More murders may be linked to neo-Nazi group

- Five deaths throughout the country, including two in Tampa, might be linked to the same neo-Nazi group, the Anti-Defamation League confirmed Monday.

The group, known as the "Atomwaffen," first made headlines in May 2017 when Devon Arthurs was accused of killing two of his three roommates in Tampa. Arthurs told detectives all of his roommates were neo-Nazis and he was, too -- before he converted to Islam. 

He then said his fourth roommate, Brandon Russell, had homemade bombs and explosives in his garage, along with a plan to target sites throughout Florida, including synagogues and a nuclear power plant near Miami.

Russell was sentenced to five years in prison earlier this month.

The Atomwaffen, which translates to "atomic weapon," surfaced again in December when reports connected a teenager accused of having neo-Nazi ties to the murders of his girlfriend's parents in Virginia.

The death of college student Blaze Bernstein, who was home visiting his parents in California earlier this month, was linked by the non-profit research group Pro-Publica, to the same fascist group.

The Anti-Defamation League told FOX 13 the group is small, with roughly 80 members, but they can be violent.

"This group in particular, the Atomwaffen Division, is very outspoken in terms of their belief that there needs to be a race war," Oren Segal, the ADL's Center on Extremism. "They believe that white people are under attack in this country and they're on the front lines of trying to prevent that."

Segal said the group is mostly based in Texas, but started to gain interest in Florida prior to the murders last year in Tampa.

"On the ground they've had a relatively small presence, but one that we fear is growing in part because of all the accessibility people have to their messages on social media and the fact that white supremacists are willing to come out into the streets and rally more than we've seen in the past," he said.

The cases in Virginia and California are working their way through the court systems.

Up Next:

Up Next

  • More murders may be linked to neo-Nazi group
  • Reported bank robbery in Sebring
  • Brandon pet owners warned about coyote activity
  • Sheriff: Deputy who hit, killed teen on Florida Ave. was going 21 mph over posted speed limit
  • Pinellas County deputy's cruiser T-boned by impaired driver, officials say
  • Neighbors relieved after suspected drug house busted in Hudson
  • Chief dismisses lack of police presence as factor in fatal St. Pete shooting
  • Sarasota schools considers cell phone ban
  • Disney, Publix named 2 of the 'world's most admired companies' by Fortune Magazine
  • Sheriff: Pasco man burglarized Middle Eastern family's home in possible hate crime