Washington: Secret efforts to groom and recruit teenagers by a neo-Nazi militant group, founded by an American, have been exposed by covert recordings, a media report said on Monday.
They capture senior members of The Base interviewing young applicants and discussing how to radicalise them, according to the BBC report.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has described the group as seeking to unite white supremacists around the world and incite a race war.
Rinaldo Nazzaro, founder of The Base, is a 47-year-old American, who reportedly used to work as an analyst for the FBI and as a contractor for the Pentagon.
Earlier this year the BBC revealed he was directing the organisation from his upmarket flat in St. Petersburg, Russia.
During the interviews, which took place via conference call on an encrypted app, prospective members were asked by Nazzaro about their personal history, ethnicity, radicalisation journey and experience with weapons, before a panel of senior members posed their own questions.
Hitler’s Mein Kampf
The would-be recruits were quizzed on what books they had read, including Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf”, and were encouraged to familiarise themselves with the group’s white supremacist ideology.
During the calls, Nazzaro can be heard welcoming members of other extremist groups.
The young applicants, who hide behind aliases and display varying degrees of ideological awareness, describe their radicalisation by online videos and propaganda.
When interviewees left the calls, senior members discussed their potential before arranging to vet them in person at a later date, according to the BBC.
In the US state of Georgia, three members of The Base are currently facing conspiracy charges for allegedly plotting to murder an anti-fascist couple.
The Base is the latest underground organisation to emerge from an international neo-Nazi network originally generated by a now-defunct web forum called Iron March.
Other organisations include the banned British groups National Action and the Sonnenkrieg Division, as well as the Atomwaffen Division in the USA, which has been dismantled by a nationwide FBI investigation.