Federal Bureau of Investigation arrests suspected Neo-Nazis including former Canadian Army reservist

Patrik Mathews

The men appeared intent on covering their tracks, according to the affidavit: Lane instructed the undercover Federal Bureau of Investigation agent to rent a auto from another state to use on the night of the planned murders, and further advised the conspirators to not use clothes that could be identified with The Base, such as skull masks.

"We have seen some connection between USA -based neo-Nazis and overseas analogues", Wray said.

Luke Austin Lane, Jacob Kaderli, and Michael John Helterband were arrested on Wednesday on charges of conspiracy to commit murder and participation in a criminal gang, the Georgia newspaper Rome News Tribune first reported Thursday night.

The FBI confirmed Thursday that Patrik Mathews was arrested in DE by Baltimore FBI officers. The exhibit containing details of the charges is under seal by a Floyd County Superior Court judge. As federal agents moved in to arrest Lemley and Matthews on Thursday, the men smashed cellphones and tried to flush the pieces down a toilet, the prosecutor said.

Wray said that US violent extremists still by and large lack organizational structure and direction but that there are now individual terrorism suspects who travel overseas to get training - behavior similar to that of Americans inspired by the Islamic State or other groups.

Lemley and Bilbrough are also accused of transporting and harboring Mathews. a Canadian citizen and a former combat engineer in the Canadian Army Reserve, who is accused of illegally crossing into the United States from Canada in August.

In addition, Mathews had reportedly made trips to Georgia to train with members of the group, the New York Times reported.

In total, the arrests of the six men - three from Georgia, two from Maryland, and one from Canada - mark a broad-based law enforcement response to a group that has largely operated anonymously as its membership has grown in recent months.

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They were identified as Brian Mark Lemley Jr., 33; William Garfield Bilbrough IV, 19, and Patrik Jordan Matthews, a 27-year-old Canadian citizen and former combat engineer in the Canadian Army Reserve who was accused of entering the USA illegally in August. Lemley and Mathews both face federal firearms charges, the most serious of which accuse them of building a machine gun and amassing hundreds of rounds of ammunition, which they allegedly planned to bring to the rally in Virginia.

"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, the organization's military-style training camps, and ways to make improvised explosive devices", the complaint said.

Lemley, of Elkton, Maryland, and Mathews, a Canadian national now of Newark, Delaware were arrested in Delware. All three men were making initial court appearances Thursday afternoon in Greenbelt, Maryland.

Mathews is accused of illegally crossing into the United States - specifically, Minnesota - from Canada on August 19.

At the time Mathews was revealed as a recruiter for The Base, he was a combat engineer with a leadership position as a master corporal in the Canadian Army Reserves, 38 Canadian Brigade Group, and was living in Beausejour. A short time later, his vehicle was found just miles from the USA border and a cache of weapons was discovered in his home. He was last seen by family members in Beausejour, northeast of Winnipeg, on August 24, according to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

According to court documents, in November Lemley ordered a gun part online, and last month, along with Mathews, built a functioning assault rifle using that part.

Furthermore, according to the affidavit, Lemley, Mathews, and Bilbrough discussed The Base's activities and spoke about other members of the organization.

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