Monday, 22 February 2010

Police Scrutinise Hard-core Racists

Hard-core racists bent on a war against racial minorities are increasingly the subject of scrutiny of the police.

That is the finding of a new report by Nothing British and the Centre for Social Cohesion which is based on an analysis of activities by groups like Blood & Honour and Combat 18, and interviews with police officers close to the case.
Responding to coverage of the report in the News of the World, James Bethell, Director of Nothing British campaign, said:
"it is important that we remain vigilant towards people with an ideological commitment to creating violence between people of different races. In 2001 security services tracked young Islamist radicals at outward bound camps that seemed harmless at the time. Four years later, some of those men had become terrorists who sought to kill innocent civilians on July 7 and 21, 2005. We must not make the same mistake again."
Nothing British, in partnership with the Centre for Social Cohesion, have published a report by Edmund Standing and Alexander Meleagrou-Hitchens that highlights the potential threat from white supremacists committed to an agenda of violence against racial minorities.
Denis MacShane MP, Labour (Rotherham) writes in the forward to the report,
"Like their jihadist counterparts, neo-Nazis are filled with hate, are conspiratorial and are prepared (and determined) to use extreme violence to achieve their political aims. If we want to reduce the threat we face from far-right extremism, it is imperative that new systems be put in place, allowing pre-emptive strikes against this budding threat."
The report lists three incidents of recent neo-Nazi-related threats:-

  • In July, Yorkshire police raided a neo-Nazi terror cell with international links. They seized the largest suspected terrorist arsenal since the IRA bombings of the early nineties. Twenty properties were raided and over three hundred weapons and eighty bombs were discovered by counter-terrorism detectives. The hardware included rocket launchers, grenades, pipe bombs and dozens of firearms. Several people were charged, and over thirty were questioned over the incident.
  • In September, Mr. Neil Lewington, a follower of Blood & Honour, was jailed indefinitely for attempting to launch a bombing campaign against non-white Britons. In his flat, police discovered a bomb-making factory and neo-Nazi literature. Court reports said that Lewington wanted to emulate his ‘heroes’ – Mr. David Copeland, the Soho bomber, and Mr. Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma bomber.
  • In May, Mr. Terence Gavan, a card-carrying member of the BNP, was arrested after police raided his home. In January 2010, he was convicted on terrorism charges and sentenced to eleven years in prison, after a stockpile of nail and ball-bearing bombs, shotguns, improvised explosive devices and pistols was found at his house.

It is important not to over-estimate the threat of white supremacist violence from these groups. Islamist violence remains the highest threat. Police experience to date has shown that they splinter and squabble whenever any momentum develops. However, Police sources say that they are aware that circumstances could change and they invest appropriate resources in maintaining a responsible level of intelligence on these groups.

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