The Base: Militant who held ‘hate camp’ to create white ethnostate gets probation
A militia member with a rifle in an open field (Shutterstock)

Michigan Judge Amy Gierhardt sentenced a member of the white supremacist organization The Base to probation after a plea deal allowed Tristan Webb to plead guilty to gang felonies, conspiracy to train with guns for a civil disorder, and felony firearm in return for a charge of larceny being dropped.

"The Base is a small militant neo-Nazi organization that formed in 2018," Fox 2 Detroit reported Friday. "Among the states that The Base was most interested in operating out of was Michigan's Upper Peninsula. The region's population is largely white and, according to a report from Vice News in October 2020, was considered a potential place that members could conduct paramilitary training."

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel's office described Webb's history in a statement released after the sentence was handed down.

"Webb, 19, became involved with 'The Base' when he was 17 years old," the AG's office said. "In late 2019, Webb hosted a 'hate camp' at his property for the Michigan cell of 'The Base.' Members of The Base, 'Invictus Youth,' and 'Aryan Resistance' attended. “Hate camp” is a term used by the group to describe firearms tactical training where various paramilitary-style techniques were taught to participants. Soon after, Webb underwent a vetting process to become a full member of The Base."

In May, Judge Amy Gierhart sentenced Justen Watkins to 32-48 months in prison in a parallel case.

WILX-TX reports, "Setting precedent, the convictions secured against Webb and other members of The Base in Tuscola County marked the first in Michigan history that conspiring to train for a civil disorder was charged."

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) describes The Base as "a small militant neo-Nazi organization that emerged mid-2018 and is primarily active in the U.S."

"The Base embraces Hitlerian ideology coupled with a mission to prepare for an impending race war," ADL reported. "The group espouses nihilistic and accelerationist rhetoric— an ideology embraced by white supremacists who have determined that a societal collapse is both imminent and necessary."

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) also has a page on The Base.

"Made up of small, terroristic cells, The Base believes society should be pushed to collapse so a white ethnostate can arise out of the ruins. It is not an organization that seeks to build popular appeal. Instead, groups like The Base seek to inspire a small number of actors to commit themselves wholly to their revolutionary mindset and act on it – either by forming small, clandestine terror cells or inspiring individuals to carry out 'lone actor' attacks," SPLC explained.

Fox 2 Detroit explained how the men were caught.

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The station reported, "Watkins and another man, Alfred Gorman, first appeared in the Michigan court system after a December 2019 incident when they targeted a house in Wastenaw County, which they alleged to be the home of an antifascist podcaster. The men posted threatening images online, which included a photo of Watkins wearing tactical gear in front of the home. But the house was wrongly identified and instead housed a family in Dexter."

Michigan AG Dana Nessel said, "My department will hold accountable any individual that commits crimes as part of a domestic terrorist organization. Make no mistake, these are violent gangs intent on harming others and their actions will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”