UK — Four Army personnel have been arrested for allegedly plotting a terror attack and being members of banned neo-Nazi group National Action.
West Midlands Police said the men being held are a 22-year-old from Birmingham, a 32-year-old-man from Powys, a 24-year-old from Ipswich, and a 24-year-old from Northampton.
They are all serving members of the Army, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) confirmed.
The men were arrested “on suspicion of being concerned in the commission, preparation and instigation of acts of terrorism… namely on suspicion of being a member of a proscribed organisation (National Action)”.
They are being held at a West Midlands police station and a number of properties are being searched.
Police said the arrests – carried out by counter-terror officers from the West Midlands, East Midlands and Wales – were planned and intelligence-led, with no threat to public safety.
A statement from the MoD said: “We can confirm that a number of serving members of the Army have been arrested under the Terrorism Act for being associated with a proscribed far right group.
“These arrests are the consequence of a police-led operation supported by the Army.”
National Action was banned in December 2016 by the Home Secretary, meaning it is a criminal offence to be a member.
Amber Rudd told Parliament at the time: “National Action is a racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic organisation which stirs up hatred, glorifies violence and promotes a vile ideology, and I will not stand for it.
“It has absolutely no place in a Britain that works for everyone.”
The group conducts “provocative street demonstrations and stunts aimed at intimidating local communities”, according to the official list of banned groups, which says its particularly tries to recruit young people.
The document also links National Action with the murder of MP Jo Cox in 2016.
The phrase “Death to traitors, freedom for Britain!” – said by her right-wing extremist killer Thomas Mair in court – is associated with the group.
Twenty-two members of National Action were arrested in 2016, according to police. Via Sky