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Neo-Nazi group National Action’s founder faces jail after guilty verdict
Alex Davies, described in court as the ‘biggest Nazi of the lot’, found to have remained in the group after it was banned
The founder of a violent neo-Nazi group created to inspire a race war in the UK is facing jail after being found guilty of continuing to be a member of the organisation after it was banned.
Alex Davies, 27, who was described in court as the “biggest Nazi of the lot”, formed the group National Action (NA) when he was a teenager and acted as its main recruiter.
Members of NA armed themselves with machetes, swords, firearms and crossbows as they plotted “white jihad” across the UK. One man associated with the group was jailed for planning to kill an MP and another was in close contact with a man imprisoned for a racist machete attack on an Asian dentist.
Other members took part in provocative rallies up and down the country, dressed in black, delivering Nazi-style salutes and carrying flags with slogans such as “Hitler was right”.
Davies, from Swansea, south Wales, caused outrage in 2016 when he posed holding an NA flag and giving the Nazi salute in the execution chamber of the Buchenwald concentration camp.
NA was banned in December 2016 after posting “congratulatory” tweets after the murder of the MP Jo Cox, becoming the first far-right group to be proscribed in the UK since the second world war.
But Winchester crown court heard that Davies set up the “continuity group” NS131 – National Socialist Anti-Capitalist Action – to try to circumvent the ban.
Barnaby Jameson QC, prosecuting, told the jury that NS131 used the same Nazi imagery as NA and had the same Nazi ideology.
He said: “Who was at the centre of all this? The founder, the galvaniser, the recruiter, one Alex Davies. He was probably the biggest Nazi of the lot. The defendant was an extremist’s extremist.”
Davies told the court he was not a violent person – though he was pictured taking part in paramilitary training camps – but admitted his aim was for the repatriation of black, Asian and minority ethnic and Jewish people from the UK, except for those doing “essential” jobs. Asked in court if he was a neo-Nazi, Davies replied: “Sure.”
Davies, the son of an engineer and a kitchen worker, founded NA with Benjamin Raymond, a Wiltshire artist and the group’s “roving ambassador” who forged links with extremists across Europe and the US.
Others associated with NA include Jack Renshaw, of Skelmersdale, Lancashire, who admitted preparing an act of terrorism by buying a machete to kill the West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper. Raymond was in close contact with a neo-Nazi called Zack Davies shortly before Davies attacked an Asian dentist in a supermarket in north Wales with a machete.
Among those convicted of membership have been Mikko Vehvilainen, a British soldier and Afghanistan veteran, and Ben Hannam, a former Met police probationary officer.
Supt Anthony Tagg, the head of the West Midlands’ counter-terrorism unit, which led the investigation, said: “National Action were incredibly dangerous, and the ideology they espoused was an ideology of hatred, which caused division in communities across the country.
“They sought to identify individuals in what they considered to be positions of authority; within the British army, within policing. They sought to utilise those positions to further their ideological cause.”
Davies is the 19th member of the group to be convicted, and Tagg said he believed it had now been dismantled. At its peak NA is estimated to have had 100 members. It was discovered by chance when security guards at Aston University in Birmingham spotted stickers with hate messages and called local police, who referred it on to counter-terrorism specialists.
Judge Mark Dennis QC said Davies would be sentenced on 7 June at the Old Bailey. He said: “The defendant must appreciate it’s inevitable a custodial sentence will follow.”