British prosecutors charged five men and one woman with membership in National Action, a secretive, far-right group proscribed as a terror organization by the UK in 2016.
National Action, the first neo-Nazi group to be banned in the United Kingdom, was founded in 2013. Its ideology focuses on race war, encouraging violence against minorities and against the British state. It was banned in 2016 after the group publicly backed Thomas Mair, the far-right extremist who assassinated Labour MP Jo Cox.
Extremism experts such as Julie Ebner, a research fellow at the London-based Institute for Strategic Dialogue, argue that far-right terrorist groups like National Action and Islamist organizations such as ISIS exist in a symbiotic relationship. Since far-right terrorists argue Islam is waging a war against the West and Islamists argue that the West is at war with Islam, the atrocities of each extremist group serve to justify the narrative of the other.
The six suspects were arrested in coordinated raids on January 3 and slated to be charged charged with “being concerned in the commission, preparation and instigation of acts of terrorism under Section 41 of the Terrorism Act 2000 – namely on suspicion of being a member of a proscribed organisation (National Action) contrary to sec 11 of the Terrorism Act,” said a police spokesperson.
One of those arrested, Joel Wilmore, formerly served as a reservist in the British military.