White supremacists await sentencing for planning domestic terrorism

Two Base-affiliated white supremacists were arrested after law enforcement obtained recordings of them discussing plans of mass murder at a Virginia rally.

A neo Nazi attends a rally in Budapest October 23, 2009. The words, the motto of the S.S., read "my honor is my loyalty" (photo credit: LASZIO BALOGH/REUTERS)
A neo Nazi attends a rally in Budapest October 23, 2009. The words, the motto of the S.S., read "my honor is my loyalty"

Federal prosecutors in Maryland have recommended that white supremacists Brian Mark Lemley Jr. and Patrik Jordan Mathews be sentenced to 25 years in prison each for their plans to carry out domestic terrorism at a gun rights rally in Virginia and pleading guilty to firearms and immigration-related charges.

Both members of the "Base", Lemley and Mathews discussed plans to kill people including police officers and Blacks and break a murderer out of prison as well as plans of domestic terrorism.

The Base is a white supremacist group that recruits members through an online presence. Among their various postings on social media are calls for terror attacks and violent revolution against the state as well as encouraging people to seek out those who have committed "anti-White hate crimes" and "balance the scales."

For Lemley, however, the Base is not the first white supremacist group that he has been affiliated with. 

One of the pieces of evidence presented against him was an email he sent to the Northwest Front, a neo-Nazi "republic", in 2017. In it, Lemley was notifying the Front that his great grandmother was Jewish and requesting to dispute the "jewyness" in his bloodline. The Northwest Front eventually responded to him, after which he became a member, tweeting in support of the Front and its values.

In 2018, Lemley joined the League of the South white nationalist group and attended its Christmas party.

In 2019, he sent an email to the Base with an application to join the group. When asked for more information, he sent another long email stating his white supremacist values, calling for another civil war in the US and denying the Holocaust. He was apparently admitted and the Base's leader then posted a photo taken by Lemley of a Base flyer that he had posted to a fast food restaurant.

A Nazi armband with a swastika displayed in the Deutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin, Germany (credit: Wikimedia Commons)A Nazi armband with a swastika displayed in the Deutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin, Germany (credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Lemley then retweeted a series of tweets by the Base that encouraged violence and white nationalism, as well as tweeting to multiple people, encouraging them to join the white supremacist group. He also attended two training camps run by the Base where he was taught survival skills and how to use firearms.

He also took part in encrypted online chats with other Base members, discussing plans to evade law enforcement and what to do if law enforcement showed up to arrest them. In messages he sent to the group, Lemley expressed his urge to kill people, specifying in one message that he wanted to kill a federal agent.

PATRIK JORDAN MATHEWS was identified as a member of the Base by a reporter from the Winnipeg Free Press who infiltrated the organization in 2019. In order to be accepted to join them, the reporter had to attend an in-person interview conducted by Mathews.

The day the reporter's article was published, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police searched Mathews house, finding a list of mass shootings in his garbage. He then fled Canada and illegally entered the US.

Upon Mathews' arrival, Lemley assisted him by driving him to various locations and supplying him with "burner" phones – prepaid, disposable cell phones.

Mathews and Lemley moved around together until they were arrested in Delaware, where law enforcement found an assault rifle that they had built and videos of Mathews espousing antisemitism and racism.

In recordings of conversations between the two that were obtained via social media, the men discussed murder at length and, in particular, talked about killing a police officer in order to steal his weapons and gear.

In another conversation, they could be heard talking about how to break Dylan Roof out of prison. Roof is in prison for the Charleston Church shooting, in which he murdered nine African-Americans during bible study.

Another conversation had Mathews describing an idea to mass murder black people in a method that held great similarity to the shooting pits where the Nazis murdered Jews during the Holocaust.

Other topics included toppling the system by messing with rail lines and cell towers and how Jews and Black people were bringing about a white genocide. 

Additionally, the men were eager to start a major insurrection in Virginia, where Democrats controlled both chambers of the legislature, and Base members felt they would pass laws to specifically target white nationalists. Recorded conversations between the two had them discussing how they would systematically mass murder people at a rally to support gun rights as well as plans to specifically target Virginia House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn.

Federal agents arrested Lemley and Mathews in January 2020, and they pleaded guilty in a June 2021 trial. They are set to be sentenced at the end of October.