Internet fuelling threat of right-wing groups

A campaign group has warned that a rise in hate messages online is fuelling the threat of extreme right wing terrorism.

The charity Hope Not Hate report says that far-right groups such as National Action are subverting Government bans by operating online.

In it’s 14th annual report it warns of a “surging threat” of right-wing plots in the same week that a senior counter-terror officer revealed that four extreme right-wing plots were foiled last year.

Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley provides an update on the hunt for the Parsons Green terror suspect or suspects

Image: Met Police commissioner Mark Rowley said he knew of four plots planned by right-wing groups

Its chief executive Nick Lowles said the UK was facing a “surging threat” and that it feared more violence in 2018.

He said: “This rising terrorist threat is the consequence of the increasingly confrontational tone of online far-right rhetoric, combined with the almost universal extreme-right belief that a civil war between Islam and the West is coming, as well as the growing influence of hard-line European Nazis living in the UK.”

The report also highlighted the case of Finsbury Park terrorist Darren Osborne. It emerged at his trial tht he ad een influenced by extreme right-wing propaganda online.

Darren Osborne

Image: Darren Osborne was sentenced to at least 43 years in jail for his attack at Finsbury Park

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Security Minister Ben Wallace said the report “shines a light on the growth of intolerance across the UK and Europe” and said that the government’s Prevent strategy was working but that they could take further action of proscribing groups.

The proscription means that being a member of or inviting support for the organisation is a criminal offence, carrying a sentence of up to 10 years’ imprisonment.

He added: “This Government did not hesitate to proscribe a neo-Nazi group, National Action, when the evidence was enough and we will not hesitate to take further action.”

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Ethan Stables posing with a rifle

Image: Ethan Stables was convicted of threatening gays on a far-right group facebook page.

National Action was made a banned group in December 2016.

A major government review of last year’s terrorism attacks recommended a new approach by MI5 to managing domestic extremism, particularly extreme right wing groups, where their activity meets the definition of terrorism..

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