June 24, 2010

Convictions point to rise of far right extremism

Today's convictions of a 42-year-old food packer and a 59-year-old builder on inciting racial hatred brings to 16 the number of convictions connected to far right extremism in the past two years...

Trevor Hannington, from South Wales, and Michael Heaton, from Lancashire, ran their own far right organisation which promised street action to help rid the country of minority communities.

Their Aryan Strike Force boasted 350 members. Its website had tens of thousands of postings, all messages of hate like urging the destruction of Jews, describing them as treacherous scum. There were references to "chopping niggers legs off" and "kill the jew, burn down a synagogue today". Heaton was found guilty on four charges, while Hannington admitted to four terrorism charges including distributing instructions on how to turn a water pistol into a flamethrower. Both were both found not guilty of soliciting to murder.

Dr Matthew Feldman, who runs the UK's only research unit on new media and domestic extremism at Northampton University, was the prosecution's key witness in this case. He says "These are neo-Nazis, pure and simple, and consider themselves really the most extreme versions of this ideological neo-Nazism that is new. We have had some evidence, I believe, of activists from the ASF appearing on videos at the English Defence League marches and so forth."

Dr Feldman believes this recent string of convictions of "lone wolf" cases and the creation of the English Defence League point to a resurgence of far right extremism. He said: "In terms of what we might call small cell or lone wolf terrorists cases since 2008, but also other events in 2008 such as the successful election of two British National Party MEPs in the Yorkshire, Humber area, and in 2009 the creation of the English Defence League on the back of those protests by some radical Islamism groups against the return of Anglican soldiers. So I think there is a confluence of factors that do point to a resurgence in the far right."

The two convicted today actually turned up at several of the EDL rallies and used their website to praise the EDL's actions. Yet the EDL denies any links to these extremists organisation. We asked for an interview with its organisers so we could put all our evidence to them. They declined.

Does that mean EDL is infiltrated with those with a much more extreme agenda intent on more than just glorified football style violence? Police who monitor these events say no. Assistant Chief Constable Anton Setchell, national coordinator for domestic extremism, told Channel 4 News that "we have seen some individuals from the far right on the margins of EDL organised events but these are only one or two individuals. We have found no strong links between extreme groups like the Aryan Strike Force and the EDL."

Yet today's guilty verdicts bring to 16 the total number of far right extremists who have been convicted over the past two years. Among them were father and son Ian and Nicky Davison who were sent to prison last month for possessing the poison Ricin and for making and detonating pipe bombs. They were also co-founders of the Aryan Strike Force.

Dr Feldman says: "in groups like the ASF successor organisations we are seeing a group numbering in the few hundreds probably at the maximum. That's a few hundred too many because these are not people who are far right activists for the BNP and knocking doors. These are people who may very well be considering a future as we saw in the Davison case undertaking terrorists.

In fact Heaton stated publically that as part of a "rites of passage" to join, potential recruits had to carry out a serious op, meaning a violent racist attack.

The Institute for Race Relations is about to publish a report, which Channel 4 News has had exclusive access to, mapping out 600 serious racist attacks in the UK last year. Many have taken place in towns which have had influxes of a migrant workforce or asylum seekers. But it also hints at a correlation between attacks and pockets of extremism.

We found that of the 16 extremist convictions since 2008, two thirds come from towns which form a corridor across the north of England: Penwortham, south of Preston, to Leigh, west of Manchester, to Batley, to Selby, to Goole, to Grimsby, then further north to Elsdon and Durham. Privately, police sources have confirmed to us that their intelligence suggests the same. They admit there are some dangerous individuals, but overall the threat from right wing extremists has hardly changed since the days of the nail bomber David Copeland, who killed three and seriously injured 79 people in three attacks, the worst at Soho's Admiral Duncan Pub in 1999. It was the last time white supremacists were said to behind a bomb attack in the UK.

Those monitoring far right extremists attribute the recent string of convictions to a combination of "good police work", community relations and luck, rather than an increased threat. But they say what has changed is their profile boosted by a combination of the numerous convictions and the tenor of EDL marches.

Channel 4 News

Thanks to NewsHound for the heads-up.


stanners said...

Another article here

Anonymous said...

Wigan Mike claimed on VNN that he was phoned up by the EDL leadership and asked to attend, as if the presence of hardcore terrorist nazis such as Wigan Mike is of benefit to the extreme rightwing lure of the EDL.

Ben Stihlah said...

It's kinda funny that since the Tommy Robinson's arrest and subsequent release in Sheffield, the cops go out of their way to defend the EDL, with blind eyes turned to everthing they do.

Fuckin' fishy or what?

This will 110% result in bloody race riots in Bradford.

Pity Poor Bradford!!!

Anonymous said...

Wander if Wigan Mike will get off with a slap on the wrist, for grassing up people like Tommy Robinson did???

Anonymous said...

"kill the jew, burn down a synagogue today"

But they were cleared of soliciting to murder? How did they manage that one?

jackie said...

Well, Wigan Mike, like Tommy Robinson provides info to OB.

A bit like the grasses in the BPP.

That's why they literally get away with murder.

Pity poor Bradford indeed.

No result other than a fatal riot, which will leave the city devasted and on its last legs. Went there last year and half the shops are already closed down.

The government, council and the cops stand by like bloody dummies, and One final riot, and the city will become motherfucking beirut

Edd Tudor Poll said...

With fanatics like this, and if there's vandalism on mosques in Bradford approaching the end of August, no way will young Asian men stop at home and do what the cops say.

Stop and search cuts deep, and ironically, of the young Asian men who will turn up in their thousands in Centenary Square, most if not all are not devout Muslims.

So much for the EDL's "just against Islamic extremists" bullshit.

They're just fucking nazis!

All they give a shit about is beating up Asian people because of their skin colour.

When the EDL "hit" the city centre, there will sadly be body bags everywhere when the hardcore football thugs kick off and the coppers turn another Bolton-style blind eye.

Police protecting neonazis will be viewed with anger by Asian vigalantes waiting for the EDL in Braddford.

Anonymous said...

I've been looking at facebook, and EDL supporters have been talking about making molotovs to use in Bradford against Asian businesses.

Sounds like kristallnacht all over again.

Who said the EDL have a Jewish devision?

It's not just Wigan Mike who should be arrested for being nutzi terrorists.


Anonymous said...

Old Bill got a love in thing going with the EDL.

It's all going to end in tears at the end of the summer unless David Cameron shows decise leadership and bans the EDL.

Anonymous said...

My retired gran lives on the outskirts of Bradford in an old folks home.

Thinking of letting her stop with me and my family for several weeks before and after the Bradford riot.

Anonymous said...

Chris Renton is the one who is planning the Bradford Riot.

The police ought to arrest him, and rip up the deal done with Robbo in Sheffield.

Anonymous said...

One or two violent neonazis in their ranks.

Pull the other, PC Plod, it's got fuckin' bells on.

What are special branch up to with the EDL?

Anonymous said...

Is Mark Collett and his parents still in the BNP?

Anonymous said...

"Is Mark Collett and his parents still in the BNP?"

Another membership list is due to be leaked fairly soon so we can check then!

Anonymous said...

Wigan Mike was outside the bnp conference in Hindley Green, Wigan in November. He was having a go at us and the police had to intervene.


Anonymous said...


Skaface said...

Reading the nazi forums as i do regular, i know that a lot of them view Wigan mike as a "grass" already. If he gets a low sentence they may be vindicated.
He was also a regular on Bernard O'Mahoneys forum, another person with a few clouds over his head.
But then we get a link of the nazis to these celebrity gangsters. Now isn't there a woman in the EDL from Southend, whose related to a famous gangster!