US designates white supremacist group as terrorist for the first time

The State Department has explained that the designation as terrorists seeks to deny these people the resources they require to prepare "attacks"

US designates white supremacist group as terrorist for the first time
Mike Pompeo, US Secretary of State. (Reuters)

The U.S. State Department has designated the Russian Imperial Movement (RIM) and its leaders as terrorists, the first time that a white supremacist group entered into this category.

According to U.S. President Donald Trump, the US country “must condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacism in one voice,” the State Department has said in a statement, adding that the designation of RIM as terrorists moves in that line.

Specifically, the order against RIM and its leaders, Stanislav Anatolyevich Vorobyev, Denis Valiullovich Gariyev and Nikolay Nilolayevich Trushchalov, which is in accordance with Executive Order 13224, is justified in that they have provided “training to carry out terrorist acts that threaten national security and foreign policy of the United States.”

Vorobyev is the leader and general founder of RIM, while Gariyev is the head of his paramilitary arm, the Imperial Legion, and Trushchalov is the group’s External Relations coordinator.

Veto on its territory

The State Department has explained that the designation as terrorists seeks to deny these people the resources they require to prepare “attacks”. Among other consequences, the designation states that “all of their assets and interests in the United States … have been blocked and American persons are prohibited from participating in any transaction with them.”

The agency headed by Mike Pompeo has explained that “RIM has provided paramilitary training to Europe’s white and neo-Nazi supremacists and is actively working to bring these types of groups together on a common front against their perceived enemies.”

“The RIM has provided paramilitary training to white supremacists from Germany, Poland and Finland,” says the State Department.

Thus, “RIM has two training facilities in St. Petersburg, which are likely being used to conduct assaults, test tactical weapons, and hand-to-hand combat training,” according to the State Department.

In this context, the United States has revealed that, in 2016, two Swedes attended a RIM training course and subsequently carried out a series of bombings in Gothenburg, Sweden, against shelter housing refugees and applicants for asylum, and against a cafe. Both were convicted in Sweden for this fact.

“RIM has also provided paramilitary training to white supremacists from Germany, Poland and Finland,” the US State Department has concluded.