White nationalists shared bomb-making manuals online

The PDFs included instructions for making detonators, grenades and homemade C-4.

White Supremacists doing the 'Roman Salute' in order to antagonize the protesters in Shelbyville, Tennessee, Illinois, US on 28 Ocotber 2017.  (Photo by Shay Horse/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
White Supremacists doing the 'Roman Salute' in order to antagonize the protesters in Shelbyville, Tennessee, Illinois, US on 28 Ocotber 2017. (Photo by Shay Horse/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Leaked logs from white nationalist chat rooms reveal that its members have shared dozens of manuals highlighting how to effectively manufacture home-made explosives, as well as hand grenades, land mines and incendiary weapons.

The documents were passed around by members of the far-right group Anticom (Anti-Communist Action), which models itself as a “counter” to Antifa. The PDFs were posted in a private Dropbox, which was then linked to the Anticom chat room on Discord. Titles included “Explosive Mixtures Detonating at Low Velocity”, “Undetectable Grenades”, “Middle Eastern Terrorist Bomb Designs” and “Improvised Primary Explosives.” There are also instructions on how to use assault rifles and machine guns.

The logs were leaked online by the left-wing media collective Unicorn Riot, which spent months undercover in white nationalist chat rooms in the run-up to Charlottesville, and is now exposing the extent of white nationalists’ planning and tactics.

The documents were originally posted in April, but only revealed by Unicorn Riot on Wednesday. Many of them are already readily available online, and it is unclear whether any members of Anticom actually used the PDFs to manufacture explosives. However, the fact that a group which talks openly about the “Jewish Question” has shared 47 manuals on explosives and weapons should be cause for alarm, especially since white nationalists have already proven their ability to radicalize lone wolves.

Anticom began as an organization on 4chan’s /pol/ board in February, a representative told the right-wing site Hidden Dominion. “Many users of the site, including myself, were concerned with the levels of violence being employed by the radical left in recent weeks,” they said. “Many members of the right recognized the need for a grassroots group to defend innocents against leftist terrorism.”

The representative stressed that Anticom has no official political stance and that “civil service has been one of our core tenets”. In a tweet on Thursday night, Anticom said that the explosive PDFs on Discord were linked by “unvetted guests.”

Unsurprisingly however, neither of these explanations stand up. Much of Anticom’s Discord chatter, with its racism, antisemitism and seeming desperation for violence, is indistinguishable from other white nationalist chat rooms. Earlier in October, a former member of Anticom said he was ejected from the group for disagreeing with its lurch towards neo-Nazism.

“I was thrown out…because I refused to agree to associate our brand with Richard Spencer and the bullshit of Charlottesville,” he told left-wing blog It’s Going Down. “I didn’t join the group to be involved with neo-Nazis.”

Anticom also has strict rules for joining and remaining a member, so it seems unlikely that “unvetted guests” could get away with posting dozens of documents.

In the wake of Charlottesville, tech companies have attempted to crack down on hate speech being spread on their platforms. Reddit recently banned several white nationalist groups, and the Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi site, has also been shut down. Discord, which was previously highly popular among white nationalists, banned several major white nationalist groups from its platform following the Unite the Right rally.

Still, as white nationalists get backed into more online corners, the likelihood that they’ll lash out grows — and now, these PDFs have provided them with a know-how to do so violently.