Leaked Chats Show White Supremacist Desire to Expand in Iowa

Private Discord messages leaked to media collective Unicorn Riot reveal plans by a member of the neo-Nazi splinter group Patriot Front to grow the movement in Des Moines

Images of a highway overpass banner displayed near Iowa City in Johnson County. The images were posted in October 2020 by Patriot Front on Gab, a social media website popular among racists and anti-Semites, including those who have been banned from more mainstream platforms for their extreme views.

A member of a white supremacist and neo-Nazi splinter group called Patriot Front sees Iowa as an opportune state in which to grow its influence, according to private chat logs from a Discord server published this week by the activist media collective Unicorn Riot.

Although one leaked message said the group has “only one member” in Iowa, the Southern Poverty Law Center identified Patriot Front as one of three active hate groups in the state as of 2020. That same year, supporters of the group hung banners promoting it on interstate overpasses in Johnson County, including on Juneteenth, a day commemorating the emancipation of slavery. The year prior, stickers promoting the group were plastered around downtown Des Moines.

The messages concerning Iowa, which date from November to December of last year, were leaked from a server hosted on BloodAndSoil dot org — the URL a direct reference to Nazi racial ideology. It now redirects to Patriot Front’s current website at a different address. Most of the messages involve plans by someone going by the name Sam MN to move from out of state to the Des Moines area in an effort to expand the influence of Patriot Front in Iowa.

“Hey Gabriel, just thought I’d let you know that I’m probably going to be moving near Des Moines in December,” Sam MN sent as a direct message on November 15 to a user named Gabriel IA.

“That’d be a godsend,” Gabriel IA replied two days later. “It’s really depressing for me here brother. These cuckservatives let our towns slide to +75% mexican population and dont stop to think for a minute. our promat [promotional material] is literally ignored, these whites feel nothing. and by that i mean i’d be much happier if they were all against us. but instead its just proof that none of these idiots care about anything. Had no one to do activism with, have no one to carpool with. its soul crushing. can’t wait and let me know and i’ll hit the streets with you everytime!”

“I’m going to be doing a lot of activism, so I appreciate your willingness to help!” Sam MN responded. “We’re going to make it so that every person in Des Moines knows who Patriot Front is – and from there start building a network in Iowa.”

The two discussed strategies for getting the group’s message out. Gabriel IA asked if distributing promat in rural areas was a good idea, saying he had “access to a lot of small towns around here but only 3-4 cities.” Sam MN replied affirmatively, saying he typically hits cities first “and then rural towns as I can.” He added, “I have great plans for Iowa!” to which Gabriel IA reacted, “Terrific. This place needs to wake up.”

In the conversation, Gabriel IA also described how he’d been struggling to support his “ol lady n kids” after losing his job as a result of the pandemic. “Im out a job, can’t afford to keep my car maintained and i still have dependents,” he said. “i dont have a dime to give to the cause but i still exist and standing my ground here in iowa.” Sam MN promised to set up a fund for him, got his Cash App account name, and began sending money to help him get back on his feet.

On December 16, Sam MN checked up on Gabriel IA: “How’s it going? I’m planning on moving next week.” Gabriel IA said he was doing better thanks to the money, adding, “Sounds good, I’m ready when you are.”

In another direct-message exchange with someone going by ND – Johnny MN, Sam MN explained his reasoning for wanting to move to Iowa.

“I’m thinking of moving to Iowa in early December instead of Minnesota,” he said on November 17. “I want to make myself as useful as possible to the organization, and I think what Iowa needs right now is someone who is fanatical enough to be able to maintain high levels of activity without reinforcement/encouragement from others nearby.

“Iowa has a population of 3 million, and only one member. My hope is to eventually build a network there.”

The following day, Sam MN expressed his enthusiasm about helping Patriot Front get broader exposure: “I’m excited about the possibility of the chance to really prove my worth as an organizer by building a network, as well as the prospect of advancement in the organization. Since my family isn’t tying me down to Minnesota anymore, all of these avenues have now opened up.

“Iowa is simply the most convenient location for that, since it has potential in terms of its demographics and is surrounded by states where I know people.”

A message in another chat posted by Sam MN on December 8 outlined ideas about the group’s meeting structure, emphasizing two points under a section titled “Activism”: “Praise for men who either did tons of solo activism or accomplished a larger goal such as stenciling or a banner drop” and “Shame for those who didn’t accomplish their once a week duty of sticker placement.”

Other discussions from the leaked Discord chats suggest that Sam MN’s plans are part of a broader effort by Patriot Front to coordinate the expansion of its network throughout the Midwest.

The Iowa-centric messages are just a few of the hundreds involving or posted by Sam MN, who appears to be actively involved in the group’s interviewing process for potential recruits, among other activities.

Gavin Aronsen
Gavin Aronsen is an editor and reporter for and founding member of the Iowa Informer. He previously worked as a city reporter for the Ames Tribune, research assistant to investigative journalist Wayne Barrett at the Village Voice, and in various roles at Mother Jones, where his work contributed to a National Magazine Award nomination for the magazine's digital media coverage of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Email: garonsen [at] iowainformer [dot] com.