The U.S. State Department on Thursday designated a Russian white supremacist movement as a global terror organization.
The State Department designated the Russian Imperial Movement (RIM) as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist, or SDGT, as countering the threat of white supremacist terrorism is a priority in the Trump Administration.
“Today’s actions are possible because of an order President Trump signed in September of last year – the most significant expansion of federal terrorism sanctions authorities since the aftermath of 9/11,” Coordinator for Counterterrorism Ambassador Nathan Sales stated in his opening remarks.
“We’re also designating three of RIM’s leaders as SDGTs: Stanislav Anatolyevich Vorobyev, Denis Valliullovich Gariyev, and Nikolay Nikolayevich Trushchalov,” Ambassador Sales said.
“These designations are unprecedented. This is the first time the United States has ever designated foreign white supremacist terrorists, illustrating how seriously this administration takes the threat. We are taking actions that no previous administration has taken to counter this threat.”
RIM is a terrorist group that provides paramilitary-style training to neo-Nazis and white supremacists, and it plays a prominent role in trying to rally like minded Europeans and Americans into a common front against their perceived enemies.
The organization operates two training facilities in St. Petersburg, which are likely being used for woodland and urban assault, tactical weapons, and hand-to-hand combat training.
In answering reporters’ questions, Ambassador Sales said: “First of all, this designation denies RIM and its leaders and its members access to the United States financial system. Any assets that they had in the United States or that are subject to U.S. jurisdiction are now frozen. We think that that’s going to make it substantially more difficult for them to move money throughout the international financial system.
“A second consequence that I would flag is today’s announcement makes it easier for our officials at the borders to stop RIM-related individuals from ever seeking to travel to the United States. It enhances our watchlisting capability and our general border security posture with respect to this group.”