Nation

Warrants issued for N.H. white supremacist

Christopher Cantwell was seen in a Vice News documentary denouncing Jews.
HBO
Christopher Cantwell was seen in a Vice News documentary denouncing Jews.

A white supremacist from Keene, N.H., who was prominently featured in a recent Vice News documentary about the violence in Charlottesville, is wanted for arrest on charges in Virginia, authorities said.

Christopher Cantwell, who is seen in the documentary denouncing Jews and declaring, “a lot more people are gonna die before we’re done here,” has two outstanding warrants stemming from the rally where a counterprotester was killed last weekend.

Officials from the Virginia Commonwealth Attorney’s Office said Thursday that Cantwell is wanted for illegal use of gases, and injury by caustic agent or explosive. Both are felony charges, officials said.

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In a video that surfaced on YouTube this week, following the events in Charlottesville, Cantwell appears to be weeping as he discusses the possibility of warrants for his arrest in Virginia. In the video, which was posted by RawStory.com and the Keene Sentinel, Cantwell says he reached out to police in Keene to ask for advice.

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Through apparent tears, he offers to turn himself in to police.

“If I have to go to jail today, it won’t be the [expletive] first time,” Cantwell says in the nearly five-minute video. “I don’t want to; I don’t think I should. I honestly think that I have been law-abiding.”

Cantwell did not immediately return a request for comment.

Cantwell was a featured name on fliers promoting the Charlottesville “Unite the Right” rally where Heather Heyer was killed after a car plowed into a crowd of counterprotesters.

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He moved to New Hampshire from New York in 2012, and is listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center as an “anti-Semitic, ‘alt-right’ shock jock and an unapologetic fascist who spews white nationalist propaganda.”

Cantwell has said that he relocated to Keene as part of the “free state” movement, which seeks to draw libertarians to New Hampshire, known as the “Live Free or Die” state.

When he first moved to New Hampshire, Cantwell was “just an angry libertarian comedian who had a major hatred for the police,” according to a blog post this week on FreeKeene.com, which is affiliated with the free-state movement.

The post noted that while such views are not uncommon among libertarians, “they were voiced by him loudly enough to get him kicked out of the Free State Project and ostracized by a bunch of people.”

Then, “A couple of years ago, he began down this road to his current skinhead-racist form,” the blog post said.

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In addition to the warrants, Cantwell also ran into trouble this week on social media, where he used several platforms to promote his views, including a podcast.

Cantwell told the Associated Press that since his appearance in the Vice News documentary, where he blasted President Trump for allowing his daughter, Ivanka, to marry Jared Kushner, who is Jewish, his Facebook and Instagram accounts were deactivated.

He claimed that his PayPal account was also shut down, although the company would not confirm it, the report said.

In a blog post apparently authored by Cantwell on Thursday, on ChristopherCantwell.com, the Keene resident references his participation in the Charlottesville protests.

“Depending on who you listen to, I’m either a hero, a terrorist, or a crybaby, which should tell you something about the reliability of the media,” the post said. “In reality, I’m just a guy who wants to save his country from communism, and is often quite terrified at how much resistance he meets in doing so.”

Christopher Cantwell.
Evelyn Hockstein/Washington Post
Christopher Cantwell.

Steve Annear can be reached at steve.annear@globe.com.