Notorious Finland-based group Soldiers of Odin is at the forefront of a fierce vigilante movement sweeping Europe
MailOnline gained exclusive access to the anti-migrant group’s patrols and its secretive ‘Nazi-themed’ headquarters
Founded by a self-confessed, violent neo-Nazi, ‘Odins’ are one of increasing number of anti-migrant groups
Vigilantes claim the police can’t control migrants by themselves, following spate of sex attacks that shocked Europe
A gang of vigilantes led by a violent neo-Nazi go on night time ‘migrant patrols’ on the streets of Finland, with some talking of ‘ethnic cleansing’ in the wake of the country’s mounting immigration crisis.
The self-styled ‘Soldiers of Odin’ march in a mob, wearing bomber jackets with their logo on the back. They have vowed to take direct action to ‘protect their wives, girlfriends and children’ after a migrant influx to the liberal Scandinavian country.
The gang – which claims to have cells across Europe – says it mobilised after a rise in migrant-related crime over the past 12 months because the Finnish government has ‘screwed everything up’.
MailOnline gained exclusive access to the gang’s leadership and visited its secretive headquarters – which was packed with Nazi memorabilia and White Supremacist propaganda.
We went on patrol with The Soldiers of Odin, described by some as far-Right fascists, as they pounded the streets of Kemi, western Finland, clad in black and led by a snarling mastiff dog towards the city’s refugee centre.
‘The Government screwed things up so bad, and we are the consequence,’ says masked Jani, 27, one of the group’s leaders, who works in a paper factory by day.
‘Politicians are allowing migrants to rape our women, and they are doing nothing about it. There will be a war on the streets, and we are ready to fight.’
Other comrades mutter darkly about ‘ethnic cleansing’.
Politicians are allowing migrants to rape our women, and they are doing nothing about it. There will be a war on the streets, and we are ready to fight
Soldiers of Odin
Founded in September by ex-convict Mika Ranta, a self-confessed, violent neo-Nazi, Soldiers of Odin is one of an increasing number of anti-migrant groups springing up across the continent.
The group insists it has no connection to the Swedish football ‘firms’ who went on the rampage in Stockholm last week, and says it has not been involved in violence. But according to police, it is just a matter of time.
The vast majority of the Soldiers of Odin are working-class. MailOnline met a dustman, several steel workers, a mechanic, a truck driver and a factory worker, all of whom patrol regularly with the group. Many more are unemployed, casualties of Finland’s three-year economic downturn.
Almost all of them have criminal records, with several having served lengthy prison sentences.
The criminal record belonging to Juha-Matti Kinnunen, 27, one of the Joensuu leaders, is typical. With 30 offences to his name, including fraud, robbery and violence, Kinnunen was also convicted of desertion from the military.
The group’s number of Facebook likes, currently at almost 25,000, is growing daily. It claims to have 600 members in more than 25 cells across Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Poland, Germany, Estonia, Hungary – and even in Britain and the United States.
Many local people find the group intimidating. In Joensuu – an eastern town with a history of skinhead violence, where Odins are banned from most bars – a female student stops her bicycle to tell MailOnline that she is ‘suspicious’ of the vigilantes as the patrol trudges past in the snow.
‘They are criminals and they say they are doing the job of the police,’ she says. ‘Most people think they are neo-Nazis.’