A soldier with ties to the far-right who was charged with an unauthorised disclosure of information has been running a racist Twitter page since he was released in December, Marc Daalder reports
The soldier who co-founded a notorious far-right group and had ties to several others has been tied to a racist Twitter page, Stuff reported on Friday.
Newsroom has independently examined the account. The soldier has been running the page since he was released from military custody in late December.
The man, who has name suppression, was arrested on December 13 and has been charged with an “unauthorised disclosure of information” that is “likely to prejudice the security or defence of New Zealand” and “accessing a computer system for a dishonest purpose” to obtain “any property, privilege, service, pecuniary advantage, benefit, or valuable consideration”.
On the Twitter profile, the man has ranted against Jews, Māori and gay people and self-identified as a Nazi.
Tweets racist, anti-Semitic, homophobic
The soldier’s account, which was shut down on January 31, tweeted more than a thousand times since it began posting on December 29.
Two other social media accounts, including a Reddit account, belonging to the accused were removed between December 18 and December 29. An NZDF spokesperson told Newsroom that the military “has not been involved in the deactivation of the social media accounts of the accused,” but declined to say whether the soldier had been released or otherwise given access to the internet.
In numerous tweets, the soldier references eugenics-based conspiracy theories for the racial origins of Jews, says gay people deserve to be punched and dismisses Māori people as savages. After a Wellington synagogue was vandalised with neo-Nazi graffiti, the man claimed without evidence that the synagogue members themselves were responsible.
In one tweet, the man writes simply, “I’m racist”. In another, he says he is a Nazi.
Defence Force declines to comment
A spokesperson for the New Zealand Defence Force declined to comment. “We won’t be commenting further at this point as charges are laid against the accused,” the spokesperson said.
It remains unclear why the individual had access to the internet given the crimes he has been charged with relate to his computer use. He is under open arrest which, according to the Manual of Armed Forces Law, “involves only such restraint as may be necessary to ensure a continued presence”.
“A member of the Armed Forces under open arrest is to remain in uniform except when in his or her quarters. The member is to attend such parades or musters as may be required. The member is not to consume alcohol. He or she may perform his or her normal duties.”
The Defence Force refused to clarify whether any restrictions have been placed on the soldier, directing Newsroom to the above statement.
Soldier was co-founder of white nationalist Dominion Movement
After the soldier was charged, Stuff reported that he was a co-founder of the Dominion Movement, a far-right organisation that closed up shop after the March 15 terror attack.
The man has been in the military for at least five years. His friends and family have been interviewed by counter-terrorism detectives from the Combined Threat Assessment Group (CTAG).
The arrest took place on the morning of December 13. At 11:16 AM, an NZDF-run Linton community page wrote: “I’m sure you are aware of the presence of the New Zealand Police today in the Linton Housing area and on Camp. I can confirm that a soldier has been arrested.”
“I understand this may have caused concern for some people and I would like to assure you all there is no threat to the public or personnel.”
Stuff reported at the time “that an antique explosive dating back to World War I had been found,” during the arrest and that the accused was questioned by Police after the Christchurch terror attack, while he was in the military.
Links to far-right “monastic order”
On December 14, a far-right bodybuilding group called Wargus Christi posted in its Telegram channel that “one of our boys has been arrested for reasons still unknown. They have him in custody at the moment”.
A user believed to be Wargus Christi’s leader, Daniel Waring, later added that the person was in “military prison”.
Wargus Christi was started by neo-Nazi Waring in September. In 2010, Waring was convicted of vandalising a church in Feilding and told police that he was a member of Blood and Honour, a neo-Nazi skinhead group that is banned in Spain, Germany and Russia and considered a terrorist organisation by Canada. Waring later denied that he was a member of the group.
Wargus Christi claims it is a “martial-monastic Christian brotherhood” and mixes Crusades-inspired Christian extremist imagery with modern far-right memes.
The group’s Facebook page regularly engaged in homophobia, anti-Semitism, sexism and Islamophobia, such as an October 15 post in which it declared, “like Islam, Judaism is a diametrical enemy of Christ”. The page was removed after Newsroom reported the arrest in December.
A post shared on the group’s public-facing Telegram channel states that Jews “killed the son of God and [are] the child of Satan”. In a private Telegram chat, a member wrote, “Satan simply works through the jews (and women+gays)”.
The accused soldier had “liked” Wargus Christi’s Facebook page and claimed they were a member of the now-defunct far-right Dominion Movement in a Reddit post five days after the Christchurch terror attack.