National Alliance Chief Arrested as Group Struggles to Survive
In what could be a devastating or even fatal blow to the ailing neo-Nazi group, National Alliance Chairman Shaun Walker was indicted on June 9 and charged with conspiracy to deprive non-whites of their rights with violence and intimidation.
A federal grand jury in Utah accused Walker, 38, Salt Lake City Unit Coordinator Travis Massey, 29, and Utah member Eric Egbert, 21, of engaging in a conspiracy between December 2002 and March 2003 to provoke fights with non-whites "to make them afraid to appear in public, work and live" in Salt Lake City. If the men are convicted, they could each face up to 20 years in prison.
All three men were immediately arrested, with agents taking Walker into custody at the West Virginia headquarters compound of the Alliance. Walker was later allowed to post bail on condition of remaining in Salt Lake City.
Walker's arrest could prove to be a watershed for the Alliance, which has struggled to survive since the 2002 death of its founder, William Pierce. In the years since, the group has been beset by internal management struggles and scandals involving everything from strippers to alleged misappropriation of funds. From a 2002 high of more than 1,400 members who collectively brought in close to $1 million a year, the Alliance has shrunk to fewer than 200 members.
Much of the internal criticism of recent years has been directed at Erich Gliebe, who was chosen to succeed Pierce. Those attacks came to a head in April 2005, when Walker was named chairman and Gliebe was demoted to head of Resistance Records, the Alliance's white-power-music operation. With Walker's arrest this June, Gliebe was returned to his post as chairman of the Alliance.
Walker, Massey and Egbert are accused of a Dec. 31, 2002, attack on a Mexican-American man in a Salt Lake City bar. Massey and an unnamed individual are also accused of assaulting a Native American in a bar on March 15, 2003.
Although Gliebe called the accusations trumped-up charges meant only to destroy the group, other extremists said the Alliance's heyday was long past. Bill White, until recently an official of the rival National Socialist Movement (see Nazis Falling), scoffed that the Alliance has "been a non-factor on the white nationalist scene for the past year or two, and has been in decline for the past three to four."