They’re Hunting Nazis. New England Is a Target-Rich Environment
Vulnerable communities in New England are increasingly under threat by a violent, neo-Nazi gang with “revolutionary” delusions of transforming the region into a white ethnostate.
The actions, tactics, and command structure of the hate group NSC-131 are the focus of an exhaustive new investigation by the anti-fascist research organization Task Force Butler. Accusing NSC-131 of “terrorism,” the investigation denounces the group’s “explicit purpose” as engaging in “harassment against religious, racial, and ethnic minorities,” as well as “the LGBTQIA+ community, and others deemed ‘enemies.'”
Task Force Butler unveiled its 300-page report Tuesday as a road map for police and prosecutors to step up “civil and criminal legal action” against these white supremacists. Kris Goldsmith, Task Force Butler’s CEO, describes NSC-131’s delusional ideology to Rolling Stone in stark terms: “They are white separatists. They want to use violence to make New England white.”
NSC-131 stands for “Nationalist Social Club-Anti-Communist Action.” (The digits 1 and 3 correspond to the numerical position of A and C in the alphabet.) It is classified as a “neo-Nazi” group by both the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League. NSC-131, and two top leaders, have also been targeted by the attorney general of New Hampshire in a civil action for “violating the New Hampshire Civil Rights Act” for allegedly unfurling racist banners on a Portsmouth overpass.
NSC-131 did not respond to Rolling Stone’s requests to speak to its legal counsel or to address the central claims of the Task Force Butler report. But in a fundraising appeal for its New Hampshire legal defense, NSC-131 has defended its “pro-White activism” as protected “free speech,” while blasting government authorities for being “captured by anti-White partisans.”
The full Task Force Butler report, codenamed Project Husky, is not available in full to the general public because it includes identifying personal details of NSC-131 leaders, intended as an aid to law enforcement. Instead, Task Force Butler provides a summary of the investigation on its website, highlighting what it calls “nine main incidents” of politically-motivated violence, threats, and destruction — including physical altercations with counterprotesters outside of a “drag-queen story hour” in Boston.
NSC-131 is headed by a young extremist in his twenties named Christopher Hood. As alleged in the Task Force Butler report, Hood has past links to the Three Percenters militia movement and Proud Boys fighting club. But NSC-131 is most clearly an offshoot of Patriot Front — a hate group that uses a veneer of patriotism to hook young male recruits into its organization.
Hood had been a rising star inside Patriot Front, but split off in 2019, creating what would become NSC-131. Operationally, NSC-131 is similar to Patriot Front. It relies on flash-mob marches, banner drops, and public confrontation to shock and intimidate the public.
But NSC-131 has no gloss of red-white-and-blue respectability. “They embrace Nazi ideology and Nazi iconography,” says Goldsmith, “because they feel it has a more immediate impact on promoting their desired race war.” NSC-131 members — who dress in black shirts and hide their faces — also appear to welcome physical conflict.
According to the Task Force Butler report, they train in hand-to-hand combat techniques, and use videos of street altercations as propaganda on social media channels. The report argues that “members have a longstanding practice of instigating and committing racially, politically, and identity-motivated acts of violence under the guise of self-defense by responding to small slights with coordinated, brutal force.”
NSC-131 uses explicit Nazi and neo-Nazi symbolism. The jagged N and S of its logo resemble the Nazi SS emblem. It also deploys Nazi “Black Sun” imagery, as well as a WWII battle flag that’s chock-a-block with lightning bolts, skulls, a Swastika, and other Nazi symbols. Goldsmith describes NSC-131 as top-down hierarchy. “Chris Hood has pretty much set the tone for the organization — created its iconography and its ideology.… They believe that they are going to be involved in creating a white ethnostate,” he says.
An NSC manifesto posted to Telegram, and reproduced in the report, lays out that ideology: “We believe that the problems afflicting our people can only be addressed by the most radical political solutions, by nothing short of a revolutionary remaking of the political order of our society,” it reads in part. “By using the Swastika and the symbols of dreaded Nazi Germany … we place ourselves in the most stark opposition possible to everything that we would change in modern society.”
The manifesto insists that the group wants to mainstream Nazism: “We become less fringe with every successful action, our presence normalizes the impossible.” But it also seeks to claim many of the top issues now motivating the MAGA movement for their hateful cause: “We remind our people that it is Nazism to oppose White demographic replacement. It is Nazism to oppose Drag Queen Story Hour and Critical Race Theory.”
The new Task Force Butler report lays out an exhaustive and damning case against NSC-131. But it is not simply critical of the neo-Nazis. It calls out police and prosecutors for not addressing the threat of the hate group more forcefully, treating the group largely as nuisance rather than a genuine threat.
The report reads in part: “NSC-131 is not deterred from engaging in terroristic violence by current piecemeal, local legal accountability efforts.” It asserts that NSC-131 members “typically face local charges at most, and are often charged with misdemeanors which are later dismissed or carry little to no consequences.” It argues that NSC-131 members are “emboldened by law enforcement failing to treat NSC-131” with a more robust response.
Goldsmith insists that prosecutors must not be deterred by NSC-131’s trappings as a “fraternity” or a club. “They are a criminal organization that exists solely to commit crimes,” he argues. “They’re not a camping club that occasionally assaults people. They are a club that assaults people and occasionally goes camping and shoots guns.”
Task Force Butler is named for a legendary U.S. general, Smedley Butler, who foiled a fascist coup attempt against FDR during the New Deal era. It is a nonprofit run and staffed by veterans who see anti-fascism as a noble calling. (Read Rolling Stone’s February profile of the group here.)
Goldsmith concedes that NSC-131 is not a huge organization, with likely membership numbering in the dozens. But he points to the Oklahoma City bombing as well as to the disparate militia groups involved in Jan. 6 to argue that even seemingly small-time operators can wield force that’s deadly and/or dangerous to democracy. “Their ideology can spread like a cancer,” Goldsmith warns, “and hundreds of people can die.”
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