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Far right terrorist group dismantled after co founders conviction

todayMay 17, 2022 1

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Far-right terrorist group ‘dismantled’ after co-founder’s conviction 

Counter-terrorism chiefs believe they have now dismantled an extreme right-wing terrorist group linked to an MP murder plot, and whose ranks included a British soldier and a police officer.

Alex Davies became the 19th person to be convicted of membership of banned group National Action after the 27-year-old was found guilty at Winchester Crown Court.

The group’s co-founder, from Swansea, was key in developing the organisation’s “neo-Nazi” ideology, which had bid to build a “white supremacist homeland within the UK”.

Prosecutors at his trial described him as “probably the biggest Nazi of the lot”.

It followed conviction of the group’s fellow founder, 32-year-old Ben Raymond, of Swindon, who was found guilty at a separate trial of membership of a banned terrorist group.

Together, Davies and Raymond had worked since the group’s creation in 2013 in spreading an “ideology of hatred”, described as “incredibly dangerous” by counter-terrorism police.

“The risk National Action presented was clear,” said Superintendent Anthony Tagg, head of the West Midlands’ counter terrorism unit, which led the investigation to break up National Action and Davies’ successor “continuity” group, NS131.

The organisation was outlawed by then-home secretary Amber Rudd at the end of 2016, who branded it “racist, antisemitic and homophobic”.

It became the first right-wing organisation to be banned since the Second World War.

The Government acted after members of the organisation celebrated the actions of murderer and neo-Nazi Thomas Mair, who killed MP Jo Cox in June 2016.

Among those convicted of membership since December 2016 have been British soldier and Afghanistan veteran, Finnish-born Mikko Vehvilainen, and former Met probationary police officer Ben Hannam.

One of the group’s associates was convicted of making a working pipe bomb, while another, Jack Renshaw, of Skelmersdale, Lancashire, later admitted plotting to kill MP Rosie Cooper with a machete.

He was jailed for life with a minimum of 20 years.

Renshaw’s gambit was only foiled after a National Action member bravely turned on his former friends, reporting the plan to counter-extremist group, Hope Not Hate, who passed the information to police.

National Action was social media savvy, boasting self-taught propogandists among its ranks, though its membership never exceeded 100.

They created slick computer-generated imagery – including logos, and slogans for stickers, leaflets and posters – and targeted young people in particular for recruitment.

Some of their literature called for “White Jihad”, but they had also created a policy document to “make way for National Socialism to enter British Politics”.

Other material had designs glorifying the antisemitic messaging of Hitler’s Germany or praising the work of SS death squads.

Davies himself once posed with a National Action flag in the killing rooms of the Nazi concentration camp at Buchenwald.

Several of their members had read and accessed copies of the manifesto of mass-murderer Anders Breivik – who killed 77 people, mostly children, in bomb and gun attacks in Norway in 2011.

Members held vocal rallies up and down the country, dressed in black, reminiscent of Oswald Moseley’s fascists of the 1930s, delivering Nazi-style salutes and carrying flags, some stating “Hitler was right”.

Ironically, it was, in-part, their successful fly-posting of the Aston University campus in Birmingham in 2016 which helped bring them to the attention of counter-terrorism officers.

One of the posters they put up read “Britain is ours – the rest must go”.

Despite the relatively young age of the membership, they were well organised, with regional convenors who used social messaging apps to organise “socials”, rallies, martial arts training sessions and camping trips.

Speaking after Davies’ trial, Mr Tagg said: “The risk National Action presented was clear.

“They, through their recruitment, sought to identify individuals in what they considered to be positions of authority; within the British Army, within policing.

“They sought to utilise those positions to further their ideological cause.

“They, through the work they’d done, gathered together weapons, had gathered together material that talked about the creation of explosive devices, and one of them had created a pipe bomb and was prosecuted successfully for that.

“National Action were incredibly dangerous, and the ideology they espoused was an ideology of hatred, which caused division in communities across the country.”

He added: “We’ve done a huge amount of work… to dismantle that prescribed organisation (and) to bring to justice those who were members of that organisation.

“I can’t sit here today and tell you that there aren’t individuals across the country who still hold extreme right-wing, racist ideological mindsets.

“But what I can assure you is that where where that is found, we will investigate them and we will bring those individuals to justice.”

Published: 17/05/2022 by Radio NewsHub

Written by: NDR NEWS

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