Far-right terrorism is now the greatest terror growth industry in the UK, having now taken the crown for the second year running. As the Independent has reported, “official statistics showed that the number of white terror suspects detained in the UK outstripped those of Asian appearance for the second year in a row. Home Office figures showed that 117 white people were arrested on suspicion of terror offences in 2019, compared with 111 Asian suspects and 21 black suspects”. And it gets worse. A lot worse.
Under the headline “Met officer arrested in right-wing terror probe”, the BBC has reported that “The arrest of a serving Metropolitan Police officer relates to the outlawed neo-Nazi group National Action, it is understood. Counter-terrorism officers arrested the 21-year-old police constable in north London”. There was more.
“He is being held on suspicion of membership of a proscribed organisation linked to right-wing terrorism, the Met said. Officers are searching the address where he was arrested”. The Indy has gone further: “The officer, who works in frontline policing in London, was arrested on Thursday and remains in custody while his home is searched”.
Lizzie Dearden’s article also notes that National Action “became the first far-right organisation to be banned by the British government since the Second World War” and that “The government has since proscribed spin-off groups Scottish Dawn, NS131, Sonnenkrieg Division (SKD) and System Resistance Network (SRN)”. Do go on.
“SKD has been listed as a splinter group … ‘The group has encouraged and glorified acts of terrorism via its posts and images,’ a government document says. ‘This includes an image depicting the Duke of Sussex being shot as part of their campaign against “race traitors” following his marriage to the Duchess of Sussex; and homemade propaganda using Nazi imagery calling for attacks on minorities’”.
We’ve already had high profile far-right terrorism plots, not least that hatched in Warrington by Jack Renshaw, who plotted with his pals to murder Labour MP Rosie Cooper. There was also the murderous use of a white van by Darren Osborne. And few will forget the emergence of Generation Identity, the supposedly hip wing of European neo-Nazism.
Small wonder that writer and actor Adil Ray responded to the news from the Met by making the obvious comparison: “If this was [a] Muslim we would already be discussing the recruitment process and some would be calling for a ban on all new Muslim cops. Met officer arrested on suspicion of belonging to banned rightwing group”.
And Miqdaad Versi of the Muslim Council of Britain has once again highlighted the difficulties he faces getting anti-Muslim prejudice onto the agenda: “Denial, obfuscation, apathy: why it’s so hard to get Islamophobia on the political agenda … An article I wrote 3 months ago: still relevant … Despite the breadth of coverage of the [Muslim Council]’s latest dossier of >300 examples, action is still lacking”.
Perhaps the news that the Met appears to have found a neo-Nazi in its ranks might prompt others to sit up and take notice. Including the Tory Party. Racism is wrong. That is all.
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