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Threat Actor Profile - Patriot Front


Overview


Patriot Front is a Texas-based white supremacist and neo-fascist group led by Thomas Ryan Rousseau. The group's roughly 300 members comprise eight regional networks, and as of 2021 had 42 active chapters across the country. Patriot Front’s ideology is outlined in the group’s manifesto, within which Rousseau claims that their ancestors conquered America and bequeathed it to them alone. They define themselves as American fascists or American nationalists who are focused on preserving America’s identity as a European-American identity


The group split from another prominent neo-Nazi organization, Vanguard America (VA), following the events of the Unite the Right rally in 2017. Patriot Front emphasizes image-driven activism as pre-packaged propaganda and places high importance on visual aesthetics and controlling narratives. As such, Patriot Front chooses not to associate themselves with other alt-right movements or rallies, opting instead to operate alone.


Patriot Front also organizes racist sticker campaigns across the country as a means of grassroots activism and recruitment. In January 2021 alone, Patriot Front posted banners and stenciled graffiti in California, Missouri, New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Chicago, Indiana, Arkansas, Tennessee, Texas, Ohio, Colorado, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Wyoming, Michigan, Arizona, Connecticut, Idaho, and Vermont. Patriot Front is responsible for the vast majority of white supremacist propaganda distributed in the United States, representing 80 percent of all propaganda incidents nationally in 2020. According to the Anti-Defamation League, the group generated more than 82% of the racist, anti-Semitic, and other hateful propaganda tracked by the ADL in the United States in 2021, with 3,992 incidents and distribution in every state except Hawaii and Alaska.


In January 2022, more than 400 gigabytes of private Patriot Front chat logs on RocketChat had been obtained and published by the left-wing media organization Unicorn Riot. Included in the leak were operational procedures, organizational administrative documents, discussion of recruitment, and more.

 

Notable Actions

  • July 2, 2022: Roughly, 100 masked members with shields and a banner marched through Boston, with stops at the Boston Public Library and Old State House building. Police said one man was injured in a confrontation with Patriot Front members.

  • June 12, 2022: 31 members of Patriot Front were arrested when police stopped a U-Haul truck full of them near an LGBT Pride event in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. They were charged with conspiracy to riot. Rousseau was one of the members arrested. Almost all were from outside Idaho.

  • January 8, 2022: An estimated 50 members of Patriot Front attended a March for Life anti-abortion rally in Chicago, Illinois carrying riot shields, a banner reading "Strong Families Make Strong Nations," and Patriot Front flags.

  • December 4, 2021: An estimated 100 members of Patriot Front held a flash demonstration marching down the National Mall carrying riot shields, a banner reading "Victory or Death," and Patriot Front flags.

  • July 3, 2021: An estimated 150 members of Patriot Front marched through Center City Philadelphia. The participants arrived in the city, packed into three Penske moving trucks. The march ended with counter protesters chasing the marchers back to their Penske moving trucks and law enforcement arriving on the scene.

  • June 6, 2021: Several dozen members of Patriot Front participated in a flash demonstration at the state capitol in Nashville, Tennessee.

  • May 29, 2021: Several dozen members of Patriot Front participated in a flash demonstration in front of the Alamo and Federal building in San Antonio.

  • January 29, 2021: Several dozen members of Patriot Front held a flash demonstration.

  • November 7, 2020: Several dozen members of Patriot Front held a flash demonstration in downtown Pittsburgh.

  • May 25, 2020: Approximately one dozen members of Patriot Front held a flash demonstration at the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial in San Bernardino. The group held a banner that read: “Reclaim America.”

  • May 25, 2020: Approximately 21 members of Patriot Front held a flash demonstration in Gettysburg Memorial Park.

  • May 25, 2020: Approximately 15 members of Patriot Front held a flash demonstration at the San Jacinto Memorial in La Porte. The group held a banner that read: “No more foreign wars.”

  • January 24, 2020: Members of Patriot Front demonstrated at a pro-life rally in Washington D.C.

  • February 8, 2020: More than 100 members of Patriot Front held a flash demonstration marching down the National Mall in Washington D.C.

  • January 11, 2020: Approximately one dozen members of Patriot Front demonstrated and passed out propaganda during a pro-life rally in Chicago.

  • April 1, 2019: Patriot Front members demonstrated outside AIPAC offices and Israeli consulates in New York, Chicago, Houston, and Boston “in support of national sovereignty, and in opposition to Zionist influence.”

  • February 13, 2019: Patriot Front flyers were spotted in the East Boston section of Boston, Massachusetts. The flyers said "Keep America American", "Better Dead Than Red", and "Will Your Speech Be Hate Speech?" The flyers were denounced by Marty Walsh, the mayor of Boston. Two days later on February 15, three Patriot Front members were arrested for putting up the flyers and one of the men slapped a police officer's hand when the officer was reaching for his identification via wallet. One was found to have a spring-loaded 5-inch (13 cm) knife and another was found to have a wood-handled trowel and brass knuckles.

  • January 13, 2019: Approximately 7 individuals associated with Patriot Front attended a pro-life event in Chicago. Wearing bandanas over their faces, they distributed propaganda and held a banner that read: “Strong families strong nations."

  • December 3, 2018: Approximately 50 individuals associated with Patriot Front held a flash demonstration in Washington D.C. holding a banner that read: "Reclaim America."

  • July 28, 2018: Approximately 20 individuals associated with Patriot Front disrupted an "Occupy ICE" event. Images and video of the incident indicate that Patriot Front members vandalized the Occupy ICE camp while shouting, "Strong borders, strong nations."

  • March 20, 2018: Patriot Front posted a video on twitter of approximately 20 individuals, led by Thomas Rousseau, demonstrating at the State Capital in Austin.

  • January 14, 2018: Approximately 12 members of Patriot front attempted to join a March for Life event. They carried a banner that read: "Protect our posterity.” Police forced them to leave the event.

  • December 10, 2017: Several Patriot Front members participated in an anti-immigration demonstration. They held a banner that read: “Deport them all. America is our birthright.”

  • December 7, 2017: Several Patriot Front members and associates shouted, “blood and soil” during a rally protesting Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. They later displayed a banner on a Chicago overpass that read: “Deport them all.”

  • December 6, 2017: Two white males dressed in utility worker uniforms hung a banner on the Mulholland bridge reading: “Americans are white. The rest must go.”

  • November 12, 2017: Patriot Front flyers were pasted to the door and mailbox of the Montgomery County Republican Party Headquarters.

  • November 5, 2017: Patriot Front members and associates lit flares during a demonstration in front of a bookstore they described as a communist gathering place.

  • November 4, 2017: Approximately 25 Patriot Front members and associates, wearing masks and carrying burning torches, demonstrated in front of the George Washington statue at the University of Texas.

  • October 26, 2017: A Patriot Front “white families matter” banner was posted at Texas State University.

  • October 19, 2017: Members of Patriot Front (seen in the image below wearing white shirts and sunglasses) assisted with event ticket distribution and private security at Richard Spencer’s speaking appearance at the University of Florida.

  • October 17, 2017: Members unfurled a banner over the Skirball exit of the 405 freeway that read: “RESURRECTION THROUGH INSURRECTION.”

  • October 2, 2017: A Patriot front banner that read, “For race and nation,” was displayed on a Houston overpass.

  • October 1, 2017: A Patriot Front banner was hung from a Dallas overpass that read: “Take a knee, back in Africa.”

  • September 24, 2017: Twenty-nine members of Patriot Front, Daily Stormer book clubs, Whomsters and Houston Goylers gathered outside a Houston Anarchist Book Fair where they unfurled a “Blood and Soil” banner, used smoke bombs, and chanted phrases such as: “Blood and Soil,” “F**k you faggots,” and “anti-White.”

  • September 18, 2017: A Patriot Front banner that read, “Unite the White,” was hung from an overpass in Austin.

 

Key Individual(s)


Thomas Ryan Rousseau, of Dallas, Texas, was the leader of Vanguard America's Texas chapter, before splitting from the group following the Unite the Right rally in 2017 amid disagreements with VA leadership. Soon after, Rousseau reportedly seized control of VA's web servers and repurposed its website and social media accounts in a complete rebrand to Patriot Front. Rousseau has repeatedly been arrested for posting flyers and stickers which promote the group.

 

Identifiers

The group maintains an Americana aesthetic, utilizing imagery of American culture, patriotism, and other widely accepted traditional American values to promote its ideology. Their logo and flag typically consist of a fasces surrounded by thirteen stars. The group’s manifesto is adorned with images of George Washington, George Patton, Robert E. Lee, Andrew Jackson, and Henry Ford. Its text focuses on the familiar themes of apocalyptic modernity, European ancestry and white homelands, but is now couched in Americana.


Members are often seen wearing a uniform that consists of khakis, blue shirts, white face coverings, baseball caps and sometimes body armor.

 

Affiliations

 

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