Two Prince William County-area police agencies are investigating fliers that appear to have been left by hate groups over the weekend on residents’ doorsteps and in public spaces.
On Friday, fliers advertising a group known as the Patriot Front — which argues for a defense against “foreign invaders” and a return to white European values — were posted on community bulletin boards and gas station pumps in parts of the city of Manassas.
On Sunday, a few dozen Ku Klux Klan fliers were left in plastic bags weighed down with birdseed on residents’ doorsteps in neighborhoods in Gainesville and Bristow, in western Prince William, officials said.
Both Prince William and Manassas police said that the literature did not appear to be targeting specific groups but that their probes would continue.
One Ku Klux Klan flier, provided to The Washington Post by a Bristow resident who did not want to be identified, was headlined “White Supremacy Made America Great” and said, “Let’s work toward the rebirth of a nation.”
Both sets of fliers contained the website address for the group sending it or a phone number for those seeking more information.
Del. Lee Carter (D-Manassas) said he believes the literature is part of a wider recruitment effort inside his district.
“They were tossing them in people’s driveways like the newspaper boy,” Carter said of the Klan fliers.
“They have an end goal, and that end goal is ethnic cleansing,” he said. “We want to make sure that fascists know that they are not welcome and they will never be welcome here.”
Similar Ku Klux Klan fliers were distributed in Leesburg and other parts of Loudoun County in January, just before Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Del. Danica Roem (D-Manassas) said that at least some of the fliers left in Gainesville were distributed in predominantly African American neighborhoods.
On its Twitter page, the Patriot Front group said that in the past week it had also posted fliers in Reston, Washington state, Colorado and Michigan. The group did not respond to messages for comment.
Prince William Board of County Supervisors Chairman Corey A. Stewart, a Republican who has drawn criticism for his defense of Confederate monuments in Virginia and for associating with white nationalists, said he does not think the county has a problem with hate groups.
“We’ve always condemned this garbage,” said Stewart, who is challenging U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) in November. “There’s always been stuff like this, sporadically, by some nut job. No one knows who it is, but if we find them, we’ll prosecute them.”
At a celebration of President Trump’s inauguration in 2017, Stewart praised Paul Nehlen, a self-professed “pro-white” challenger to House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.).
He also appeared at a news conference with Jason Kessler, who later helped organized the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville that led to the death of a 32-year-old woman.
Stewart has since disavowed his ties to both men, saying he had not been aware of their extremist views.