An active duty U.S. Marine was found to have belonged to a white supremacist group that took part in last summer’s deadly Charlottesville, VA riot, ProPublica reported.
Vasillios Pistolis, 18, who posted online under the name VasillistheGreek, was very proud of his work in Charlottesville— which killed three people and left dozens injured. Pistolis was a member of Atomwaffen Division, a secretive neo-Nazi organization whose members say they are preparing for a coming race war. The group espouses the overthrow of the U.S. government through acts of political violence.
“Today cracked 3 skulls open with virtually no damage to myself,” he reportedly posted on Aug. 12, 2017.
Leading up to the Unite the Right Rally, Pistolis was active in online chats, posting that he was prepared to kill someone “if shit goes down.”
Following the bloody weekend, Pistolis returned to work— as a U.S. Marine stationed in North Carolina.
Pistolis is not alone in simultaneously working to both serve his country, and to violently destroy it. Joshua Beckett, 26, who trained Atomwaffen members in firearms last fall, reportedly served in the Army from 2011 to 2015. Online, Beckett said that he worked as a combat engineer while in the army, making him a demolitions expert.
In chat room discussions, Beckett encouraged other Atomwaffen members to enlist in the military, so as to become skilled in the use of weaponry, and then turn their knowledge against the U.S. government, which he believed to be controlled by a secret cabal of Jews.
“The army itself woke me up to race and the war woke me up to the Jews,” Beckett wrote.
A spokesman for the Marine Corps, Major Brian Block, told ProPublica that the corps would be looking into Pistolis and would likely open a formal probe into his actions regarding Charlottesville.
“There is no place for racial hatred or extremism in the Marine Corps,” Block said. “Bigotry and racial extremism run contrary to our core values.”
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This story "Marine Leads White Supremacist Group" was written by Haley Cohen.