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RADICALISED Murdered US neo-nazi teen bought fake Ukrainian passport from Ulster criminals

White supremacist murdered by roommate bought false Ukrainian documents from dark web gang

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Andrew Oneschuck spent hours in chatrooms

Andrew Oneschuck spent hours in chatrooms

Andrew Oneschuck spent hours in chatrooms

A teenage white supremacist gunned down in the US by a neo-Nazi roommate bought a fake Ukrainian passport from criminals in Northern Ireland, it has been revealed.

Andrew Oneschuck purchased the counterfeit document over the dark web in 2015, two years before he was shot dead by extremist Devon Arthurs in a double killing in Florida.

His family revealed the 17-year-old had plunged into the dangerous depths of far-right extremism after spending hours upon hours online.

And they revealed the Ulster link in a new podcast focusing on the radicalisation of young men.

Radicalized, a seven-part docu series, investigates how the teenager's killer Devon Arthurs went from neo-Nazism to Islamic extremism, and how he shot dead Andrew and pal Jeremy Himmelman after they mocked his conversion to Islam.

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Devon Arthurs is quizzed

Devon Arthurs is quizzed

Devon Arthurs is quizzed

The series probes how young American men like Oneshuck were being radicalised and recruited over the net by extremists as far away as Europe.

Speaking to the US based journalist, Andrew's sister Emily described how her brother's lonely descent into the dark world of the far-right movement came to a head when he was 15, when the boy bought a fake passport and a one-way ticket to Kiev to join an Eastern European paramilitary group.

"Things started to turn when he was in middle-school, I know that's when he started to go on 4chan," she said.

"It was just the language he was using; he was throwing the 'n' word around and that was not something you ever heard in our house or anywhere we grew up.

"That was just not something that came up and that started when he was in seventh or eight grade. That was the first indication, where is this coming from? What is going on?

"So that started when he was 12, he spent a lot of time on the computer playing computer games, didn't have a lot of friends. He had a negative view to most people. He was socially awkward and didn't really feel validated socially, and to be given that kind of power online really controlled his life.

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"It's really intoxicating for a 12-year-old to be anonymous on the internet and to be treated as an adult. People take you seriously, people don't know you're a kid, and I think that is the portal into a much darker world.

"It really escalated when he got to high school. It was really apparent that he was involved at least online with some pretty dark stuff. We thought it was strictly online and that made it less scary."

During his time at a Catholic school in his home town in Massachusetts, Andrew became obsessed with both American and foreign military. He would also spend hours on YouTube watching conspiracy videos.

After putting up a Nazi flag in his bedroom, he came into conflict with his family, including his sister.

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Devon Arthurs

Devon Arthurs

Devon Arthurs

"He was so isolated and distant, I didn't know what to do to help him," she said. "I felt like I didn't have a brother any more.

"I asked him once, 'why are you so angry all the time? It takes so much effort, it would just be easier not to be mad at everything all the time' and he said it felt good to be angry and that he was just going to hold onto that."

Before long, he had an account on the Russian social networking site VK, a central platform for Ukrainian separatists looking for idealistic recruits. Andrew, who was one-eighth Ukrainian, took to the cause, chatting with fighters and their allies.

He began formulating a plan to join the Azov Battalion, a notoriously brutal band of international fighters helping in the resistance against the Russians. In January 2015, Andrew bought a fake passport and a ticket to Kiev. The secret trip was only discovered when Andrew told his dad of his plans hours before.

Emily said: "He was very smart, he channelled money into a PayPal account, he had it out of view from our parents because they could see his bank account, but they could never see the money because it would go into his PayPal account the same day.

"He bought a fake passport from Northern Ireland, from the dark web, so he had all my dad's gear... anything he could use on the front in a bag, and he had tickets."

Two days after they cancelled his trip to Kiev, the Oneschuks brought Andrew to a psychiatrist at Boston Children's Hospital.

His family was told that the teenager probably just had a mild form of depression. In May 2017, Oneshuck was gunned down alongside 22-year-old roommate Jeremy Hillman at their Tampa apartment in Florida.

Police heard that the gunman, Devon Arthurs, had bonded with his victims over their connection with the obscure neo-Nazi group Atomwaffen Division.

Arthurs, the group's co-founder, told detectives that he killed his friends to thwart a terrorist attack by Atomwaffen.

"I prevented the deaths of a lot of people," Arthurs said in a rambling statement about shooting his roommates.

In May last year, a judge deemed the 21-year-old medically incompetent to face trial for the double murder. He will undergo mental health treatment until he is well enough to return to court.

p.devlin@sundayworld.com

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