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NCIS investigates allegations that Pacific-based Marine sent pro-Nazi, racist tweets

U.S. Marines from Headquarters Battalion, Marine Corps Base Hawaii, march in formation during a change of command ceremony aboard Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay on June 23, 2017. During the ceremony, Col. Sean C. Killeen relinquished command of Marine Corps Base Hawaii to Col. Raul Lianez and Killeen retired from the Corps after 34 years of honorable service. (Sgt. Brittney Vella/U.S. Marine Corps)

A Marine stationed at Marine Corps Base Hawaii is under investigation after allegedly tweeting racist and pro-Nazi messages that included a photo of a swastika formed by blocks of TNT.

Twitter users took to social media Sunday to report Mason Edward Mead to his command after a series of tweets posted under an account linked to his name espoused support for Nazis and included photos of Adolf Hitler.

The Marine Corps “is aware of derogatory online comments attributed to a Marine,” the Okinawa-based III Marine Expeditionary Force said in a statement Tuesday. The Naval Criminal Investigative Service “is thoroughly investigating this situation and the command will address any misconduct at the appropriate judicial or administrative level.”

In an email to Stars and Stripes, III MEF officials declined to confirm Mead’s identity, rank and rate, stating that “no additional details on the subject of the investigation may be released before referral of charges.”

In one photo among those tweeted on the account, a Marine is seen arranging eight high-explosive charges into the shape of a swastika. The image was included in a series of pictures taken at Camp Fuji’s Combined Arms Training Center in Gotemba, Japan.

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It is unclear if Mead was the Marine in uniform forming the swastika or if the tweets have been removed. The Twitter account has since been made private.

Another photo posted of a man posing in front of Mount Fuji contains the caption “ching chong,” along with a series of emojis that include a Japanese flag, a dog and a knife and fork. A comment under that tweet by Mead’s account said, “excited to try Japanese teriyaki doberman!!!”

According to a Twitter post attributed to Mead, he considers himself politically “to the right” of fascism and “natsoc,” an American neo-Nazi party. He also said he “would have fought in the Waffen SS if possible,” referring to the combat arm of the Nazis’ most fanatical organization.

“The Marine Corps takes every instance of misconduct seriously, whether on duty, off duty or online” III MEF’s statement said. “We are thankful for the individuals who brought this to our attention.”

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© 2019 the Stars and Stripes

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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