “acted in concert to commit acts of violence and planned such acts in advance using the internet.” They celebrated and publicly documented their assaults to be able to recruit more members.

“No one has the right to violently assault political opponents”

In a statement, U.S. Attorney Nick Hanna, said, “Every American has a right to peacefully organize, march and protest in support of their beliefs.” However, he emphasized that “no one has the right to violently assault their political opponents.”

Additionally, Hanna stressed that the indictment described an “orchestrated effort” by the members of the white supremacy group to suppress free speech. They attacked those whose views are different from theirs.

Furthermore, he said, “This case demonstrates our commitment to preserve and protect the freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution.”

On the other hand, Paul Delacourt, the Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office, said, “The safeguarding of Constitutionally-protected activity is at the heart of the FBI’s mission.”

He also stressed that “there is no place in our democracy… for individuals who cross the line from protected free speech to violence in the name of extremist ideology.”