11/27/2012

SPLC Intelligence Report: Neo-Nazi building white supremacist compound in Idaho

More than a decade after the headquarters of the neo-Nazi Aryan Nations was shuttered and demolished, a protégé of the group’s late founder is building a new compound in Idaho that is already attracting white supremacists for Ku Klux Klan cross burnings, according to the Winter 2012 issue of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Report, released today.

Shaun Patrick Winkler, 33, who studied the anti-Semitic Christian Identity religion under Aryan Nations founder Richard Butler, is building the compound not far from the site of the group’s former headquarters, which was a haven for white supremacists from across the country.

Winkler says he plans to allow families affiliated with the Klan or Aryan Nations to build residences on the property. Human rights activists are concerned Idaho may again serve as the epicenter of the white supremacist movement despite legal threats to Winkler’s plans.

“The Aryan Nations compound under Richard Butler was a place where terrorist plots were hatched and racist violence was spawned,” said Mark Potok, senior fellow at the SPLC and editor of the Intelligence Report. “So it’s quite disturbing that one of his acolytes now wants to re-establish that toxic environment.”

Butler’s 20-acre Aryan Nations compound in Kootenai County was auctioned off and its buildings demolished after an SPLC lawsuit resulted in a $6.3 million jury verdict in 2000 against the group, Butler and several members for terrorizing a woman and her son.

Also in this issue of the Intelligence Report:

  • The cover story traces the path of skinhead Wade Michael Page from a North Carolina Army base that was home to a thriving neo-Nazi underworld in the 1990s to Oak Creek, Wis., where he attacked a Sikh temple and murdered six worshipers last August.

  • American Front, a skinhead group whose leader was murdered last year, is now headed by a man who mixes racism with opposition to capitalism and globalism. In May, members of the group were arrested in Florida for planning acts of violence and preparing for “an inevitable race war.”

  • Former Arizona sheriff Richard Mack, founder of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, is profiled. Mack has regained prominence on the radical right by spreading an antigovernment “Patriot” ideology to an audience that includes law enforcement officials and Tea Party groups.

  • A revelatory interview with John Greschner, a former “commissioner” of America’s most notorious white supremacist prison gang, looks inside the Aryan Brotherhood. More than 30 members of the gang’s Texas chapter were recently indicted by federal prosecutors in a racketeering case accusing them of carrying out murders, assaults and other crimes as part of an enterprise dating back to the early 1990s.