US white supremacist arrested in Romania
Photo courtesy of Robert Rundo's Telegram channel

Romanian police have arrested the leader of an American white supremacist group wanted in the United States in connection with rioting, they said Friday.

The 33-year-old was arrested on Wednesday in Bucharest, police said without identifying him.

Local media named him as Robert Rundo, who co-founded and led the Rise Above Movement.

Rundo, together with several others of the California-based group, has been accused of inciting riots at far-right political rallies, including the deadly march in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017.

A Bucharest court on Thursday ordered the detention of the arrested man, who faces extradition, the police statement said.

The American is "wanted by the US justice for having committed crimes of conspiracy to riot and rioting activities," it added.

He "allegedly conspired with other people to go to rallies of a political nature and use combative tactics and commit physical violence against individuals and groups who did not support their ideology", it said.

Romania and the United States have a reciprocal extradition treaty since 2008.

The "Unite the Right" march in mid-August 2017 in Charlottesville culminated in a man driving a car into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing a woman and injuring 19 others.

Then president Donald Trump infamously took 48 hours to respond only to blame "both sides" despite overwhelming evidence that neo-Nazis were the principal source of violence.

© 2023 AFP