11 arrested in connection with right-wing group National Action

Eleven men have been arrested by counter terrorism police following an investigation into banned extreme right-wing group National Action.

Six of the men are from the North West of England, including one man who has been produced from prison, while two are from the South Wales area, two are from the West Yorkshire area and one is from the Wiltshire area. Their ages range from 22 to 35.

Officers from Counter Terrorism Policing North East and North West, supported by Wales Extremism and Counter Terrorism Unit and Wiltshire Police conducted the arrests, a spokesman for Greater Manchester Police said.

Greater Manchester Police

The arrests on Wednesday result from two separate investigations and follow activity earlier this month by West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit.

The men from the North West are a 24-year-old from Seaforth, a 23-year-old from Newton-le-Willows, a 33-year-old from Prescot, a 31-year-old from Warrington, and a 35-year-old from Warrington. They have all been arrested on suspicion of preparation of a terrorist act, funding terrorism, and membership of a proscribed organisation.

A 22-year-old man from Lancashire was also produced from prison for police interview on suspicion of preparation of a terrorist act and membership of a proscribed organisation.

A 28-year-old man from Swansea was arrested on suspicion of membership of a proscribed organisation and possession of terrorism material/documents, and a 23-year-old man from Swansea was on suspicion of membership of a proscribed organisation.

A 23-year-old man from Sowerby Bridge, West Yorkshire, was arrested on suspicion of membership of a proscribed organisation along with a 26-year-old man from Leeds, while a 30-year-old man from Wiltshire was also arrested on suspicion of the same offence.

Assistant Chief Constable Russ Jackson, who is responsible for counter-terrorism policing for the North West, said: “Individuals involved in proscribed organisations who support extremist ideologies bring damaging consequences to local communities but, with the help of the public and our partners, we will do everything we can do bring these people to justice.”

Eleven properties are also being searched, police said.

The arrests follow several others in connection with National Action earlier this month.

National Action became the first extreme right-wing group to be banned under terrorism laws in December 2016. The proscription meant that being a member of or inviting support for the organisation is a criminal offence carrying a sentence of up to 10 years’ imprisonment.

In the official list of proscribed groups, it is described as a “racist neo-Nazi group” that was established in 2013 and has branches across the UK which “conduct provocative street demonstrations and stunts aimed at intimidating local communities”.

The document adds that the group is “virulently racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic” and says its activities and propaganda materials are particularly aimed at recruiting young people.

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