German Extremist Loses Bid for U.S. Asylum

Neo-Nazis

Hendrik Möbus, a German neo-Nazi murderer arrested last August in West Virginia, reportedly was denied political asylum in the United States on March 5. Without asylum, Möbus will likely be deported to Germany, where he faces a return to prison for parole violations.

Möbus, who once led a hard-edged band called Absurd, claims he faces political persecution at home. He was paroled in 1998 after serving five years in German prison for the murder, along with other band members, of a young boy.

Courts soon sentenced him to another 26 months in jail for giving a stiff-armed Nazi salute and for mocking and demeaning his murder victim — both crimes under German law.

But Möbus eluded capture, and in December 1999 he fled to the U.S., where such activity would have been protected under the First Amendment.

At the time of his arrest, Möbus, a major figure on the "national socialist black metal" music scene, was staying with William Pierce, leader of the neo-Nazi National Alliance and owner of a white power music firm, Resistance Records.

Pierce's efforts to help Möbus — setting up a legal defense fund, placing an ad in The Washington Times, and even organizing an April demonstration outside the German embassy in Washington, D.C. — are unprecedented for the Alliance leader.

The United States sometimes grants asylum to aliens facing political persecution in their native countries. But as a convicted murderer, Möbus was ruled ineligible for asylum, according to an Alliance-run Web site, HendrikMoebus.com, which also said Möbus would appeal.

Citing privacy laws, the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service declined comment.

In January, neo-Nazi Nathan Pett was critically injured after being attacked with a baseball bat in Spokane, Wash. In a dispute of unclear origin last year, Pett allegedly tied Möbus up and beat him systematically with a hammer — an incident that infuriated some other violent racists sympathetic to Möbus and Pierce.

But investigators said the attack on Pett was part of a road rage incident and appeared unconnected to his white supremacist activities.