Federal officials say they opened an investigation into the head of a faction of the Aryan Nations, who pleaded guilty to pension fraud this week, because he made statements in support of Al Qaeda.
August B. Kreis III, the head of the white supremacist group the Aryan Nations, pleaded guilty Tuesday to lying to Veterans Administration officials to get money from the pension fund. Kreis had served in the Navy for nine months during the Vietnam War, but was discharged early “based upon a determination that he was not suited for military service.”
Kreis qualified for a need-based “improved pension” from the government because he served during wartime, but was required to report any outside income. Federal officials discovered that Kreis had made over $33,000 in 2005 that he did not report, and made false statements to the Veterans Administration that he had made no outside income that year.
The U.S. Attorney’s office in South Carolina said in a statement that he could face up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Officials began investigating Kreis, who had previously claimed that the government was behind the attacks of September 11, after he “stated that he and members of his movement desired to join al-Qaida in its Jihad against a United States government,” according to the U.S. Attorney’s statement.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, Kreis “heads one of a handful of competing splinter factions of the once-mighty Aryan Nations. Kreis fervently advocates the mass murder of Jews, non-whites and ‘race traitors.’ He also promotes ‘lone wolf’ domestic terrorism, which he calls ‘leaderless resistance under the radical banner of pan-Aryanism.’”
He has previously been twice arrested for disorderly conduct.
But perhaps the most damning part of Kreis’s history is a series of appearances on Jerry Springer with his two daughters, in episodes called things like “A Racist Family” and “Racist Kids.” In one 1995 episode, Kreis goads Springer with talk of the “Holocaust myth.” At one point Springer quips: “He’s just upset because I didn’t invite him to my Bar Mitzvah.” Kreis replies: “Just invite me to your hanging and I’ll be happy.” The segment, naturally, devolves into an attempted fistfight.
The fight comes in at the end, around the 6:15 mark: