A leading white supremacist has been caught lying about being a veteran of the war in Iraq.
Elliot Kline, who goes by the name Eli Mosley in homage to British fascist politician Oswald Mosley, went from calling himself an "anonymous Twitter troll" to becoming a leader in the US white supremacist movement and playing a key role organising the Charlottesville protests, the New York Times reports.
Mr Kline, who claimed to be an Iraq war veteran, often spoke of how the US military is a major recruiting ground for far-right groups.
Speaking previously on a far-right podcast, Mr Kline identified himself as a HR person who fires "n****** and sp*** all day. Before that I was in the army and I got to kill Muslims for fun. I’m not sure which one was better, watching n****** and sp*** cry they can’t feed their little mud children or watching Muslims’ brains sprayed on the wall. Honestly both probably suck compared to listening to a k*** scream…"
On another, he said he was embedded with the Iraqi army and boasted about killing "muds," an ethnic slur against Arabs.
However, the Times found his unit of the National Guard had never deployed to Iraq. Army records and conversations with his fellow soldiers revealed he had "quit before his contract was up."
During interviews with Emma Cott, the reporter who was interviewing him and other white nationalists, Mr Kline was unable to give a clear account of the period of time he had served in Iraq.
"Well, I went to Kuwait for a little bit, for three months, and it wasn’t really Iraq… and it was toward the end parts, the demobilisation period," he said.
He gave no answer when pressed to say how long he was in the Army in a single sentence
Ms Cott later confronted him about the deception, telling him: “The Army tells me that you did not deploy.”
After explaining she had read his official records from the Army and the national Guard, she asked if he had gone to Iraq.
“I was in Kuwait. I told you that before," he said.
"Like many of his peers, Eli was already using an invented name," Ms Cott wrote in an account of the interview.
"So why not make up a few autobiographical details, especially ones to boost his reputation?"
She added: "The movement itself also relies on falsehoods. It includes Holocaust deniers and pseudo-intellectuals who spout unsubstantiated theories about the science behind racial difference. In order to reach mainstream Americans, white supremacists have learned to cloak their racism in disorienting terms like 'white identity politics'.
"Deception is baked into the alt-right, so Eli Mosley is a perfect match for the movement."