Leader of US Nazi group the Base traced to Russia after FBI arrest members on charges of conspiracy to murder

Nataliya Vasilyeva
Rinaldo Nazzaro has been identified as leader of The Base, an extremist group - BBC

The founder of a US-based militant neo-Nazi group runs its operations from Russia, according to reports on Friday.

The FBI describes The Base as a “racially motivated violent extremist group” that “seeks to accelerate the downfall of the United States government” in court filings.  

The identity of the group’s leader who writes on social media under the alias of “Norman Spear” was revealed on Friday, with both the BBC and the Guardian named him as 46-year old Rinaldo Nazzaro. 

The FBI believes the group aims to accelerate the downfall of the US government, incite a race war and establish a white ethno-state.

Several alleged members of The Base were charged this month with various offences including conspiracy to commit murder. 

Public records viewed by the Telegraph show that Mr Nazzaro married a woman with a Russian name in New York in 2012.

Two of the three alleged members of The Base charged with murder conspiracy and anti-government activity Credit: FLOYD COUNTY POLICE DEPARTMENT HANDOUT/EPA-EFE/REX

Media reports said that the couple had two children and moved to St Petersburg in 2018. 

The Telegraph found what appears to be a social media account of Mr Nazzaro’s wife with a link to a YouTube account that showed the man believed to be Mr Nazzaro with his family on a train in Russia, as well as at Disneyland in Florida.

The account says the woman’s two daughters were born in Manhattan and moved to St Petersburg in 2018.  In one of the YouTube videos Mr Nazzaro is seen wearing a T-shirt with “Russia” and Putin’s portrait on it. 

Russian authorities have not commented on Mr Nazzaro’s identity or whereabouts. 

Links between US neo-Nazis and right-rights groups in Russia and Ukraine have been reported before. 

US white supremacists were seen fighting on both sides of the separatist conflict between Ukrainian government troops and Russia-backed rebels in eastern Ukraine.

At least one of four Americans indicted with promoting deadly violence at a far-right rally in Charlottesville in 2017 had ties to far-right groups in Ukraine.