Robert Rundo, the 33-year-old head of the notorious white supremacist group Rise Above Movement, has been arrested in Romania on a U.S. extradition request, according to the BBC.
The far-right leader, along with three neo-Nazi gang members, was indicted by a federal grand jury and arrested in 2018 for “traveling to political rallies across California, where they violently attacked counter-protesters, journalists and a police officer,” according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice.
Though Rundo was freed when the case was dismissed a year later, a new indictment in January led to his arrest at a gym in Bucharest this week, the BBC reported.
According to the original federal complaint, Rundo attended a “Make America Great Again” rally in Huntington Beach, California, in March 2017, where he allegedly “broke off from the main rally and confronted counter-protesters” and “attacked a number of people, including two journalists,” along with 25-year-old Robert Boman, 22-year-old Tyler Laube, and 38-year-old Aaron Easton, all members of the Rise Above Movement (RAM).
In another incident, the group was accused of “punching a defenseless person and a police officer” at a rally in Berkeley in April 2017. “In the subsequent months, RAM members celebrated the assaults in Berkeley, which included Boman posting photos of himself attacking people and RAM members engaging in combat training,” the press release said.
Rundo has also been accused of inciting violence at the infamous 2017 Charlottesville “Unite the Right” rally, where 32-year-old Heather Heyer was killed when white supremacist James Alex Fields drove into the crowd.
“Rundo, Boman, Laube, and Eason, along with other RAM members, have used the internet to prepare to incite and participate in violence at various political events, have committed violent assaults while at those events, and have applauded each other for it and publicly documented their assaults in order to recruit more members to engage in further assaults,” the complaint read.
A tip-off led Romanian authorities to Rundo’s location in Bucharest.
“American judicial authorities submitted a request for provisional arrest with a view to extradition,” Romanian police said in a statement. “Currently, the American citizen is incarcerated in the custody of the General Directorate of Police of the Municipality of Bucharest.”
The Rise Above Movement is known for its emphasis on street fighting and was reportedly co-founded by Rundo in the spring of 2017. Rundo is also accused of building a neo-Nazi network of so-called “active-clubs” where members train in martial arts in gyms across the U.S.
According to the Anti-Defamation League, members of these clubs “see themselves as fighters training for an ongoing war against a system that they claim is deliberately plotting against the white race,” and maintain “an active presence in at least 25 states and with multiple chapters abroad.”
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