Saturday, June 3, 2023

Senior neo-Nazi slips out of Australia to fight Russian army

Another neo-Nazi extremist, former Australian Army soldier Conor Sretenovic, has been banned by ASIO from flying to Europe due to safety company issues he additionally needs to battle in Ukraine.

Sretenovic has been unable to go away Australia since former overseas minister Marise Payne cancelled his passport in 2020.

Conor Sretenovic, a former Australian Defence Force member, was the first neo-Nazi to have his passport cancelled on national security grounds.

Conor Sretenovic, a former Australian Defence Force member, was the primary neo-Nazi to have his passport cancelled on nationwide safety grounds.Credit:

Sretenovic has instructed associates he was interrogated by ASIO in late 2020 over the company’s concern he deliberate to construct on his earlier navy coaching in Australia by becoming a member of preventing forces in Ukraine.

Right-wing extremists from Western nations are amongst overseas fighters who’ve joined Ukraine’s defence forces to battle the Russian military, which invaded final yr.

Since Russian-backed separatists began a struggle within the nation’s east in 2014, far-right vigilantes have travelled to Ukraine to battle on either side.

The ultranationalist Azov Battalion beforehand had neo-Nazi hyperlinks, however Ukraine’s armed forces have sought to expel far-right adherents within the unit in any case non-public militias have been built-in into the nation’s navy in recent times.

Sretenovic dismissed claims by ASIO and NSW and Victorian counter-terror authorities that he was a member of secretive neo-Nazi group Antipodean Resistance, which believes in stoking a race struggle in Australia.

In September 2019, Sretenovic mentioned his stint within the Australian Army and the way it set him on the trail to extremism on a far-right on-line discussion board.

The Australian Defence Force can also be ramping up measures to determine and weed out right-wing extremists inside its ranks, after this masthead on Saturday revealed that three serving troopers had hyperlinks to neo-Nazi teams.


Newman and Sretenovic have each performed key roles in Australia’s right-wing extremist motion.

Newman, who has beforehand been jailed for violent offending in Victoria, has helped Australia’s largest neo-Nazi group, the National Socialist Network, forge connections amongst Aryan jail gangs and arrange a brand new cell in Tasmania.

On Wednesday, the mom of one of many troopers instructed The Age and Sydney Morning Herald her 26-year-old son had beforehand been investigated by the navy however was now not energetic in extremist circles. Before becoming a member of the navy, the still-serving soldier was in an extremist group led by National Socialist Network chief Tom Sewell.

ASIO Director-General Mike Burgess beforehand instructed this masthead the intelligence community was working closely with the ADF to forestall it unwittingly coaching white supremacists. But he mentioned some neo-Nazis have been “absolutely” making an attempt to hitch the armed forces by concealing their views when recruited.


“They can mask that, carry through, get well trained. And when they leave, they’re improved,” Burgess mentioned.

While neo-Nazi teams have an extended historical past of making an attempt to entry firearms and weapons coaching in Australia, different lesser-known fringe teams within the far-right neighborhood have additionally sought entry to weapons and searching permits.

Records reveal the NSW Department of Primary Industries has licensed a gaggle run by “white Australia” advocates the Australian Natives Association as an authorized searching organisation.

The natives affiliation was created by Matthew Grant, a self-professed “white Australia” advocate, who mentioned the searching organisation standing might assist members apply for his or her searching allow and gun licence, a course of that additionally requires vetting by NSW Police.


In an interview, Grant confused he was against neo-Nazism as a “foreign ideology” and that the Australian Natives Association was not an extremist group however moderately an organisation that “believes in a white Australia on social and economic grounds”.

Grant has for a number of years been on the periphery of Australian far-right circles, having addressed an anti-mosque Reclaim Australia rally in Bendigo in 2015 and beforehand promoted the Australian Natives Association on a podcast hosted by a determine from New Zealand extremist organisation Action Zealandia – a gaggle Grant mentioned he has since disowned.

“I wouldn’t be a [podcast] guest again,” he mentioned.

Grant mentioned the variety of Australian Natives Association members who had acquired a gun licence “was less than four” and the group’s curiosity in firearms was restricted to searching pest animals.

Asked whether or not it was applicable for Australian Natives Association members to carry gun licences or an authorized searching organisation registration, NSW Police mentioned it might not touch upon particular investigations, people, or teams however was monitoring the actions and rhetoric of racist and extremist teams.

The NSW Department of Primary Industries declined to touch upon the affiliation’s searching licence. “Approved hunting organisation status is only granted if applicants can prove their adherence to the NSW Game Hunting Licence Code of Practice,” it mentioned.

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