The founder of a notorious neo-Nazi group that infiltrated the police and army has been sentenced at the Old Bailey to eight-and-a-half years in prison.

Former philosophy student Alex Davies was found guilty of terrorism offences on 17 May.

He was described by the prosecution as the “extremist’s extremist” who had a unique place in history as an individual who founded two different far-right groups that were banned under terrorism legislation.

He is the last of the 25 members of the neo-Nazi group National Action to be jailed after he was convicted of keeping the organisation running following a ban for encouraging the killing of MPs.

Prosecutors described him as an “innocuous-looking, educated and intelligent” student at Warwick University when he founded the group, aimed at recruiting students and young people to the neo-Nazi cause.

The group was said to have paramilitary aspirations with an emphasis on boxing, martial arts and knife fighting.
Members collected knives, daggers, machetes, high-velocity crossbows, rifles, pump-action shotguns, knuckle dusters, CS spray, baseball bats and a longbow.

National Action described itself as a “white jihadist” group and a “throwback to the 1930s, dedicated to all-out race war”, Barnaby Jameson QC, prosecuting, said during the trial.
“It advocated the same Nazi aims and ideals – the ethnic cleansing of anyone who did not fit the Aryan Nazi mould: Jews, Muslims, people of colour, people of Asian descent, people of gay orientation, and anyone remotely liberal,” Mr Jameson said.

The court was told that the group targeted female MPs who were seen to be in favour of immigration and they openly celebrated the death of Jo Cox in June 2016.

Members included Jack Renshaw, who was jailed for plotting to kill MP Rosie Cooper with a sword, Mikko Vehvilainen, a serving soldier who was stockpiling weapons and Ben Hannam, who joined the Metropolitan Police.

Jack Coulson constructed a pipe bomb and posted an image on social media of the Bradford skyline, threatening to eradicate Muslims from the town.

Among other recruits was Alice Cutter, who entered a “Miss Hitler” beauty pageant, calling herself the Buchenwald Princess.

Far right terrorism is much more difficult to detect due to many political parties being at least partially responsible for violent public behaviour. Also it has lacked serious data collection, compared to other types of terrorism, which has lead to a substantial underestimation of its prevalence. However, recent research is throwing a much more enlightened cloak over our consciousness.

Decades of Right-Wing Extremism in the West

Right-wing extremism has motivated some of the deadliest acts of domestic terrorism in a number of Western countries. The following examples represent only a very small selection of more widely known attacks committed by far-right extremists in recent decades. In August 1980, two members of a splinter cell of the Italian right-wing terrorist group New Order bombed the Bologna train station, killing 85 and wounding more than 200.20 That same year, the deadliest terrorist attack in post-World War II Germany—the bombing of the Munich Oktoberfest by at least one neo-Nazi—left 13 people dead and another 2,011 wounded.21 Another devastating attack was carried out on April 19, 1995 by Timothy McVeigh and two accomplices, who used a car bomb to attack the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. Planned by McVeigh, who was inspired by the right-wing extremist novel The Turner Diaries, the bombing killed 168 and wounded more than 600.22 It is one of the deadliest terrorist attacks in the history of the United States.

In 2009, Ian Davison, a British neo-Nazi and white supremacist, and his son were arrested for planning chemical weapons attacks using homemade ricin as part of the right-wing terrorist organization Aryan Strike Force.23 Authorities uncovered the plot, and Davison was sentenced to 10 years in prison. He is currently the only British citizen arrested for and convicted of manufacturing a chemical weapon. Two years later, on July 22, 2011, Anders Behring Breivik, a right-wing extremist, detonated a car bomb in Oslo city center, killing 8, and then drove to the island of Utøya to continue his attack, killing a further 69 people, many of them children, in a mass shooting.24 Seventy-seven people in total were killed during the rampage. Prior to carrying out the attack, Breivik had published a manifesto that laid out his ideology, which was based on Christian fundamentalism and cultural racism.

These examples demonstrate that the West has a long history of violent acts perpetrated by extreme right-wing actors. Since 2012, the refugee crisis across Europe has contributed to an upsurge in support for right-wing parties and violent networks. Xenophobic and anti-immigration crimes and social movements have increased in almost all European countries. Thus a major question for researchers, policymakers, and law enforcement personnel in Europe and North America is whether extreme right-wing terrorism and violence display unique tactical or strategic characteristics that make it harder to detect and counter. (Source)

Jason Cridland

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