Someone going by the handle “antifa-data” uploaded what appears to be the entire SQL database of Iron March—a defunct fascist web forum where the Atomwaffen Division (AWD) terrorist organisation reportedly first organised—to the Internet Archive on Wednesday.
The dump contains database information associated with users on the forum, some of whom appear to have registered using identifiable email addresses. Other information contained in the dump ranges from forum posts and messages to IP addresses. According to open-source journalism website Bellingcat, a cursory review of the initial data shows a “number of users who identified themselves as active serving members of the military in Western countries, especially the United States,” with users compiling information on those users on a Google spreadsheet.
“Be careful if you get deployed with those fucking sand [deleted] and jews,” one member, who claimed to be on active duty in the Navy, told another user who said he had enlisted in the Marines. “They are all a bunch of slippery pieces of shit that wash their faces in rain puddles in dirt on the ground. We are too good to be interacting with those people, maybe trump will at least relax the ROE’s [rules of engagement] so those pieces of shit can be blasted back to allah, jews and all.”
“Combat units... are overwhelmingly White,” another user wrote. “While the Army itself might be 70-75% White, combat units – especially Infantry – tend to be upwards of 85-95% percent White, depending on where you classify Caucasoid Hispanics.... They’re one of the last places in our system of government where it is still acceptable to publicly be as sexist, racist, and discriminatory as you want (so long as a non-combat officer doesn’t hear you!).”
“A good way people in the military find other rightists is to simply wear a shirt with some obscure fascist logo,” that user added. “I met my good buddy at a brigade luncheon when he noticed the Totenkopf on my shirt. On most bases you can see the occasional right-wing symbol. Sun wheel there, 88 here, Mussolini’s face over there, a Templar cross tattoo. The symbols of SS units are especially common, even on things as public as cars, flags, and helmets... There are lots of fascists in the military. But only in some parts and almost always in secret.”
According to the Guardian, Iron March was founded in 2011 by Russian extremist Alexander “Slavros” Mukhitdinov, who reportedly allowed bomb-making instructions to spread on the site and wrote manifestos calling for fascism to be installed worldwide via campaigns of murder and terrorism. The site vanished without notice from the web in November 2017, months after AWD member and Iron March poster Devon Arthurs murdered two roommates, fellow AWD members, in the US city of Tampa, Florida. Another roommate, Florida Army National Guard member Brandon Russell, received a five-year prison sentence after investigators found their garage was full of explosives.
AWD has been tied to three other murders, a Las Vegas terrorism plot, and violence during a notorious white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017 that resulted in the death of counter-protester Heather Heyer and scores of injuries. More recently, a YouTube user who was either a member or supporter of the group reportedly released a video calling for the murder of journalists it believes are members of anti-fascist movements, seemingly based in part on a series of articles run by right-wing site Quillette. Members of Vanguard America, whose supporter James Alex Fields carried out the attack at the rally, also have ties to Iron March, the Guardian wrote.
The paper noted that Iron March was influential in the development of so-called “accelerationist” neo-Nazi ideology, which advocates the destabilisation of democratic governance by demonstrating its inability to effectively respond to mass violence, as well as helped popularise American neo-Nazi James Mason’s Siege Culture work calling for independent terror cells to kick off a race war.
The Southern Poverty Law Center, which has previously scraped data from Iron March, wrote that the site was “ultimately affiliated with or offered support to at least nine fascist groups in nine different countries” of varying size or influence at the time of its disappearance. Those include Serbia Action in Serbia, Casa Pound of Italy, Golden Dawn of Greece, Antipodean Resistance of Australia, Skydas of Lithuania, and Azov Battalion of the Ukraine, the SPLC wrote, as well as Vanguard America and Patriot Front in the states.
Golden Dawn exploded in Greek politics, controlling seven percent of parliament at its peak in 2012, but later imploded; the ultranationalist Azov Battalion is one of several far-right groups fighting in the Ukrainian War in Donbass. (The group is allied with Ukraine, though white supremacists have fought there for both Ukraine and Russia-backed separatist movements.)
Per ZDNet, Iron March’s disappearance from the internet has never been completely explained, with theories ranging from a shutdown to avoid law enforcement attention to some type of hack. Now that Iron March’s archives have been released, Bellingcat users hope to identify more members of the forum and encourages “journalists and investigators to follow up on some [of the] leads that can be found in these data sets.”
Featured image: Screenshot: Internet Archive