According to the Anti-Defamation League, Identity Evropa was founded by Nathan Damigo, an Iraq War veteran who also served five years in prison until 2014 for robbing a man he believed was from Iraq. He became radicalized in prison after reading former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke's book "My Awakening: A Path to Racial Understanding."
Identity Evropa members use a server on Discord, a chat app, to communicate with each other. Last week, non-profit media collective Unicorn Riot published more than 770,000 messages from Discord associated with Identity Evropa.
According to a San Diego Union-Tribune review of all the chat logs, members of a local branch of the group had visited colleges in the San Diego area at least a dozen times since the fall of 2017. Flyers advertising the group appeared at San Diego State University as early as 2016. Some of the group's flyers stated "It's okay to be white," while others featured photographs of white supremacist books with the caption "Your professor is scared of this book." In addition, a private speaking event was held by Identity Evropa at a San Diego State University lecture hall in November 2017, according to the group's private Twitter account.
The leaked logs reveal that Identity Evropa organized publicity and recruitment activities in Southern California colleges last month.
The logs also disclosed that Identity Evropa members specifically attempt to recruit college students involved in conservative organizations, such as College Republicans and Turning Point USA.
"My ultimate goal is subversion of my school's [Turning Point USA] TPUSA chapter into a front for IE [Identity Evropa]," one member wrote in the chat log in February, while discussing manning a Turning Point USA table at college while disseminating Identity Evropa's ideology, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
"It's easy to infiltrate low level GOP stuff if you just show up," another user, who is reportedly a member of the College Republicans at his college campus, wrote.
"As hate groups continue to target colleges and universities throughout the country, taking advantage of policies that protect freedom of expression, UC San Diego will continue to unequivocally condemn all language and actions that espouse and support hate as well as any doctrines that elevate one group above another," Christine Clark, a University of California San Diego spokesperson, told the San Diego Union-Tribune.
"The antidote to hate speech is more speech — speaking out against intolerance and bigotry — and one the university will continue advocating," she added.
Last week, the Huffington Post also uncovered the identities of seven white supremacists who are members of the US military after reviewing the chat logs leaked by Unicorn Riot. In addition, Daniel Morley, an officer for the Chesterfield County Police Department in Virginia, was also found to be an organizer for Identity Evropa.