The Department of Homeland Security is concerned that white supremacists traveling to the battlefield will gain combat experience.
U.S. militants traveling to Ukraine to join the war against Russian forces are being interrogated at airports across the country by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Department of Homeland Security Division. The company is concerned about this “Violent extremist white hegemony” Returning to the country with battlefield experience, according to an unclassified intelligence bulletin obtained by the government watchdog group People’s Property last week and quoted by Politico.
The bulletin was prepared by the CBP and was titled “US citizen who joined the war for Ukraine” and on March 7, just one week after Russia launched its military offensive.
The document shows that the US government is collecting information about Americans who tried to travel to Ukraine and has been monitoring their activities since they returned to the country.
U.S. citizens with previous service will remain in the United States “Continue trying to withdraw from the United States with the intention of fighting the international forces of Ukraine’s regional defense to fight the armed conflict against the Russians,” he said. The report said.
The document then draws attention to the fact that some of these individuals may have tried to join the Azov Battalion, a bulletin which is said to be a Ukrainian nationalist group that “To recruit actively racially or ethnically motivated violent extremist-white supremacists (RMVE-WS) to join various neo-Nazi volunteer battalions in the war against Russia.”
The document provides a definition of the Azov Battalion, describing it as one “The all-right-volunteer infantry military unit whose members – approximately 900 – are accused of harboring ultra-nationalist and neo-Nazi and white hegemonic ideologies.” CBP Bulleting adds that Azov was formed between two ultra-nationalist and neo-Nazi groups who “Xenophobic and neo-Nazi ideologies have been involved and immigrants, Roma communities and opponents of their views have been physically abused.”
The CBP then gave details of the interrogation of six anonymous Americans who had traveled to Ukraine with the intention of joining the conflict. Five of them were stopped and interrogated by CBP officers at JFK Airport in New York and a baggage check was carried out on the sixth person.
One of the men was identified as a former leader of the right-wing Bugalu militia in Virginia, another was a Marine veteran who apparently wanted to join the Azov Battalion with his friend, a U.S. military veteran and an active duty. Police officers Border Control officers searched both men’s luggage and found military equipment such as body armor plates, gun slings, military-style clothing, M4 rifle parts and optics.
Another American mentioned in the document had previously served in French foreign forces and tried to join the fight against ISIS. A search of his electronic device revealed that he had also tried to join “Burma’s armed conflict, the Syrian National Defense Forces and a few other groups.” The man told CBP that he planned a trip to the Kyiv Sports Complex, which serves as a training ground for people hoping to join Azov.
The document did not say whether the other two U.S. citizens they stopped had any connection to the far-right group and did not specify if any of the interrogators actually arrived in Ukraine.
The bulletin ends with a list of so-called “Intelligence gap,” These are questions that CBP does not have the answers to. This includes “How many people will go to Ukraine from the United States to fight?”, “Which team will they try to join?”, “What strategies will law enforcement use to avoid detection?” And finally, “What kind of training are foreign fighters receiving in Ukraine that they could possibly expand into US-based militias and white nationalist groups?”
It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post. .
According to Politico, the CBP agency declined to comment on the document, citing policy.
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