National Action: Suspected neo-Nazi arrested in terror raid amid crackdown on extremist group

Police say it is 'essential to stop' those who spread extremist ideologies

Lizzie Dearden
Home Affairs Correspondent
Friday 23 February 2018 17:23 GMT
The raid (not pictured) was part of a wider crackdown against National Action
The raid (not pictured) was part of a wider crackdown against National Action (PA)

A suspected neo-Nazi has been arrested by counter-terror police amid a crackdown on a banned far-right group.

The 46-year-old man was detained on suspicion of being a National Action member and malicious communications.

He remains in custody for questioning following a dawn raid at his home in Lincoln by the Counter Terrorism Policing North West unit.

Detective Chief Superintendent Dominic Scally said: “The arrest forms part of a wider operation into the activities of a proscribed organisation.

“The man remains in custody to be questioned by specialist officers and our investigation continues.

“Those involved in proscribed organisations have a detrimental effect on the communities others work so hard to build so it is essential people contact us with information so we can put a stop to those who support extremist ideologies.”

The man faces being charged with offences under the Terrorism Act and Telecommunications Act.

National Action, seen in York, has been banned (National Action)

Lincolnshire Police, which supported the raid, said the operation was pre-planned and “it is not believed there is any threat to the local Lincolnshire community at this time”.

National Action became the first far-right terrorist group to be banned by the Government in December 2016, making membership a criminal offence carrying a sentence of up to 10 years' imprisonment.

The Government has since proscribed two of its aliases, Scottish Dawn and NS131 (National Socialist Anti-Capitalist Action), which had been operating in the Midlands.

Extending the ban in September, Amber Rudd vowed to combat the “vile racist, homophobic and anti-Semitic groups” and their ability to glorify violence and stir up hatred.

“I will not allow them to masquerade under different names,” the Home Secretary said at the time.

“By extending the proscription of National Action, we are halting the spread of a poisonous ideology and stopping its membership from growing – protecting those who could be at risk of radicalisation.”

Founded in 2013, National Action promotes the idea that Britain will inevitably see a violent race war and has been linked to violent plots, while its members ran what activists called a “terror training camp” at its former base in Warrington.

It praised the murderer of Labour MP Jo Cox, who was killed by a far-right extremist during the EU referendum campaign and called for “white jihad” against perceived enemies including Jewish people and the LGBT community.

Several alleged members are currently facing separate trials, including British soldiers and a man accused of buying a machete with the intention of murdering Labour MP Rosie Cooper.

A former National Action recruiter, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was convicted of inciting racial hatred last month after describing Jewish people as “parasites” that needed to be eradicated.

“The real enemy is the Jew,” he told a demonstration. “You can call me Nazi, you can call me fascist. That is what I am.”

Security services have warned of the increasing threat emanating from both the far-right and Isis, which is being fuelled by “remote radicalisation” online.

The past year has seen a record number of terror arrests in the UK, with five attacks carried out in London and Manchester, and several plots foiled.

Police urge anyone with information to call the Anti-Terrorist Hotline in confidence on 0800 789 321.

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