Elham Asaad Buaras
A neo-Nazi extremist who was radicalised online was found guilty of attempted murder at a court in North Wales on June 25. Zack Davies tried to decapitate a man because he was Asian.
The 26-year-old posted an image of himself in a balaclava with a knife and the flag of the far-right group National Action hours before he carried out his violent attack.
Davies went to his local Tesco on January 14, where he used a claw hammer and machete to attack Dr Sarandev Bhambra, shouting: “This is for Lee Rigby.”
During the frenzied attack he repeatedly hacked at his victim, who used his arm to defend his neck from the blade – leaving him with life-changing injuries. A soldier intervened to stop the attack and save the man’s life.
Davies said he chose his victim because he “looked Asian”. A large amount of white supremacist material was found when police searched his house. He was also obsessed with the “no compromise” tactics of the group called “Islamic State” and “Jihadi John”, who has appeared in its films decapitating western hostages.
He told the police: “It was irrelevant what religion he was. It was his appearance just the way he looked. It did not matter to me what religion he was, it was his racial appearance.”
Speaking after the jury gave its verdict, the victim’s brother Dr Tarlochan Singh Bhambra said that had the “racial disposition” of the attack been reversed, it would have been “reported as an act of terror”.
He said: “We are in no doubt, given the racial and political motivations, that this should have been rightly defined as an act of terrorism. By his own admission, the defendant Zack Davies had extreme neo-Nazi views and is a member of a white supremacist organisation.
“Sarandev was singled out because of the colour of his skin. The media have a responsibility and an obligation to report these aspects of the trial and bring to the fore the major implications of this.”
In a police interview read to the court, Davies stated: “Rising Jihadi violence, most recently in France, the rise of Isis in the Middle East, and what happened to Lee Rigby – it was like Europe was under siege. My personal issues and paranoia and political world events all combined.”
In a statement to The Muslim News Suleman Nagdi of the Federation of Muslim Organisations in Leicester, said the fact “that Davies was radicalised online is a grim reminder that individuals from all backgrounds are susceptible to being influenced by the evil that is violent extremism and comes as far-right monitoring groups warn of the increasing volatility of far-right splinters such as ‘National Action’. National Action regularly posts videos online showing themselves training to fight, spraying anti-Semitic graffiti and carrying out flash mob actions.”
“We can only win this tough fight against violent extremism only if we recognise as a first step that it exists in diverse forms and is not limited to just one religious group with various evil ideologies ensnaring the hearts and minds of vulnerable people. We wish to also take this opportunity to extend our support to the family and friends of Dr Bhambra.”