Thursday, February 22, 2024
27 C
Brunei Town

Five white nationalists sue Seattle man for allegedly leaking their identities

SEATTLE (AP) – Five people affiliated with white nationalist hate group Patriot Front are suing a Seattle-area man who they say infiltrated the group and disclosed their identities online, leading them to lose their jobs and face harassment.

The lawsuit was filed in United States (US) District Court for Western Washington, The Seattle Times reported on Tuesday.

The suit accuses David Capito, 37, also known as Vyacheslav Arkhangelskiy, of using a false name in 2021 when Patriot Front accepted him as a member.

Then, Capito allegedly took photos at the group’s Pacific Northwest gatherings, recorded members’ licence plates, and used hidden microphones to record conversations, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit also alleges that around November 2021, Capito got in touch with anarchist hackers known for targeting far-right groups, who helped him access Patriot Front’s online chats.

PHOTO: AP

Resulting leaks published online exposed the names, occupations, home addresses, and other identifying information about the group’s members, who had sought to hide their involvement.

“At a deeper level, this complaint seeks to vindicate the rule of law and basic principles of free expression for persons who espouse unpopular opinions,” the lawsuit stated. Capito did not respond by phone or email to messages from The Seattle Times.

The newspaper attempted to contact him through the now-defunct Washington nonprofit organisation with which he is registered.

Efforts by The Associated Press to reach him were also unsuccessful. The Patriot Front lawsuit lays out the group’s racist ideology in describing its collective objective: “reforge our people, born to this nation of our European race as a new collective capable of asserting our right to cultural independence.” It describes the group’s actions as provocative but nonviolent.

As a result of the members’ identities surfacing on the Internet – the five plaintiffs say they were fired from their jobs, threatened at their homes, and have had their tyres slashed, among other consequences, the lawsuit says.

Three of the plaintiffs have Washington state ties: Colton Brown who lived near Maple Valley and led the state’s Patriot Front chapter, James Julius Johnson from Concrete and his wife Amelia Johnson.

Brown and James Julius Johnson were among 31 Patriot Front members arrested in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, last year and charged with planning to riot at an event.

spot_img

Latest

spot_img