Summary: Since the end of 2017, the fascist/white supremacist organization Patriot Front has distributed thousands of flyers throughout Metro Atlanta and placed a significant number of stickers and posters throughout the region. Patriot Front’s mission is to rebrand neo-Nazi and white supremacist belief as American patriotism. Patriot Front formed as a splinter group from Vanguard America, after someone linked to Vanguard America murdered a protester at last year’s “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia – a bloody event which led to a reversal of fortune for organized white nationalists in the US. Although Patriot Front’s existence has been short, the organization has been growing. Political violence is at the center of Patriot Front’s apocalyptic vision of national rebirth from the ashes of “failed” democracy. In Georgia, the heart of Patriot Front is someone who goes by the name of “Chris GA” in online Patriot Front discussion. Through conducting additional research on “Chris GA” we have identified him as Lawrenceville, Georgia resident Aaron Christopher Krueger. This identification was further verified through surveillance on Krueger’s Lawrenceville address.
On the morning of March 10, residents of the Candler Park area in Atlanta woke up to find plastic bags weighted down with pebbles strewn on their porches and driveways. Inside the bags were quarter-sheet flyers blaming “a global, rootless elite” for handing over the United States to a “migrant underclass” and trying to “beat the founding stock of the nation into submission.” The small flyers were signed “PATRIOT FRONT.”
In other parts of Candler Park, larger flyers from the same organization were left behind car windshield wipers, announcing that “Democracy has failed you” amongst other things. In the nearby Little Five Points district, stickers and posters from Patriot Front covered the area, offering slogans such as “Not Stolen – Conquered” (featuring a picture of the contiguous United States) and “Patriots! Reclaim Your Birthright” (featuring a masked, flag-carrying, muscular white man). The Saturday before, Patriot Front members had targeted Little Five Points – described in their internal discussions as the “f[*]ggot/commie area” of Atlanta – with an earlier round of stickers and posters placed during the day. Materials from the fascist organization were removed almost immediately. The next week, however, the early morning propaganda distribution was far more extensive, with many flyers thrown around Candler Park with the bag-and-rock method more typically associated with Klan groups. The media picked up the story of a white supremacist group targeting the Atlanta neighborhood; TV coverage was subsequently reused in a Patriot Front recruitment video.
Even before March 10, fascists within the Patriot Front organization had stated that they were “really loving the activity level” in Georgia, suggesting that it was setting the pace for the organization nationally in terms of propaganda distribution. On leaked discussion messages from a Discord chat server for Patriot Front, a user named “Chris GA” showed himself as central to propaganda efforts in Georgia. In addition to placing Patriot Front stickers and assisting a Patriot Front banner drop, “Chris GA” has distributed thousands of flyers for the organization since late 2017. We can now reveal that “Chris GA”is Lawrenceville resident Aaron Christopher Krueger.
Before discussing our identification of Krueger as the most active Patriot Front member in Georgia, we will discuss that organization’s history and agenda. (If you only want to know about our identification of Krueger, just skip one section.) At the end of this article, we include a chronology of major Patriot Front activity in our state since late 2017, which shows just how busy Aaron Krueger has been.
Patriot Front: Agenda and History
Although Patriot Front is a white power organization, its founding manifesto does not use the word “white” even once, writing instead about “our European ancestors” and of an American “national spirit […] firmly rooted in our blood.”The organization claims that the United States exists by nature of its (white) “founding stock” and that “stock’s” conquering spirit. The organization is clear that it thinks people of color born in the United States are not Americans – and presumably should not have the rights of citizens reserved for people of the “founding stock.” Patriot Front desires a “hard reset” for the American nation, which it views as having fallen into degeneracy. The organization’s graphic design is typically in red, white, and blue. Its emblem is the fasces – the primary symbol of fascism – surrounded by thirteen stars, seemingly representing the thirteen original colonies.
To understand Patriot Front’s attempts to rebrand fascist and white supremacist politics as American patriotism, one must know something of the organization’s history. Patriot Front began as split-off from the racist and fascist Vanguard America organization. Vanguard America was earlier called American Vanguard, and Reaction America before that. That group emerged on IronMarch.org – a now-offline message board describing itself as a “global fascist fraternity” – in 2015. The same year, the Atomwaffen Division – a neo-Nazi organization now linked to several murders – was also born on IronMarch. Compared to the rabid neo-Nazis of Atomwaffen, Reaction America / American Vanguard / Vanguard America tried to moderate its image to some small degree, hoping to draw recruits from the Alt-Right or other parts of the far-Right. Vanguard America (American Vanguard) was nevertheless clear about its politics, stating that it wished to “recapture the glory an Aryan nation deserves” and decrying the influence of “rootless […] international Jews.”
In 2017, Vanguard America joined the “Nationalist Front” white power alliancealong with the National Socialist Movement, League of the South, and the now-collapsed Traditionalist Worker Party. At the Nationalist Front rally in Pikeville, Kentucky in late April 2017, Vanguard America’s leader claimed that Vanguard America had approximately 200 members in twenty states.
Then Charlottesville happened. At the “Unite the Right” rally of August 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia, Vanguard America members marched in together chanting “Blood and soil!” – a slogan associated with Nazism. (This slogan is also referenced in Patriot Front’s domain name, which once belonged to Vanguard America.) At Unite the Right, James Alex Fields, Jr. was photographed standing with Vanguard America members, holding a shield with a Vanguard America logo, and wearing the same white shirt and khaki pants outfit as Vanguard members. Later that day following street violence and police declaring Unite the Right to be an “unlawful assembly,” Fields performed an ISIS-style vehicular attack on anti-racist protesters, injuring dozens and murdering Heather Heyer. Vanguard America denied that Fields was ever a member of their organization – stating that holding a shield did not denote organizational membership – but did not denounce Fields’ attack.
At the end of August, Thomas Rousseau – a young but high-ranking member of Vanguard America, split from the organization to form Patriot Front, seizing group resources and taking many members with him. The split and rebranding as Patriot Front was partly due to disputes and power struggles which predated Charlottesville. However, Rousseau’s red, white, and blue rebranding of fascism and white supremacy was also an attempt to provide a more acceptable veneer for the group’s politics, making it easier to recruit in the post-Charlottesville environment. At roughly the same time, the notorious neo-Nazi website the Daily Stormer made a similar call to its readers, urging them to organize under the cover of “American Nationalism”. With the Vanguard / Patriot Front break, the remainder of Vanguard America stopped tempering its image whatsoever. For example, Vanguard America publicly circulated photographs of group members holding Nazi flags. Since the time of the split, Patriot Front has grown while Vanguard America has declined.
While Patriot Front changed how Nazi-inspired politics are presented to potential recruits, from within the organization there is no hiding what the group is about. For example, below is a picture posted by Patriot Front member “Chris GA” – the subject of our article – to a Patriot Front online chat. This picture is allegedly of his living space. (The image was deleted from the Patriot Front chat server, before that server was archived and leaked to the public. It therefore does not appear in the Unicorn Riot journalism collective’s “Discord Leaks” database.)
Patriot Front may care about branding, but the organization thrives in an atmosphere of violence. Fight training features prominently in Patriot Front recruitment materials. One of Patriot Front’s first major actions as an organization was a mass presence outside the Houston anarchist book fair in September 2017 – clearly a display designed to intimidate political rivals. The next month, Patriot Front affiliate William Fears (who also took part in the Houston action) was arrested along with two others, after a shot was fired at an anti-racist protester after “Alt-Right” leader Richard Spencer’s speech at the University of Florida in Gainesville. More recently, a nineteen-year-old in Illinois linked to Patriot Front was arrested over his weapons cache.
It is not safe to assume that just because Patriot Front in Georgia has been most visible through propaganda distribution efforts, that propaganda distribution is all they are involved with. More likely, their propaganda spree is an attempt to lay the groundwork for other activity.
How We Know that Patriot Front Member “Chris GA” is Aaron Christopher Krueger of Lawrenceville
It is clear from leaked Patriot Front discussion that “Chris GA” is at the heart of Patriot Front activity in Georgia. For example, “Chris GA” appears to have been distributing Patriot Front literature in the state even before he teamed up with others (see chronology at the end of this article for further detail). Here is how we know that the real identity of “Chris GA” is Aaron Christopher Krueger of Lawrenceville, Georgia:
- In Patriot Front discussion, user “Chris GA” posted a screenshot of him promoting the Patriot Front website through YouTube “super chats,” which allow users to pay for their comments being highlighted during a livestream. It is clear from the screenshot that the YouTube account for “Chris GA” was named “CaptainAwesome X”.
- While the YouTube account had been deactivated, traces remained in search engine results. Researching the “CaptainAwesome X” user name, we found comments mocking the Holocaust, using the term “k[*]ke,”complaining about immigration, advocating white pride, and labeling refugee populations in Europe “rapefugees” (a popular theme on the extreme Right). In addition, a YouTube video once on the “CaptainAwesome X” channel offered a military-surplus diesel generator for sale, providing the name Aaron, the location of Lawrenceville, as well as a phone number.
Further research on the phone number provided a more complete name: Aaron Krueger.
- Lawrenceville, Dacula and vicinity appeared to be the rough epicenter of Patriot Front propaganda activity in Georgia.
We noticed that Aaron Christopher Krueger not only had a Lawrenceville address, but had earlier lived in Dacula.
- Through a source, we obtained video of Patriot Front tossing out flyers in Georgia. While the person throwing the flyers wears a ski mask, the camouflage-painted vehicle in the video is distinctive.
Observing the Lawrenceville address for Aaron Christopher Krueger, we found the same distinctive vehicle parked outside.
We are therefore confident that Lawrenceville resident Aaron Christopher Krueger is “Chris GA,” the Patriot Front member at the heart of the fascist propaganda drive in our state.
When racist propaganda mysteriously appears in suburban subdivisions – or in an Atlanta district with a long history of fighting neo-Nazi organizing – the result can be a climate of fear. People do not know, for example, whether there is a large organized group in the area, or whether acts of violence could be next. In exposing the most active distributor of Patriot Front propaganda in our state, we hope to alleviate some of this fear. We believe that Aaron Christopher Krueger could indeed be dangerous, in ways that go beyond placing stickers or throwing flyers throughout neighborhoods. Those living in Krueger’s community should therefore be vigilant. However, now that Krueger has been exposed, we hope to have at least dispelled the feeling that “it could be anyone” in charge of the propaganda campaign. As the chronology at the end of this article makes clear, it is only a small number of Patriot Front members behind propaganda efforts in our state. While even a small cadre of dedicated neo-Nazis should cause concern, if Patriot Front tried to cultivate the impression of broader support or larger numbers in Georgia, that effort has now failed.
We actively seek information on other Patriot Front participants in Georgia. We also appeal for additional information on Aaron Christopher Krueger, for example his workplace. If you can help us on any of these matters, please get in contact.
Appendix: Chronology of Patriot Front Propaganda Activity in Georgia, Late 2017 – Present
(1) Part 1: Activity discussed on the leaked “Front and Center” Discord server:
- Mid-December 2017: “Chris GA”/Aaron Krueger claimed that he placed Patriot Front materials at the Mall of Georgia (Buford, GA) “twice so far.” He also stated he had “plastered one entrance to a subdivision […] and finished at another park.”
- December 24, 2017: Two hundred Patriot Front flyers were placed behind windshield wipers at Hebron Baptist Church in Dacula, GA. Krueger stated: “I had help from a friend. He put in his application yesterday.”
- December 31, 2017: “Chris GA”/Krueger placed posters at Stone Mountain Park outside Atlanta, long an attraction for white supremacists. Krueger states that he had help from “Maximus GA,” a new user on the Patriot Front discussion server (and likely the friend who helped on December 24).
- January 7, 2018: Krueger and “Maximus GA” place flyers on “190-ish cars” outside 12Stone Church in Lawrenceville. Krueger and “Maximus GA” then placed Patriot Front posters in downtown Lawrenceville.
- January 14, 2018: Krueger and “Maximus GA” place approximately 300 flyers on car windows, at the 12Stone Church location in Snellville, Georgia.
- January 27, 2018: Patriot Front members place stickers and posters around Macon, Georgia. Macon is in Central Georgia, away from Metro Atlanta and further afield than previous propaganda efforts. In addition to Aaron Krueger, Patriot Front members “Ablesmith,” “Maximus GA” and a fourth individual participate in this action.
- On or around February 3, 2018: Patriot Front drop a banner at Woodward Mill Road in Buford, Georgia. Aaron Krueger, “Maximus GA” and “Ablesmith” participate. Since leaked Patriot Front discussion shows one other banner created by Krueger, it is possible (but not certain) that some other banner drop could have taken place before this incident.
- Night of February 3-4, 2018: Aaron Krueger/“Chris GA” states that he is “Going out to a few local neighborhoods and dropping these on driveways,” accompanied by a photograph of large quantities of Patriot Front flyers in zip-lock bags with gravel for weight.
- Night of February 13-14, 2018: According to Patriot Front discussion, Krueger, “Ablesmith,” and “Maximus GA” made “600 more 1/4 page flyers in bags” and were “Throwing them out now.”
- February 24, 2018: Patriot Front stickers and posters placed in Lawrenceville. (Images were posted early February 25 by both Krueger and “Maximus GA,” but presumably material went up the day before.) In addition, “Ablesmith” posts images of Patriot Front stickers on February 25– also likely from the day before, although location of photos is unclear.
- On the night of February 24-25, Krueger also posted a photo of several large boxes of flyers in zip-lock bags. Stating that he had one thousand, “Chris GA”/Krueger wrote that he was getting started “throwing them in people’s driveways.”
- March 3, 2018: Krueger placed stickers and posters in the Little Five Points district of Atlanta, accompanied by “Maximus GA” as well as “Vlad TN”. These materials were removed almost immediately by anti-racists.
(2) Part 2: More recent activity, since leak of Patriot Front discussion logs:
- Early morning, March 10, 2018: Large quantities of Patriot Front propaganda strewn through the Candler Park area of Atlanta. In addition, more posters and stickers were placed in the nearby Little Five Points district. Commenting the week before about the quick removal of Patriot Front materials in Little Five Points, Krueger had vowed: “I will [poster] again. Probably in the dead of night and plaster the whole town.” This early-morning mass distribution of Patriot Front materials appears to have been Krueger’s promised response.
- Late March 2018: Patriot Front flyers thrown around the Ivey Pointe subdivision and other areas near Bramlett Shoals Road in Lawrenceville.
- April 1, 2018: Hundreds of Patriot Front flyers in zip-lock bags weighted with pebbles were thrown in the early morning throughout Braselton, Georgia. The flyers urged recipients to “Keep America American” by reporting immigrants to ICE.
- Late April 2018: The Hamilton Mill neighborhood of Dacula and possibly other locations were targeted with Patriot Front flyers. A post on Patriot Front social media dated April 24, stated that members of the organization had “passed out 1000 flyers in Atlanta suburbs.”
- May 5, 2018: Patriot Front return to Candler Park neighborhood and Little Five Points in Atlanta, placing stickers in both locations. The propaganda is quickly removed.
- May 6, 2018: Post on Patriot Front social media claims that members had recently “cleaned up litter and trash” in Gwinnett County.
- May 8, 2018: Television news reports Patriot Front flyers scattered around the Lake Claire neighborhood of Atlanta, not far from Candler Park. This may have occurred on the same night (May 4-5) as Patriot Front stickers were placed in Little Five Points and Candler Park.