Saturday, March 6, 2021

The mysterious gifts of a French computer scientist to American neo-Nazis

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On January 6, as a crowd of protesters prepare to invade the Capitol, far-right activist Nick Fuentes is pictured on the steps leading to the US Senate, where he claims he did not enter. Homophobic, anti-Semitic, white supremacist, Nick Fuentes is one of the tough ones among the tough ones on the pro-Trump right; that same day, he was surrounded by some of his fans, who call themselves the “Groypers”, named after a meme popular in ultra-right circles.

A month earlier, on December 8, 2020, Mr. Fuentes hit the jackpot: on his bitcoin account, a payment equivalent to 206,000 euros, from a single donor, suddenly appeared. Behind the address made up of letters and numbers hid a Frenchman: Laurent B.

Mr. Fuentes is not the only figure of the ultra-right to have benefited from a large donation from Laurent B., the site revealed on January 13. Chainanalysis, which does not give its identity. The latter reported the transfers from his bitcoin address. Laurent B. also paid 20,000 euros to Patrick Casey, one of the leaders of the American supremacist movement Identity Evropa, dissolved in November 2020; 20,000 euros to French negationist Vincent Reynouard, former member of the former French and European Nationalist Party (neo-Nazis); or 13,500 euros at Daily Stormer, one of the most violent English-speaking neo-Nazi sites.

In all, approximately the equivalent of 410,000 euros were transferred, at the beginning of December 2020, to about fifteen groups and activists oscillating between the hard pro-Trump right and neo-Nazism, as well as to some services in line, including the ultra-right social network Gab.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also Talking, Gab, Telegram … after Twitter, the pro-Trump in search of new social networks

What could have pushed a Frenchman to pay such sums to American far-right activists? Laurent B. is no longer there to explain himself: he committed suicide on December 9, 2020, just after making the transfers. Before his death, that The world was able to confirm independently of Chainanalysis, he had programmed on his personal blog, inactive for two years, a note in which he explains the reasons for his gesture. In this long text, we read at the same time the suffering of an illness which seems to plunge him into excruciating pain – we can guess a heavy depression; and we perceive, slipped like so many clues, references to political ideas to the right of the right.

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