Leaked chat messages, images and videos from the server of a white supremacist group called the Patriot Front purport to show its leader and rank-and-file members conspiring in hate crimes, despite their claims that they are a legitimate political organization.
Patriot Front, or PF, was formed after the 2017 Unite the Right rally, a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that resulted in one death and 35 injuries when a rallygoer rammed his car into a crowd of counter-protesters. PF founder Thomas Rousseau started the group after an image posted online showed the now-convicted killer, James Alex Fields, Jr., posing with members of Vanguard America shortly before the attack. Vanguard America soon disbanded and was renamed PF by Rousseau in order to conceal any involvement in violence.
Since then, PF has striven to present itself as a group of patriots aligned with the ideals and values of the founders who defeated the tyranny of the British colonists in the 18th century and paved the way for the birth of the United States. In announcing the formation of PF in 2017, Rousseau wrote:
The new name was carefully chosen as it serves several purposes. It can help inspire sympathy among those more inclined to sit on the fence and can easily be justified by our ideology. [sic] and worldview. The original American patriots were nothing less than revolutionaries. The word patriot itself comes from the same root as paternal and patriarch. It means loyalty to something intrinsically based on blood.
Turbo cans and cement for rubber roofing
but a published report Y leaked data the report is based on presenting a markedly different picture. The chat messages, images, and videos purport to show Rousseau and other PF members discussing the defacement of numerous murals and monuments promoting Black Lives Matter, LGBTQ groups, and other social justice causes.
this talk, for example, appears to show a PF member discussing the goal of a civil rights mural in Detroit. When a member asks what is the best way to fully cover a mural with paint, Rousseau replies, “It’s in the template guide. turbo cans. The template guide refers to these instructions provided to PF members showing how to use spray paint effectively and not get caught. The PF member also sent Rousseau Photos taken while exploring the mural.
When another member discussed whether rubber roofing cement was suitable for covering a George Floyd memorial that had been treated with an anti-graffiti clear coat, Rousseau allegedly answered: “Keep me informed about your research and practice with this substance. Orders will be given at the event.
The data dump also appears to document the defacement of a monument in Olympia, Washington.
The leaked data purports to show a variety of other illegal activities that the group discussed. They include Rousseau informing members planning a rally in Washington DC that a participant will call 911 from a burner phone and make a false report to authorities.
“He will cite that there is a protest, he sees shields BUT NO WEAPONS, and everyone involved seems to be behaving peacefully, waving and handing out flyers, however he is a concerned citizen and suggests that the police investigate it to ensure everyone’s safety. civil rights are safe,” Rousseau seems to write. “He will add that it looks like we just got off the subway. This will soften the police up to our great eye contact on the bridge and provide a bit of confusion and misinformation that is within the realm of honest dialogue.”
Attempts to communicate with Rousseau or other members of the FP were unsuccessful.
The report published on Friday said the leak comprised around 400 gigabytes of data and came from a self-hosted instance of RocketChat, an open source chat server similar to Slack and Discord. It’s just the latest example of a hate group being hacked and their private discussions being dumped online. In 2019, the Iron March website breach revealed, among other things, that many of its members were members of the US Navy, Marine Corps, Army, and military reserves.