In a brief text message, Daley declined to comment on his arrest or his activities with RAM. He did, however, say that he had signed up for the U.S. military and would be going through basic training shortly.

That night in Charlottesville, Daley and Gillen clashed violently with a handful of college students who’d gathered at the Jefferson statue holding a banner denouncing racism.  RAM and the white supremacists quickly prevailed, and drove the students off the campus and into the night. Charlottesville police did little to intervene as the conflict unfolded.

Whooping and giving straight-arm Nazi salutes, white supremacists began to celebrate their victory. Some chanted the words “blood and soil,” an old Third Reich slogan.

The violence would continue — and escalate dramatically — the next morning as racists from around the country gathered around a monument to Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee for the “Unite the Right” rally. And once again RAM members were at the heart of the fighting.

Charlottesville police declined to comment about RAM.

Today, according to the anonymous RAM leader interviewed by ProPublica, his organization is “trying to stay away from rallies.” RAM’s next moves, he explained, are confidential.

Oren Segal of the ADL said RAM could prove durable or fizzle out in a matter of months. It’s too soon to tell. But in both their short-term menace and their uncertain long-term future, Segal said RAM is quite representative of what he called the “new alt-right youth brigades.”

The self-described alt-right “really wants to strike while the iron is hot,” he said. “They believe that now is the time to go from online to the real world. And frankly, the street fighting element very much fits this narrative.”

Ali Winston is a reporting fellow with The Investigative Fund at The Nation Institute and covers criminal justice and surveillance. Follow him on Twitter at @awinston.

Darwin BondGraham is an investigative reporter for the East Bay Express in Oakland, California. Follow him on Twitter at @darwinbondgraham.


Editor’s note: This article was first published at ProPublica.