September 21, 2020

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Local neo-Nazi faces more charges Tuesday

Patrik Mathews is set for a hearing in Greenbelt, Md. Tuesday, where he’ll face the firearm and obstruction of justice charges two grand juries indicted him on late last month. (William J. Hennessy Jr. / Free Press files)</p>

Patrik Mathews is set for a hearing in Greenbelt, Md. Tuesday, where he’ll face the firearm and obstruction of justice charges two grand juries indicted him on late last month. (William J. Hennessy Jr. / Free Press files)

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 14/2/2020 (220 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Patrik Mathews is scheduled to appear back in U.S. federal court next week to be arraigned on the latest criminal charges laid against the neo-Nazi recruiter and disgraced Canadian reservist.

Mathews, 27, is set for a hearing in Greenbelt, Md. Tuesday, where he’ll face the firearm and obstruction of justice charges two grand juries indicted him on late last month.

Those charges are in addition to two felony firearm charges the FBI laid following his arrest by U.S. law enforcement Jan. 16.

In total, the Canadian faces seven criminal charges in connection with his alleged efforts to plan a terror attack he hoped would help spark a "violent revolution for the white race."

He remains in custody after Judge Timothy J. Sullivan—who he is set to appear before again next week—denied him bail Jan. 22, calling him a dangerous individual motivated by a dangerous worldview.

If convicted on all counts, he faces up to 60 years in U.S. prison.

Also scheduled to appear in U.S. court Feb 18 are his co-accused: Brian Lemley Jr., 33, and William Bilbrough IV, 19. The three men were arrested by the FBI in Delaware and Maryland last month.

The arrests came during a nationwide crackdown on the Base, a violent-neo-Nazi paramilitary group. Other members of the organization remain at large, and it’s possible the FBI continues to investigate.

In recent weeks, the FBI has signaled it has elevated racially-motivated extremism to a "national threat priority."

On Feb. 5, FBI Director Christopher Wray testified before the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, explaining the steps the agency has taken to crack down on far-right and white supremacist extremists.

Wray said that by classifying racially-motivated extremism as a "national threat priority," it put those individuals and organizations on the same playing field as "ISIS" when it comes to the amount of resources the agency will throw at them.

"We’re particularly focused on domestic terrorism, especially racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists," said Wray. "Not only is the terror threat diverse, it’s unrelenting."

The Winnipeg Free Press exposed Mathews as a neo-Nazi recruiter and active combat engineer in the Canadian Armed Forces in August 2019, following a month-long undercover investigation.

Hours after being outed by the Free Press, the RCMP raided Mathews’ home in Beausejour and seized several firearms. After being briefly taken into custody, he was released without charge.

Soon after, Mathews vanished, abandoning his truck near the U.S.-Canada border. He’s alleged to have linked-up with neo-Nazi comrades in the U.S. and begun planning murders and terror attacks while stockpiling guns and ammunition.

Over the course of several months, the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives tracked Mathews and other alleged members of the Base, deploying a variety of counter- terrorism investigative techniques.

Mathews is one of eight members of the Base who have been arrested by U.S. authorities in recent months.

ryan.thorpe@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @rk_thorpe

Ryan Thorpe

Ryan Thorpe
Reporter

Ryan Thorpe likes the pace of daily news, the feeling of a broadsheet in his hands and the stress of never-ending deadlines hanging over his head.

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