Blood & Honour

Emma Best filed this request with the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States of America.

It is a clone of this request.

Tracking # 1363719-000, DOJ-AP-2017-001873
Due Jan. 25, 2017
Est. Completion None
Status
Awaiting Response

Communications

From: Michael Best

To Whom It May Concern:

This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act. I hereby request the following records:

Records relating to or mentioning Blood & Honour AKA Blood and Honour AKA Blood and Honor AKA Blood & Honor. Based in the United Kingdom, Blood & Honour is a shadowy international coalition of racist skinhead gangs. In the United States, two rival groups claim to be affiliated with Blood & Honour.

One faction, known as Blood & Honour America Division, was "reestablished" in North America by the skinhead group Volksfront in 2005 and includes skinhead, neo-Nazi and Christian Identity adherents in its ranks. The other group, which became known as Blood & Honour Council USA, was affiliated until recently with the skinhead group, the Vinlanders Social Club, but now is mainly represented by two skinheads who run a racist music label in Ohio and a racist video company in Texas.

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EXTREMIST GROUP INFO:
Date Founded 1987
Ideology Racist Skinhead
One faction, known as Blood & Honour America Division, was "reestablished" in North America by the skinhead group Volksfront in 2005 and includes skinhead, neo-Nazi and Christian Identity adherents in its ranks. The other group, which became known as Blood & Honour Council USA, was affiliated until recently with the skinhead group, the Vinlanders Social Club, but now is mainly represented by two skinheads who run a racist music label in Ohio and a racist video company in Texas.

In Its Own Words
"Eventually there will be a race war and we have to be strong enough in numbers to win it. I'll die to keep this country pure and if it means bloodshed at the end of the day, then let it be."
— Blood & Honour founder Ian Stuart Donaldson

"To achieve all of this we, and our European comrades, must above all have faith. Our enemies are strong, and presently we are relatively weak in numbers, but unbeatable in spirit. We must realize that we, and our enemies, are engaged in a struggle for the survival of the European races. If we fail we will be destroyed along with European civilization; and we must accept in our hearts, that if victory is eventually ours we must deal with our enemies in the most ruthless fashion. If we do not destroy their cancer at the root we will have to face up to its reincarnation at a later stage. We must have faith in this, our battle to the death."
— Ian Stuart Donaldson, on Blood & Honour website

Background
Blood & Honour (B & H) emerged from the 1980s skinhead music scene in England. The group was founded in 1987 by Ian Stuart Donaldson, (who eventually dropped his last name and became known as Ian Stuart), the lead singer for the seminal hate rock band Skrewdriver. The British group's formation was driven by disillusionment with the far-right National Front, where racist music groups had previously found a home. Stuart and other skinhead leaders rebelled against what they perceived as the National Front's growing racial tolerance. They also were tired of seeing the National Front use profits from racist skinhead music for the party's own benefit.

Blood & Honour was founded at a meeting organized by Stuart and attended by several prominent racist bands, including Brutal Attack, Sudden Impact, No Remorse and Squadron, and "representatives from political parties who would normally distance themselves from each other," according to the Blood & Honour Worldwide website. Blood & Honour, named for the slogan of the Hitler youth movement, published a slick magazine with a logo that featured a three-armed swastika. It also brought together racist groups that previously had been at odds and helped spur the growth of the racist skinhead movement beyond Britain. In the United States, former Klan leader Tom Metzger — a friend of Stuart's — played a key role in building up the movement.

After the death of Stuart in a car accident in 1993, the neo-Nazi group Combat 18 (C-18), which had originally served as a kind of armed security force for B & H, managed to gain control of Blood & Honour in England. Although Combat 18 initially maintained a tight grip on the organization, by 1996 many skinhead bands were accusing Combat 18 of profiteering from their music. This growing feud caused a split in the original Blood & Honour group. One faction remained loyal to the initial idea of promoting white power through music, while the other favored a more radical approach that included terrorism and assassinations.

This split followed the group to the United States, which saw the formation of two rival Blood & Honour groups, Blood & Honour America Division and Blood & Honour USA. Both claimed to fulfill Stuart's dream of a skinhead movement.

Blood & Honour America Division, seen as the white-power music scene devotees, consists of the skinhead groups Volksfront and Troops of Tomorrow, the Christian Identity groups Christian Guard and the Daughters of Yahweh, and the neo-Nazi White Revolution, among others. (Hammerskin Nation, the network of regional Hammerskin factions historically seen as dominating the U.S. racist skinhead world, has traditionally been allied with Blood & Honour America Division, but a rift developed between the two organizations in 2009 and the Hammerskins were removed from the Blood & Honour America Division's list of their officially sanctioned affiliates.) Blood & Honour America Division also specifies that it is not affiliated with Combat 18 and does not allow C-18 members at its events.

Volksfront recently purchased several acres of land, about an hour outside St. Louis, Mo., where they constructed the Samuel Weaver Memorial Hall in honor of Randy Weaver's son, who was shot and killed by federal agents during the infamous Ruby Ridge standoff in 1992. The land and buildings serves as national headquarters both for Volksfront and Blood and Honour America Division. The group held its 2008 and 2009 national meetings, or Althings, on the new property. The events have drawn many prominent white supremacists from Blood and Honour America Divison's supporting groups, including White Revolution and its head, Billy Roper; American Front skinheads and their leader David Lynch; and English skinhead turned B & H America member Del O'Connor.

Blood & Honour USA, originally advocating a more militant approach, has been allied with several regional skinhead groups that were not Hammerskins, and sought to formalize this anti-Hammerskin stance by creating a coalition of skinheads, neo-Nazis and even Klan members called Council 28. (Twenty-eight represents Blood and Honor, since the numerals two and eight correspond with the alphabetical placement of the letters B and H.)

The inaugural meeting of what would eventually become Council 28 occurred on Nov. 15, 2003, in Logan, Ohio. Dubbed a Blood & Honour Unity Gathering, the event took place on property owned by Kevin Kislingbury, a member of Blood & Honour USA. The participants came from four skinhead groups: the Keystone State Skinheads, the Ohio State Skinheads, the Hoosier State Skinheads and Blood & Honour USA, all non-Hammerskin organizations.

A second, larger gathering was held a year later, on Nov. 20, 2004. In addition to the four original skinhead groups, the meeting included the Scioto Skins, the Imperial Klans of America, and the neo-Nazi groups Christian Defense League and the National Socialist Movement. Although many Klan groups often don't associate with skinheads, the Imperial Klans of America most likely attended because its imperial wizard, Ron Edwards, is the father of Blood & Honour USA member Steven Edwards.

The coalition officially christened itself the Blood & Honour Council, or Council 28, at a meeting on Oct. 22, 2005. The invitation-only event was organized by the Vinlanders Social Club and Kislingbury, who once again hosted the gathering at his property in Logan, Ohio. Many of the Vinlanders' co-founders had been associated with the Outlaw Hammerskins, a rogue crew formed to defy Hammerskin Nation.

In attendance were some 60 members of skinhead groups from at least eight states: Blood & Honour Ohio, Blood & Honour Texas, the Ohio State Skinheads, the Keystone State Skinheads, the New Jersey Skins, the Canyon (Arizona) State Skinheads, the Hoosier State Skinheads and the Maryland Skins. Also represented were racist music labels such as Label 56, run by a member of the Maryland State Skinheads; the Imperial Klans of America's White Rider Records; ISD Records, headed by Kislingbury; the National Alliance's Resistance Records; and the racist video company NS88 Videos, run by Blood & Honour USA's Texas coordinator Bart Alsbrook.

At the meeting, skinhead leaders decided to join forces with the National Alliance in order to use the neo-Nazi group as their political arm. They also compiled a list of enemy individuals and groups that included then-National Socialist Movement coordinator Bill White, whom they accused of being an "admitted informant," and all members of Volksfront. The council proposed adopting "more mainstream lyrics" in addition to its blatantly racist ones, with an eye toward making money off concerts for the general public. In addition, some 15 skinheads passed the mead horn, a ritual in the racist variant of the Odinist religion.

The newly formed Council 28 became instrumental in helping the Imperial Klans of America — then one of the largest Klan groups — organize its 2006 Nordic Fest, a white power festival held on the IKA's property in Dawson Springs, Ky. Two new groups were inducted at the meeting: the Confederate State Skins and the Florida State Skins. More notably, a brawl erupted between a handful of members of the National Socialist Movement and roughly 50 skinheads. Subsequent Nordic Fests have been poorly attended, though it's unclear whether the decreased turnout is a result of that incident or a civil lawsuit filed against the IKA in 2007 by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

By 2009, it was unclear whether Council 28 was still active, since the state skinhead crews that created the council stopped using the Blood & Honour name. This was the result of a truce declared between the Hammerskins and Vinlanders in 2007. In the truce announcement Vinlander co-founder Brien James wrote, "[W]e as Vinlanders are not going to use the name Blood and Honour any longer. We are going to change our support patches and other logos to reflect this very soon. We still support our friends who run ‘Blood and Honour USA.' They have been good to us as friends, and brothers, and we will always stand by them. We will just not participate in, or carry on, a conflict that started overseas, and is more senseless than the one we are ending with the HSN."

In 1998, four members of the Tampa, Fla., chapter of Blood & Honour USA — Charles Marovskis, Kenneth Hoover, James Robertson and Corey Hulse — allegedly killed two homeless men in Florida. Both Marovskis and Hoover pleaded guilty to two federal charges of second-degree murder. Robertson pleaded innocent and remains in prison on a separate murder conviction. As of late 2009, Hulse had not been captured. Police say the skinheads beat the homeless men to death because they were considered inferior and because the skinheads wanted to boost their status within the movement.

Please conduct a search of the Central Records System, including but not limited to the Electronic Surveillance (ELSUR) Indices, the Microphone Surveillance (MISUR) Indices, the Physical Surveillance (FISUR) Indices, and the Technical Surveillance (TESUR) Indices, for both main-file records and cross-reference records of both HQ and all field offices for all relevant names, agencies, organizations, companies and events including but not limited to those cited in the previous paragraphs and/or links as well as a cross-reference with the Southern Poverty Law Center to include any information provided by the SPLC. My request includes but is not limited to 137, 157, 176, 177, 183, 184, 188, and 214 files. If previously released records are available, then I request a rolling release consisting of those records while additional records are located and processed for release.

I am a member of the news media and request classification as such. I have previously written about the government and its activities for AND Magazine, MuckRock and Glomar Disclosure and have an open arrangement with each. My articles have been widely read, with some reaching over 100,000 readers. As such, as I have a reasonable expectation of publication and my editorial and writing skills are well established. In addition, I discuss and comment on the files online and make them available through the non-profit Internet Archive, disseminating them to a large audience. While my research is not limited to this, a great deal of it, including this, focuses on the activities and attitudes of the government itself. As such, it is not necessary for me to demonstrate the relevance of this particular subject in advance. Additionally, case law states that “proof of the ability to disseminate the released information to a broad cross-section of the public is not required.” Judicial Watch, Inc. v. Dep’t of Justice, 365 F.3d 1108, 1126 (D.C. Cir. 2004); see Carney v. U.S. Dep’t of Justice, 19 F.3d 807, 814-15 (2d Cir. 1994). Further, courts have held that "qualified because it also had “firm” plans to “publish a number of . . . ‘document sets’” concerning United States foreign and national security policy." Under this criteria, as well, I qualify as a member of the news media. Additionally, courts have held that the news media status "focuses on the nature of the requester, not its request. The provision requires that the request be “made by” a representative of the news media. Id. § 552(a)(4)(A)(ii)(II). A newspaper reporter, for example, is a representative of the news media regardless of how much interest there is in the story for which he or she is requesting information." As such, the details of the request itself are moot for the purposes of determining the appropriate fee category. As such, my primary purpose is to inform about government activities by reporting on it and making the raw data available and I therefore request that fees be waived.

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 20 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Michael Best

From: FOIPARequest

Good morning,

The FBI has received your Freedom of Information Act/Privacy (FOIPA) request and it will be forwarded to Initial Processing for review. Your request will be processed under the provisions of FOIPA and a response will be mailed to you at a later date.

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From: Federal Bureau of Investigation

An acknowledgement letter, stating the request is being processed.

From: Michael Best

I am appealing the decision to not process my request for a fee waiver.

From: OIP-NoReply@usdoj.gov

01/26/2017 03:59 PM FOIA Request: DOJ-AP-2017-001873

From: OIP-NoReply@usdoj.gov

DOJ-AP-2017-001873 has been processed with the following final disposition: Closed for other reasons -- Other -- No Component Response to Adjudicate. Please be advised that because of an inadvertent administrative error, this Office closed out Appeal No. DOJ-AP-2017-001872 instead of DOJ-AP-2017-001873.  Our Office has discovered the error and has reopened Appeal No. DOJ-AP-2017-001872 for adjudication.  We are closing Appeal No. DOJ-AP-2017-001873 and resending the response letter.  We apologize for any confusion this inadvertent administrative error may have caused.

  • Best, Michael, DOJ-AP-2017-001873, FBI-Close no adverse FW determinati

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