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27 Sep, 2017 10:39

UK counter-terror police arrest 11 in far-right National Action investigation

UK counter-terror police arrest 11 in far-right National Action investigation

Eleven people have been arrested across England and Wales as part of an investigation into neo-Nazi terrorist group National Action, Greater Manchester Police say.

It comes after three alleged members of National Action, including serving British soldiers, appeared in court charged with terrorism offences.

The 11 men were arrested across the country on suspicion of offences including preparing terrorist acts, being members of a banned organization and possession of terrorism documents as part of the inquiry into the banned group.

Those arrested include six men from the north west of England, one of whom is already in prison for a separate offence, two men from South Wales, two men from West Yorkshire, and one man from Wiltshire.

All are between 23 and 35 years old.

National Action became the first far-right organization to be outlawed in Britain last year after the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox, whose killing it had praised.

“Today’s arrests are part of coordinated action by the national Counter Terrorism network and UK policing,” said Detective Chief Superintendent Martin Snowden, the head of counter-terrorism policing in northeast England.

“Those who promote extreme right wing views are looking to divide our communities and spread hatred. This will not be tolerated and those who do so must be brought to justice.”

Last month, a senior police chief said the number of referrals to the authorities about suspected right-wing extremists had doubled since the murder of Cox, who was killed in June last year by a loner obsessed with Nazis and white supremacist ideology.

The Senior National Coordination for Counter Terrorism Policing, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu of the Metropolitan Police, said: “Counter-terrorism policing is committed to tackling all forms of extremism that threatens public safety and security.

“Investigations relating to alleged extreme right wing activity are pursued with the same level or resource and vigour as other ideologies, in order to bring suspected offenders before the courts.

“Today’s arrests, while resulting from two separate investigations, have been coordinated by our officers across a number of forces. This maximizes operational effectiveness for police and minimizes disruption for the local communities.”