White supremacist attempts to organize Alaskans

Posted: Monday, July 02, 2001

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- It's been a busy year for Alaska's neo-Nazis.

In March, leaflets urging white people to unite ''on the basis of common blood'' appeared on cars parked outside a community forum on racism.

A few weeks later, literature landed in the Juneau mailbox of every Alaska legislator warning about the ''anti-White political agenda of the Jew-controlled media'' and advising lawmakers to ''Protect your children from Sexually Transmitted Diseases, don't let them date non-Whites.''

In May, the group's local leader, David M. Pringle, stood outside a rock concert handing out fliers promoting certain compact discs as ''the Soundtrack for White revolution.''

''If I saw anyone wearing a Confederate flag, on a banner or shirt, I'd grab them and say, 'Hey, man, you need this,''' Pringle told the Anchorage Daily News.

The militant National Alliance, with headquarters in Hillsboro, W.Va., and chapters in about 30 states, planted itself in Anchorage 18 months ago with Pringle's arrival from New Mexico.

Pringle, a 32-year-old diesel mechanic who says Timothy McVeigh was right to blow up the federal building in Oklahoma City, has stepped up the campaign for Alaska members.

The timing, Pringle said, was good, with heightened racial concerns arising from the January paintball incident. He and other National Alliance members believe whites are getting ''bashed'' over the attacks, in which three white teen-agers targeted Alaska Natives.

The organization has a Web site and telephone line and recently established a mailing address in Fairbanks to complement one in Anchorage and one in Sitka.

''The growth in Alaska is great,'' Pringle wrote in a recent message to an online chat group, picked up by an Alabama organization that monitors hate groups. ''We have doubled our membership this year so far and hope to do even better as the year progresses.''

Pringle would not say how many members that is. But the National Alliance has caught the attention of organizations that track hate groups nationally.

''What's significant about them is they have grown substantially over the past number of years,'' said Devin Burghart of the Center for New Community, a Chicago-based anti-bigotry organization. ''The National Alliance is the largest and most dangerous neo-Nazi group in the United States today. Alaskans should take this threat very seriously.''

''They recruit a much higher-caliber recruit,'' said Joe Roy, a former police detective who directs the watchdog Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Ala. ''They want somebody that's got a job, who's in the system. They recruit active-duty military personnel, law enforcement personnel. They try to steal the cream of the cream of other groups.''

The founder and head of the National Alliance is William Pierce, a former physics professor, ex-member of the American Nazi Party and anti-Semite.

Pierce is perhaps most famous for writing, under a pseudonym in the late 1970s, ''The Turner Diaries,'' a lurid fantasy in which white revolutionaries rise up to assassinate liberals, blacks and Jews. Both McVeigh and his accomplice, Terry Nichols, read ''The Turner Diaries,'' which includes a scene in which radicals use a bomb, much like the one McVeigh and Nichols assembled, to blow up an FBI building.

When first asked for an interview, Pringle said he was concerned for his children, ages 3 and 2, and for his wife and 18-year-old stepdaughter, who ''don't share my beliefs.'' He feared that anti-fascist activists like those who had attacked an alliance member in the East might find out where he lives, he said. Pringle eventually agreed to be interviewed, to ''get a shot at some fair media coverage.''

Pringle said the goal of the National Alliance, establishment of a whites-only homeland, will take 40 to 50 years to fulfill.

He said he came to Alaska because of crime in Albuquerque and because his wife, a nurse, got a job here. And some Alaskans had expressed interest in the National Alliance, Pringle said.

The FBI and Anchorage Police Department are aware of the organization in Alaska but are not investigating it, the agencies said.

The FBI does ''view hate groups as potential domestic terrorists,'' Phillip Reid, special agent for Alaska, told the local Minority Community Police Relations Task Force at its May meeting. ''The good news is that none of these groups, to date, have committed any crimes'' in Alaska, Reid said. ''Because they haven't committed any crimes, we cannot investigate them, but we do monitor those groups.''

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