Thursday, March 03, 2005

Neo-Nazis Come to Kansas City

Judy Thomas reports in Thursday's Kansas City Star, "Neo-Nazis Setting Up Base in KCK"

The Aryan Nations — one of the most notorious neo-Nazi groups in the United States — is moving its national headquarters to Kansas City, Kan., causing alarm among civil rights groups.

The group's members, who believe that Jews are “the children of Satan” and African-Americans are “beasts of the field,” chose Kansas City, Kan., because of its central location, said “High Counsel” August B. Kreis III.

Kreis, who lives in Florida, said Wednesday that the Aryan Nations national director, Charles Juba, recently relocated to the metropolitan area from Pennsylvania with the aim of enlisting new members.

It was unclear how significant the move is, because the group has never revealed how many members it has and it is in the process of rebuilding after its leader was bankrupted as the result of a lawsuit in 2000.

A spokesman for the FBI in Kansas City could not be reached for comment. But those who watch the radical right said area residents should be concerned about such groups.

“I can say without equivocation that the (Aryan Nations) is the most violent wing of the white supremacist movement,” said Leonard Zeskind, president of the Kansas City-based Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights, and a board member of the Jewish Community Relations Bureau. “He (Juba) has vowed to rebuild the organization …”

More information on the Aryan Nations

Update March 5

Man at Center of Neo-Nazi Move Resigns
The man who recently relocated the national headquarters of the Aryan Nations to Kansas City, Kan., says that he is quitting the neo-Nazi organization.

Charles John Juba, who was national director of the white supremacist group, posted the announcement on the Aryan Nations' Web site early Friday.

“My decision is of a personal nature, as I will no longer hold office, represent or be a member of Aryan Nations,” Juba said. “For those kinsmen who know me at a personal level, understand my reasoning for this abrupt move, and I thank them for their support.”

Juba said he was appointing the group's high counsel, August B. Kreis III, of Sebring, Fla., as his successor.
There's still reason to be concerned, though.
“Regarding the abandonment of Kansas City as a base of locations: I reference you to al-Qaeda (The Base of Jihad) — whether they are operating out of a cave in Tora Bora or a training camp in the Sudan … the end result is the same,” Hall wrote.

Those who monitor the extremist movement said the community should not let its guard down at the news of Juba's resignation.

“It should be noted that in Juba's resignation letter, he does not distance himself from racism and anti-Semitism and the group's core ideas,” said Leonard Zeskind, president of the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights. “What it looks like to me is a temporary retreat in the face of massive public opinion.

“And all of us in the metropolitan area need to remember that the problem of organized bigotry has not reached a solution,” he added.
According to this KC Star story, the new headquarters for Aryan Nations will be Sebring, Flordia.
Kreis, who will take over as national director, said Juba would remain in the organization. Kreis did not know whether Juba would stay in Kansas City.

“He's not leaving the movement,” Kreis said. “He's just no longer the national director.”

Throughout the day Thursday — before Juba stepped down — reaction to the Aryan Nations' planned move to Kansas City, Kan., ranged from community outrage to promises from law enforcement agencies to monitor the group.

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