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Britain facing growing far-right threat

29th Mar 2018
Britain facing growing far-right threat

Hamed Chapman

Far-right terrorism and violent extremism in Britain is on the rise and is likely continue, according to a leading anti-racism organisation.

In a new report this month, HOPE not Hate, warned that Britain is facing a changing and growing far-right threat from both terrorism as well as burgeoning online radicalisation.

The annual State of Hate 2018 report coincided with a similar warning from the UK’s most senior anti-terror police officer, Mark Rowley, who revealed that four far-right terror plots had been foiled last year.

The increasing threat comes despite the crumbing organisation of the far right, with “membership and active support at its lowest for twenty-five years.” It was a “new and younger generation of young far-right activists emerging who are very tech savvy, look normal and do not have the traditional Nazi baggage that has hampered the British far-right in the past.”

Profiling the entire extreme-right scene in the UK, as well as providing overviews across Europe, HOPE not Hate exposes leading far-right terrorists still active in the UK despite bans, as well as foreign neo-Nazis recruiting British extremists to fight in the Ukraine. Three of the five far-right activists with the biggest online reach in the world are British.

“We are facing a surging threat from far-right terrorism and violent extremism,” Hope not Hate Chief Executive, Nick Lowles, said. “Combined with burgeoning online hatred, directed particularly towards Muslims, we fear further violence from the extreme right in the months to come.”

“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,” he warned.

Despite membership rate being at its lowest for 20 years, State of Hate 2018 revealed that 28 people were arrested for and/or convicted of far-right inspired terrorist offences or similarly violent offences during 2017. It also uncovered National Action supporters were continuing to circumvent the Government bans by operating under a new front group.

A third of referrals to Channel, one of the Government’s counter-extremism operations, were suspected far-right extremists and the figure is expected to rise when new data is released this summer.


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