Neo-Nazi raids link to Powys

Reporter:

Elgan Hearn

A 32-YEAR-old soldier from Brecon, has been arrested on suspicion of terrorism offences and of being a member of banned far right organisation, Action First.

He is one of four to have been arrested by West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit in a joint operation with the Wales Extremism Counter Terrorism Unit and East Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit.

The other three are: a 22-year-old from Birmingham, a 24-year-old from Ipswich and a 24-year-old from Northampton.

A fifth person - a civilian - has also been arrested on the same charge.

One of the soldiers was detained by the Royal Military Police in Cyprus and a number of properties are being searched in connection with the arrests.

They are being held for questioning at a police station in the West Midlands after being arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the “commission, preparation and instigation of acts of terrorism under Section 41 of the Terrorism Act 2000.”

They are under suspicion of being a members of National Action.

National Action became the first British neo-Nazi group to be banned in December 2016, after Home Secretary Amber Rudd MP, said it was promoting violence and acts of terrorism.

Membership or inviting support for a proscribed organisation is a criminal offence carrying a sentence of up to 10 years in prison.

An Army spokesman said: “We can confirm that a number of serving members of the Army have been arrested under the Terrorism Act for being associated with a proscribed far-right group.

“This is now the subject of a civilian police investigation and it would be inappropriate to comment further.”

Powys MPs Glyn Davies and Chris Davies have both expressed shock and horror that a man living in the county has been arrested as part of this investigation.

Glyn Davies MP for Montgomeryshire, said: “I was shocked to learn from the Ministry of Defence that a 32-year-old Powys man, and a serving member of the army has been arrested by West Midlands Police for involvement with a banned group of neo-Nazis - and that he is accused of the commission, preparation and instigation of acts of terrorism.

“The banned group in question, National Action, is evil.

“It is racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic, advertising itself as a National Socialist youth organisation.”

Chris Davies, MP for Brecon and Radnorshire, added: “The news that a member of the British army has been arrested in my constituency on such charges has come as a surprise to us all.

“I work closely with the military here and they are an integral part of our community.”

Email:

elgan.hearn@nwn.co.uk

See full story in the County Times

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