C/O Futures Terrorism Research Note Series
Zachary Z. Horsington and Robert J. Bunker
1 February 2024
In Fall 2016, a terminally ill member of the neo-Nazi group Aryan Strikeforce (ASF) / Combat 18 (C18) discussed a bomb plot with Joshua Steever, the original founder of ASF in the US, and Ronald Pulcher, ASF/C18’s then president, during a gathering at Pulcher’s residence. A cooperating witness who attended the get-together mentioned that the three discussed a plan to target counter-protestors—expected to resist a white supremacist rally that was to be hosted in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania—using an improvised device concealed in an afflicted member’s medically required oxygen tank  The ailing attacker in question had volunteered himself for a suicide attack. On 5 November 2016, approximately 50 members of the American National Socialist Movement (NSM) rallied in Harrisburg, on the Pennsylvania Capitol steps and were met by some 200 counter-protestors. Ultimately, no suicide bombing event occurred. US government filings do not provide any insight into why the attack did not transpire such as whether it failed as a result of human error, lacked capability, or was interdicted by law enforcement. The consideration of martyrdom tactics to inflict mass casualties in a public space by ASF/C18 in and of itself , however, exhibits traits associated with the phenomenon described as ‘White Jihad’.