Published: Fri, January 17, 2020
Global News | By Blake Casey

Undocumented Canadian Neo-Nazi Arrested Ahead of Pro-Gun Rally, Report Says

Undocumented Canadian Neo-Nazi Arrested Ahead of Pro-Gun Rally, Report Says

The FBI has arrested three suspected members of a neo-Nazi group who had weapons and hopes of starting a United States race war, just days before a planned gun-rights rally in Virginia that was expected to draw thousands of people, officials said on Thursday.

Before he was relieved from his duties with Canadian Forces, Mathews was a combat engineer who achieved the rank of master corporal with the 38 Canadian Brigade Group in Winnipeg.

Tuesday's complaint charges Mathews, 27, and Brian Mark Lemley Jr., 33, of Elkton, Maryland, with transporting a firearm and ammunition with intent to commit a felony.

"Within the Base's encrypted chat rooms, members have discussed, among other things, recruitment, creating a white ethno-state, committing acts of violence against minority communities (including African-Americans and Jewish-Americans), the organization's military-style training camps, and ways to make improvised explosive devices".

He was taken into custody in DE on Thursday and is scheduled to appear in court in the afternoon.

Court documents saw Mathews illegally crossed into the USA near the Manitoba/Minnesota border on August 19, 2019.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam said in a tweet Wednesday there was credible intelligence from law-enforcement agencies of threats of violence surrounding the demonstration planned for Monday.

The Mounties nonetheless said they were treating his disappearance like any other missing-persons case and that an arrest warrant had not been issued.

The FBI says Lemley and Bilbrough drove together from Maryland to MI to pick up Mathews after he illegally entered the USA near the Manitoba/Minnesota border.

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While the complaint does not specifically allege the two had plans to carry out an attack at a pro-gun rights protest planned next week in Richmond, a law enforcement official confirmed to ABC News that the Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested the three under suspicion they might travel to the rally "in anticipation of a possible race war", as first reported by The New York Times.

According to a release, the three men are alleged members of the group "The Base", and have been charged with various firearms and alien charges. Mathews is seen here in an undated picture from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Winnipeg, Manitoba, last August.

Mathews, Lemley and Bilbrough are all suspected members of the white supremacist group The Base, according to a federal criminal complaint filed in Maryland District Court.

Lemley and Mathews then set up a residence in neighboring DE, where authorities say they started working to build an illegal assault rifle and acquire ammunition. Bilbrough, of Denton, Maryland, was arrested in Maryland.

The Canadian military's intelligence unit was investigating Mathews for "possible racist extremist activities" for several months, according to the Canadian Department of National Defense. In December, the three men gathered at an apartment that Lemley and Mathews rented in DE, where they discussed The Base and its activities and members, passed around the assault file and tried to make the drug DMT, a hallucinogen, according to court papers.

Both Lemley and Bilbrough face charges for transporting and harbouring Mathews, while Lemley is charged with transporting a machine gun in interstate commerce and for providing a firearm and ammunition to Mathews and transporting a firearm with the intent to commit a felony.

"Oh oops, it looks like I accidentally made a machine gun", Lemley told Mathews on January 2, according to the complaint. Court documents say Lemley had also ordered 1,500 rounds of ammunition and he and Mathews visited the gun range as recently as Saturday.

The men were arrested Thursday morning as part of the FBI's investigation into the group known as the Base.

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