Neo-Nazi terrorist group co-founder saw UK ban as ‘obstacle to overcome’

The co-founder of a neo-Nazi terrorist group saw a government ban as an “obstacle to overcome” while continuing to advance his agenda, a court has heard.

Alex Davies is charged with remaining a member of National Action after it was proscribed as a terrorist organization in December 2016, and then setting up a spin-off group called NS131 that was later banned.

Winchester Crown Court heard that the 27-year-old told a fellow neo-Nazi that it was “pretty cool” to be “up there” with the British Union of Fascists, which was banned in 1940.

The government announced its intention to outlaw National Action, adding it to a list of 70 groups including Isis and the IRA, on 12 December 2016.

Jurors were told that later that day, a neo-Nazi contact messaged Mr Davies and his fellow co-founder Ben Raymond who has since been convicted of membership.

The man wrote that he was “very sorry to hear news of the insane ban in prospect” and urged them to “see it as an opportunity to be creative in expressing the same thing without using words that will offend”.

Jurors were shown a reply from Mr Davies, where he wrote: “It’s nothing to get worked up about. I’m sure we’ll come up with some creative way to overcome the obstacles put in front of us.”

The court heard that following the ban National Action split into regional factions that operated under new names, in a bid to evade prosecution.

Prosecutor Barnaby Jameson QC said Mr Davies founded an offshoot called NS131, standing for National Socialist Anti-Capitalist Action, while traveling around the country to numerous meetings with other National Action members.

“Look at the sheer number of cities the defendant visited on what was plainly National Action business during proscription – his boots were the most worn of all,” he told jurors on Thursday.

“This was a continuity terrorist group and you can readily infer, that the defendant remained a leader of National Action. An idealist, a direction finder and a decision maker.”

The jury was shown images of the defendant boxing with other neo-Nazis and training with a crossbow, and told how he previously performed a Hitler salute inside a German concentration camp.

Mark Jones and Alex Davies giving a Nazi salute at Buchenwald death camp in Germany

(West Midlands Police)

Mr Jameson said Mr Davies acted as a “recruiter and vetting officer after the ban”, and used encrypted platforms and in-person meetings as part of wide-ranging attempts at operational security.

“That is what this case is about: subverting the ban,” he added. “This was a group which, by its own admission and in the words of Ben Raymond, only bullets would stop.”

The court heard that Mr Davies gave other members legal advice following the ban, including on terror laws and inciting racial hatred, but NS131 was outlawed as an alias of National Action in September 2017.

A total of 17 people have been convicted of remaining members after National Action was proscribed, including several that Mr Davies met in 2017.

Among the members of NS131 was Benjamin Hannam, who went on to become a Metropolitan Police officer but was convicted of terror offenses last year.

Mr Jameson described National Action as a “tiny and secretive group of white jihadists arming themselves for direct and violent confrontation”.

“They were not armchair neo-Nazis – the ultimate aim of the group was to exploit racial tensions as a means to an all-out assault on the democratic order,” he added.

The prosecutor told jurors Mr Davies was “steeped in a violent and fanatical ideology” and had been “continuously scheming to advance an unflinching terrorist agenda”.

The defendant, of Swansea, denies membership of a proscribed group between 17 December 2017 – the day after National Action was banned – and the date of his arrest on 27 September 2017.

The trial continues.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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