US Designates Largest Scandinavian Neo-Nazi Group, Its Leaders as Terrorists

The group joins the U.S. terrorist designation list amid concerns over a global rise in ‘violent white supremacy,’ according to the State Department.
US Designates Largest Scandinavian Neo-Nazi Group, Its Leaders as Terrorists
Supporters of the neo-Nazi Nordic Resistance Movement hold flags during a demonstration at the Kungsholmstorg square in Stockholm on Aug. 25, 2018. (Fredrik Persson / TT News Agency / AFP via Getty Images)
Caden Pearson

The United States officially designated the Nordic Resistance Movement (NRM), the largest Scandinavian neo-Nazi group, and three of its leaders as terrorists on June 14.

The NRM, a self-described national socialist group, operates in several Nordic countries, including Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, and Finland. Finland banned the group in 2020.

The State Department added the NRM and its leaders to the Specially Designated Global Terrorist list, expressing concerns over a global rise in “violent white supremacy.”

A statement issued by the department described the NRM as violent, “racist, anti-immigrant, anti-Semitic,” and anti-LGBT.

The group’s inclusion on the terrorist list means that any U.S.-based assets will be frozen and that its leaders will be blocked from using the U.S. financial system.

The State Department highlighted the group’s alleged involvement in “violent attacks against political opponents, protestors, journalists, and other perceived adversaries” and the stockpiling of weapons and explosives, along with training in violent tactics, including hand-to-hand combat and knife fighting.

Formed in 1997 as the Swedish Resistance Movement, the NRM rebranded in 2016 under former leader Simon Lindberg. On its official website, the group describes itself as a revolutionary movement “wholeheartedly” dedicated to Nazism, with the aim to “reform the society” and “bring about radical change.” The pan-Nordic organization aims to exist in all Nordic countries and expand to the Baltics.

According to the State Department, NRM seeks to replace Nordic democracies with a “united ethnic Nordic nation.”

The United States also designated three NRM leaders as terrorists: Tor Fredrik Vejdeland, the group’s current leader and long-serving national leadership member; Par Oberg, a national council member and head of the parliamentary branch; and Leif Robert Eklund, coordinator of NRM divisions within Sweden.

In response, the editorial staff of the NRM’s official website published a statement, claiming that the allegations that it has carried out attacks against political opponents and journalists and that its members are stockpiling weapons were made “without any evidence.”

“In addition to the organization itself, the leader of the Nordic Resistance Movement, Fredrik Vejdeland, is absurdly listed alongside Pär Öberg and Robert Eklund,” the editorial reads.

The NRM’s inclusion on the terrorist list means that U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with the group or its designated leaders. All of the group’s property and interests in the United States are also frozen.

This move is part of a broader U.S. effort to address the transnational threat posed by racially or ethnically motivated violent extremist actors, per the Biden administration’s commitment to countering domestic terrorism.