The arrest, we were told, “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”. Lizzie Dearden of the Independent added that the suspect was an Officer “who works in frontline policing in London”. Just over a year later, he got guilty.
Daniel de Simone of the BBC has told “A Metropolitan Police officer has been convicted of membership of the banned neo-Nazi terrorist organisation National Action. Benjamin Hannam, 22, from north London, is the first British officer to be convicted of a terrorism offence … He remained in NA after it was outlawed”. There was more.
“Hannam then joined the police after lying about his past in an application form. He was also convicted of two counts of fraud and two counts of possessing information useful to a terrorist”. And it wasn’t just membership of NA. “Reporting restrictions had prevented any publicity about the case due to a planned second trial involving sexual offences. But he pleaded guilty last week to possessing prohibited images of children”. And more.
“The fraud involved over £66,000 he earned from the police after joining in 2018”. So how was Hannam caught? “Hannam was caught after anti-fascists leaked data online from the neo-Nazi web forum Iron March. That was in late 2019. His IP address was among the British users”. That’s anti-fascists. Like Antifa. That’s why the far-right demonise them.
So far, so procedural, but the $64,000 question is all too obvious: after the excesses of the SPG in the 70s and 80s, the all too close association between the Met and our free and fearless press exposed during the Leveson Inquiry and elsewhere, the shameful attack that led to the death of Ian Tomlinson, and the suspicion that Stephen Yaxley Lennon, who styles himself Tommy Robinson, may have had informal support from the cops, just how many more far-right supporters and sympathisers have yet to be caught?
The BBC has reported that “Scotland Yard said it had reviewed Hannam's time in the Met and found no evidence his actions had been influenced by any extremist ideology” and “Hannam is the first British officer to be convicted of a terrorism offence”, but this will be of little comfort to those concerned at the spread of neo-Nazism in the UK.
Here’s hoping anti-fascists continue to keep the cops honest. There is no place for the far-right in this country’s law enforcement agencies. So stop glorifying them, media people.
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