Western Australia has become the latest Australian target of a neo-Nazi organisation based in the United States.
The right-wing hate group, called The Base, is being investigated by the FBI and has been branded as a terror group in Canada.
Covert recordings show they’re pushing ahead with a recruitment drive in Perth.
The group’s Russian-based leader is Rinaldo Nazzaro.
A recruiter has reached out to a potential new member in Perth’s northern suburbs.
In an audio recording, the recruiter says: “What do you think you could contribute to The Base?”
The applicant, who hides behind the codename Will T. Power, answers: “I’m pretty much a foot soldier.”
The recruiter says, “We have barely a toe-hold right now in Australia – and we need to change that to a foot-hold.”
Targeting the fringes
The recruitment drive has targeted the extreme fringes of other right-wing groups in WA.
They want people with weapons training and access to firearms.
In the audio recording, the recruiter asks, “What is your physical fitness level?”
The applicant responds: “I know how to f**k people up with minimum physical exertion.”
There is also a disturbing discussion about Brenton Tarrant, the Christchurch terrorist who killed 51 people in the 2019 mosque attacks.
“I got more enjoyment watching Saint Tarrant do his thing. I’ve eaten several meals watching that,” the applicant says in the audio recording.
The paramilitary group’s presence in Perth is not just online.
One member put up recruitment posters in Hyde Park saying “we are here.”
7NEWS understands the youngest Australian recruited is just 16 years old.
The once-secret neo-Nazi group, whose recruitment drive extends across the country, is now firmly on the radar of the Australian Federal Police.
Hate groups on the rise
In the US, white supremacist propaganda nearly doubled last year to a record level, according to the Anti-Defamation League.
Critics say white supremacism got a boost from US President Donald Trump’s recently-ended presidency, though he denied he was a racist and said he was smeared by political opponents.
In a report on its website, the ADL said that supremacist propaganda appeared in every US state except Hawaii last year, with the highest levels of activity in Texas, Washington, California, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Virginia and Pennsylvania.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned last month that white supremacy and neo-Nazi movements were becoming a “transnational threat” and had exploited the coronavirus pandemic to boost their support.
– with AAP