Marines investigate San Diego reservist’s alleged ties to Patriot Front

A San Diego-based Marine Corps reservist is under investigation by the Marines after membership interviews with a white supremacist hate group were leaked by activists and highlighted in a subsequent Southern Poverty Law Center report on the high percentage of applicants who claimed military ties.

In its report, the SPLC found that 1 in 5 applicants to Patriot Front claimed to be either on active duty or veterans of the military. It highlighted one applicant who said he was a San Diego-based Marine veteran.

Local activists noted that Cpl. Victor Krvaric, 21, has the same biographical details — such as age, job titles and family background — as the anonymous applicant cited in the SPLC report. Krvaric is a son of Tony Krvaric, former chairman of the San Diego County Republican Party.

San Diego activists affiliated with “The Activated Podcast” were the first to point to Krvaric as possibly being the unnamed person in the SPLC report. In a detailed Twitter thread Wednesday, the podcast pointed to the similarities between Krvaric and the applicant, who is named in the leaked chats as “Interviewee 441515.”

A Marine Corps Reserve spokesperson confirmed Wednesday that the service is investigating whether Krvaric is the interviewee in the leaked communications.

“The Marine Corps investigates when a command receives information that a service member may be involved in active participation with an extremist organization or extremist activity,” Lt. Col. Craig Thomas, a spokesperson for the Marine Forces Reserve, said in a statement. “There is no place for extremism in the Marine Corps. Our strength is derived from the individual excellence of every Marine regardless of background. Bigotry and racial extremism run contrary to our core values.”

Military members are prohibited from participating in extremist organizations, and the Pentagon has increased efforts to root out extremism in its ranks after veterans and active-duty service members took part in the the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

Krvaric did not respond Tuesday to a text message sent to a number associated with him. When a San Diego Union-Tribune reporter called Wednesday morning, a young man answered, refused to identify himself and hung up.

Krvaric joined the Marines in July 2018 and is assigned to the Selected Marine Corps Reserve as a light-armored-vehicle Marine. He’s assigned to the 4th Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion at Camp Pendleton, the Marines said.

According to the SPLC, Patriot Front was founded after breaking off from neo-Nazi group Vanguard America in the wake of the deadly 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Va. Its founder, Thomas Rousseau, led Vanguard America members at the rally.

A man photographed holding a Vanguard America shield, James Fields Jr., went on to drive his car into a crowd of anti-racist protesters, killing one. In 2019, Fields was convicted of murder and federal hate crimes and sentenced to life in prison. The group denied Fields was a member.

In January, activists from the reporting collective Unicorn Riot published more than 400 gigabytes of leaked Patriot Front communications.

“Ostensibly private, unedited videos and direct messages reveal a campaign to organize acts of racial hatred while indoctrinating teenagers into national socialism (Nazism),” Unicorn Riot said in a story announcing the leak. The Union-Tribune was unable to independently confirm the authenticity of the documents. Rousseau, the Patriot Front leader, confirmed in a podcast Jan. 27 that his organization had been hacked.

In a membership interview report, “Interviewee 441515″ told Patriot Front that he believed in antisemitic conspiracy theories and that non-Europeans shouldn’t be allowed in the U.S. unless they were “doctors” or a “net positive” to the economy.

The applicant discussed the Marine Corps during his interview, according to the leaked documents, saying he had a tumultuous experience, including a fight at a Marine Corps ball. He also told Patriot Front that he “found out about Jews” after joining the Corps.

The applicant told the group he was working as a guard with the Department of Homeland Security, handling inmate check-ins. According to his LinkedIn account, Krvaric works for contractor Stratus Security Management, handling detainees for the Department of Homeland Security.

The applicant also told the group he works for his father’s financial practice. Krvaric’s father is the president and chief executive of Krvaric Capital & Risk Management. Krvaric is listed on the company’s website as a client service associate.

Krvaric’s father did not respond to a request for comment, nor did Homeland Security and the contracting company.

The interviewee told the group he was 21 years old and living in San Diego, and said that he was a first-generation immigrant and that both of his parents were from Sweden. Krvaric’s father was born and raised in Sweden before immigrating to the U.S. in 1992, he previously told Voice of San Diego.

The interviewee also told Patriot Front he had previously been “doxxed,” or had his identity revealed, at a Black Lives Matter protest. Krvaric was identified at a Black Lives Matter protest in August 2020 when protesters accused him of antagonizing them.

The Patriot Front interviewee credited his brother with exposing him to extremist ideology. Krvaric’s brother, Oliver Krvaric, 23, is a former head of the San Diego State College Republicans. While in charge of the organization, Oliver Krvaric pushed the group to the far right and frequently engaged with and retweeted accounts affiliated with the white nationalist “Groyper” movement, according to the Daily Aztec, a student newspaper.

An archived screenshot of an Instagram account alleged to be Victor Krvaric’s, published by KPBS, shows that at one time he also identified as a “Groyper.”

Patriot Front has been active in San Diego since at least 2018, when its fliers were distributed at San Diego State. The fliers, which featured the white supremacist slogan “Not stolen, conquered” over a graphic of the continental United States, were found in a Daily Aztec newsstand near the university’s music building. They also featured the group’s website.

Another former Marine, Lance Cpl. Thomas Martin, shared the same graphic on social media in 2019. Martin was kicked out of the Marines after a Union-Tribune investigation into his social media accounts.

It’s not the first time the group has had its communications leaked by Unicorn Riot. In 2019, Discord messaging app chat logs from several extremist groups were published, including those of Patriot Front. Some of the chats revealed details about extremist activity on San Diego college campuses.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *