Neo-Nazi Arrests: UK Soldiers Charged With Terror Offences

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A recent graduate accused alongside two serving soldiers of being members of a neo-Nazi group banned for encouraging terrorism claimed in court that he was "a prisoner of conscience".

National Action was the first extreme far-right group to be banned by UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd a year ago.

He is due to appear with two other men, Alexander Deakin, who is aged 22 ad from Beacon Road, Great Barr, Birmingham, who also faces four offences, and Mark Barrett, aged 24, from Dhekelia Garrison in Cyprus, who is charged with one offence, before Westminster Magistrates Court today.

All three defendants were remanded in custody and will appear at the Old Bailey on September 21.

According to a West Midland Police spokesman, the arrests were "pre-planned and intelligence-led and there was no risk to the public's safety".

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Vehvilainen, originally from Finland and based at Sennybridge Camp in Brecon, is also charged with possessing a document containing information likely to be useful for terrorism and publishing material which is threatening, abusive or insulting. Separately he faces one count of inciting racial hatred - allegedly posting a number of National Action stickers at the Aston University campus in Birmingham in July 2016.

An Army trainer has appeared in court charged with belonging to a banned new-Nazi organisation and possessing Anders Breivik's manifesto'.

National Action was proscribed as a terror organization in December 2016.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd chose to proscribe National Action in December a year ago as she said it is a "racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic organisation which stirs up hatred, glorifies violence and promotes a vile ideology".

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