The Other McCain

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Feds: Russian Agent Funded Radical Fringe Groups, Including Black Hammer

Posted on | July 29, 2022 | 1 Comment

Remember our friend Augustus Romain Jr. a/k/a “Gazi Kodzo”? Well, his Black Hammer group is one of three organizations identified by federal prosecutors as under Russian influence:

An indictment was unsealed today in Tampa, Florida, charging a Russian national, working on behalf of the Russian government and in conjunction with the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), with allegedly orchestrating a years-long foreign malign influence campaign that used various U.S. political groups to sow discord, spread pro-Russian propaganda, and interfere in elections within the United States.
As alleged in the indictment, from at least December 2014 until March 2022, Aleksandr Viktorovich Ionov, a resident of Moscow, together with at least three Russian officials, engaged in a years-long foreign malign influence campaign targeting the United States. Ionov is the founder and president of the Anti-Globalization Movement of Russia (AGMR), an organization headquartered in Moscow and funded by the Russian government. Ionov utilized AGMR to carry out Russia’s influence campaign.
“Ionov allegedly orchestrated a brazen influence campaign, turning U.S. political groups and U.S. citizens into instruments of the Russian government,” said Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen of the Justice Department’s National Security Division. “The Department of Justice will not allow Russia to unlawfully sow division and spread misinformation inside the United States.”
According to the indictment, Ionov — working under the supervision of the FSB and with the Russian government’s support — recruited political groups within the United States, including U.S. Political Group 1 in Florida, U.S. Political Group 2 in Georgia, and U.S. Political Group 3 in California, and exercised direction or control over them on behalf of the FSB. Specifically, Ionov provided financial support to these groups, directed them to publish pro-Russian propaganda, coordinated and funded direct action by these groups within the United States intended to further Russian interests, and coordinated coverage of this activity in Russian media outlets. Ionov also relayed detailed information about this influence campaign to three FSB officials.
“Secret foreign government efforts to influence American elections and political groups threaten our democracy by spreading misinformation, distrust and mayhem,” said Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “The department is committed to ensuring U.S. laws protecting transparency in the electoral process and the political system are not undermined through foreign malign influence.”

Although none of the groups are named in the DOJ announcement, reporters in Tampa identified the African People’s Socialist Party (APSP, known as the “Uhuru Movement”) as Group 1, while Black Hammer was identified by Atlanta reporters as Group 2, and others have identified the secessionist “Yes California” movement as Group 3. My guess is that after Gazi Kodzo got busted for serious crimes in Atlanta, he rolled over and became a federal informant. Recall that he spent years with the APSP, so Kodzo would have known their secrets, and probably sang like a canary when faced with the prospect of a life sentence in a Georgia prison.




 

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