Seven currently serving members of the U.S. military have been revealed to be involved with the white nationalist group Identity Evropa, according to HuffPost. The identities of these service members were discerned from leaked chat logs on Discord—a group chat app that’s geared towards gamers—that Identity Evropa members used to communicate with each other for years.
The logs were leaked to media collective Unicorn Riot. Earlier this month, Splinter, which got an advanced look at the logs, reported that at least a dozen people in the logs had claimed to be currently or formerly in the military. HuffPost reported on Sunday that it had confirmed the military status of at least seven people in the logs.
Two Marines, two Army ROTC cadets, an Army physician, a member of the Texas National Guard and one member of the Air Force all belong to an organization called Identity Evropa, which is listed by the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center as an extremist group.
The Marine Corps, the Army, the Air Force and the Texas National Guard all confirmed to HuffPost that these men were service members.
“There is no place for racial hatred or extremism in the Marine Corps. Our strength is derived from the individual excellence of every Marine regardless of background,” Col. Ted Wong told HuffPost. “Bigotry and racial extremism run contrary to our core values. The Marine Corps will investigate the allegations and take the appropriate disciplinary actions if warranted.”
The people outed by HuffPost include one man, Stephen T. Farrea, who seems to have attended an Identity Evropa event just last week in Kentucky. Another one of the service members identified by HuffPost, Jason Laguardia, was also reportedly there.
Another person outed in the report is 20-year-old Jay C. Harrison, a member of the ROTC at Montana State University and a National Guardsman. Harrison wasn’t shy about voicing his racist beliefs on the server.
“Go play niggerball if you aren’t tough enough for wrestling,” Harrison wrote in one post. “God I hate basketball so much.”
“I wish the holocaust had been real,” he wrote in another. “Not one kike was ever gassed.”
A spokesman told HuffPost that the Army prohibits “personnel from actively advocating supremacist, extremist, or criminal gang doctrine, ideology, or causes” and that “soldiers who choose to engage in such acts will be held accountable for their actions.”
It’s shouldn’t be shocking that members of the military would be interested in a group like Identity Evropa—the organization was actually started by an ex-Marine. The group wasn’t widely known until 2017, when they helped organize the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville which ended in the murder of activist Heather Heyer. Identity Evropa members were a prominent contingent of the crowd in the notorious images of neo-Nazis marching with torches the night before the rally.
Identity Evropa, like many white nationalist groups, claims to support “European pride” and call themselves “identitarians.” These phrases obscure their true beliefs, which are deeply racist and xenophobic.
But white nationalist activity in the military isn’t isolated to those involved in groups like Identity Evropa. Just last month, a Coast Guard officer was arrested on gun and drug charges. The man was a self-identified white supremacist who wanted to commit mass murder of civilians, and had a target list that included members of Congress and the media.
Since the chat logs were leaked last week, Identity Evropa has been in damage control mode. In order to distance themselves from far-right violence, they have since changed the name of their group to the American Identity Movement.
Read the whole piece over at HuffPost.
Update, 2:10 p.m. ET: This piece was updated to clarify the nature of media collective Unicorn Riot’s work.