Neo-Nazi arrests: Two British soldiers charged with terror offences

Men charged in connection with their alleged membership of banned neo-Nazi group National Action

Rachel Roberts
Monday 11 September 2017 22:06
National Action is described by the Home Office as 'virulently racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic'
National Action is described by the Home Office as 'virulently racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic'

Three men, including two serving soldiers in the British army, have been charged with terror offences as part of an investigation into a banned neo-Nazi group, West Midlands Police said.

Alexander Deakin, 22, Mikko Vehvilainen, 32, and Mark Barrett, 24, have been charged in connection with their alleged membership of National Action.

Five men, including four serving soldiers, were held on suspicion of terror offences last week, police said.

Deakin is also charged with possession of documents likely to be useful to a person preparing to commit an act of terrorism, and distribution of a terrorist publication.

He faces a separate charge of inciting racial hatred over allegations concerning National Action stickers posted at Aston University campus in Birmingham in July last year.

Vehvilainen is further charged with possessing a document containing information likely to be useful for terrorism, publishing material which is threatening, abusive or insulting, posting comments on a website intending to stir up racial hatred, and possessing pepper spray.

Police said: “The arrests were pre-planned and intelligence-led and there was no risk to the public's safety.”

The force said a man from Northampton and another from Ipswich, both aged 24, were released without charge on Saturday following inquiries.

National Action, described by the Home Office as “virulently racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic”, became the first extreme right-wing group to be banned under terrorism laws in December 2016.

The group came to public attention after it championed Thomas Mair, the man found guilty of the horrific murder of Labour MP Jo Cox.

All three are due to appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Tuesday.

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