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Neo-Nazi who posed in Maga hat convicted of terror offences

Nicholas Brock, who lived with his mother, had framed ‘certificate of recognition’ from KKK under his bed

Lizzie Dearden
Security Correspondent
Tuesday 23 March 2021 15:36 GMT
Brock (not pictured) had a framed ‘certificate of recognition’ from the KKK
Brock (not pictured) had a framed ‘certificate of recognition’ from the KKK (CTPSE)
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A neo-Nazi who posed for a photo while wearing a Make America Great Again hat has been convicted of terror offences.

Nicholas Brock, 53, was found guilty of three counts of possessing documents useful to a terrorist on Tuesday.

He denied the charges and said he was a “military collector”, who had an interest in weapons and ammunition stemming from his love of Action Man figures as a child.

But a jury convicted him for possessing The Anarchists’ Cookbook version 2000, which contains bomb recipes, a document on knife fighting techniques and a US military manual containing further instruction on fatal attacks.

Kingston Crown Court heard that he had an “extreme right-wing mindset” and possessed Nazi weapons, memorabilia and literature.

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Brock, who lived with his mother in Maidenhead, has tattoos of “prominent German Nazi figures from the 1930s and 40s”, an SS Totenkopf skull, runes and other symbols adopted by neo-Nazis and white supremacists.

He possessed a collection of Second World War knives and daggers bearing Nazi and SS insignia, and recipes for homemade bombs annotated with hand-drawn swastikas.

Police also found a framed “certificate of recognition” from the Ku Klux Klan (KKK), in the defendant’s name, under his bed.

Prosecutor Emma Gargitter said seized electronic devices contained photos showing a man believed to be Brock posing in his bedroom, while wearing a balaclava and holding “a large firearm”, and posing in front of a swastika flag.

She told the court there was also “a photograph of the defendant wearing a ‘Make America Great Again’ cap, in front of the Confederate flag”.

The slogan, often abbreviated as “Maga”, was used by Donald Trump during his successful 2016 US presidential campaign.

The former president popularised the wearing of distinctive red baseball caps emblazoned with the phrase in white letters, of the kind Brock was wearing.

He was standing in front of the battle flag of the defeated Confederate States of America, which has been appropriated by white supremacist groups.

Police found literature including a copy of Adolf Hitler’s book Mein Kampf, National Front flyers in an envelope addressed to Brock and books about the KKK and neo-Nazi group Combat 18.

A flag displaying an eagle and swastika were on Brock’s bedroom wall, and he had an SS wall plaque, Nazi propaganda poster and Nazi badge on his bedside table, the court heard.

Jurors were told that his laptop, hard drives and mobile phones contained insignia, flags and other material associated with historical and contemporary far-right groups, and videos of “extreme violence”.

They included the footage taken by the 2019 Christchurch mosque shooter, beheadings and KKK cross burnings.

Searches had been made on Brock’s laptop for banned neo-Nazi terrorist group National Action, as well as for other extremist groups and racist terms.

“Analysis conducted across all of Mr Brock’s electronic devices, and indeed a spin around his bedroom revealed that one of Mr Brock’s interests was in everything Nazi,” Ms Gargitter said.

Nicholas Brock, 53, had Nazi-era weapons, symbols, collectibles and literature in his bedroom (CTPSE)

“But the interest goes beyond Second World War history and Nazi memorabilia. Mr Brock is also, the prosecution say, a sympathiser with the ideas of the far right - not just the Nazi party, but also modern extreme right-wing groups which promote the use of violence to further racist aims in contemporary society.

“The presence on his hard drive of three documents likely to be of use in planning or committing a terrorist act must be viewed in that context.”

Brock denied wrongdoing, telling police he was just “a normal person who likes collecting stuff”.

He claimed that the files could already have been on the hard drive, which he bought second-hand from a car boot sale in 2015, but analysis of the device showed the items had not been downloaded until 2017.

Brock told police the documents may have been downloaded by two friends who sometimes came to play games at his home, while he was “out of the room making a cup of tea or a sandwich”.

He refused to give contact details and police could find no record of one man’s existence, while the second person mentioned said he had never visited Brock’s home, and had been confined to a wheelchair and almost bed-bound since 2014.

Brock also told investigators he had “no interest” in far-right groups, as he “didn't go out much” due to his social anxieties.

Ms Gargitter said Brock “has no legitimate reason for possessing this sort of information”, and alleged that the hard-drive had been “well organised” as part of the “deliberate and careful filing of material”.

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“These are not ‘everyday’ items or collectable memorabilia, but publications which contain detailed advice on how to create explosives and explosive devices – bombs, on how to kill and how to maim,” she told the jury.

“They may of course be of use to someone planning any kind of violent attack; and they would certainly be of use to someone planning a terrorist attack.”

Edward Butler, defending, told the jury that Brock was not a terrorist and was not planning to commit a terror attack.

“Some of the material we have viewed and the allegations against Mr Brock are unpleasant and appalling,” he added. ”You may well think that this is not the kind of man you'd want to go for a pint with, or that he spends far too much time on his computer.”

Detective Chief Superintendent Kath Barnes, head of Counter-Terrorism Policing South East, said the material Brock possessed “went far beyond the legitimate actions of a military collector”.

“Brock showed a clear right wing ideology with the evidence seized from his possessions during the investigation,” she added.

“In this case, Brock has been found in possession of very dangerous and concerning material and will face the full consequences of this by the courts.

“We are committed to tackling all forms of toxic ideology which has the potential to threaten public safety and security.”

Brock will be sentenced on 25 May and the Recorder of Richmond, Judge Peter Lodder QC, remanded him into custody ahead of that date.

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