Security minister warns far right is adopting same grooming methods used by Islamists

Ben Wallace said there is a danger that opposing extremists are antagonising each other to increase conflict

Joe Watts
Political Editor
Saturday 16 December 2017 11:29
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Security Minister Ben Wallace: Far-right is adopting same grooming methods used by Islamists

Security minister Ben Wallace has warned that far-right extremists in the UK are adopting the same grooming methods previously used by Islamist groups to radicalise people.

The minister, who is responsible for counter-terrorism, said there is a danger that far-right and Islamist extremists antagonise and feed off each other’s activity in order to increase conflict.

His comments come a year after the Home Office banned the neo-Nazi group National Action, making it a criminal offence to belong to or invite support for the organisation.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today show, Mr Wallace said he was concerned about the rising threat of the far right in the UK.

He said: “We are worried that it is increasing, and it is using all the grooming methods and the networking methods that we have seen used by other terrorist groups recently.

“That is not good for our safety, and we have got to take steps to deal with it.”

Asked whether there is a danger that opposing extremists antagonise each other, increasing radical activity overall, he added: “Extremists on all sides of arguments would love to dominate the ground and antagonise their opponent, pushing them to the extreme to ultimately cause some form of conflict.

“That is part of the methodology of some of these people, and we have got to make sure that we counter that.”

He said that the Government always looks at all groups that are in danger of becoming a terrorist organisation, and would ban any that began to step over the line.

National Action was banned last December, following an assessment by the Home Office that it was “concerned in terrorism”.

Five serving members of the British army were arrested in September on suspicion of being members of the banned group.

West Midlands Police said at the time that they had been arrested “on suspicion of being concerned in the commission, preparation and instigation of acts of terrorism”.

Another far-right group which is not currently proscribed, Britain First, was given a huge boost when President Donald Trump retweeted its propaganda videos to his almost 45 million followers.

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