UK neo-Nazi terror group member given extended 10-year jail sentence
The co-founder of a banned neo-Nazi group, which wanted to start a “white jihad” and spread hatred against ethnic minorities, Muslims, Jews and LGBTQ+ people, has been handed an extended 10 year prison sentence today (3rd December).
Ben Raymond, aged 32, was found guilty of terrorism offences following a four week trial at Bristol Crown Court.
After last year’s arrest and conviction of four members of a neo-Nazi terror group at Birmingham Crown Court the crackdown against National Action continues as the co-founder of the group is jailed.
Detectives from West Midlands Police Counter Terrorism Unit led the investigation which culminated in the arrest of Ben Raymond whose dangerous views included starting a “race war”.
During his trial the court heard disturbing details about Raymond and National Action and how members of the neo-Nazi group hoarded a disturbing stockpile of weapons which included a pump-action shotgun, a machete, ice-picks, a crossbow strong enough to bring down an elephant, swords, CS gas and rifles.
The controversial and dangerous group were described in court as “unapologetically racist, anti-Semitic and aggressive” as well as “secretive and paranoid”.
Raymond, from Swindon, was described as the public face of the group; giving media interviews and setting out their ethnic cleansing agenda. He was also the point of contact with other neo-Nazi groups in Eastern Europe, Norway and the US.
In an essay written by Raymond in 2015 he wrote: “We are carrying out a holy struggle to give the white European race its soul back, and to get justice for our people.
“Our flag is black and our motto is ‘long live death’, because only those who are willing to die for their beliefs are truly alive.”
Raymond is the 17th person to be convicted of membership of the white supremacist group National Action. He was also convicted of possessing an extreme right-wing manifesto by Norwegian terrorist Anders Breivik and a guide to making bombs including Molotov cocktails.
When the right-wing terror group was outlawed in December 2016 Raymond helped National Action morph into a new group called NS131 – National Socialist Anti-Capitalist Action.
One of the group’s leaders issued an email to members which stated: “We are shedding one skin for another … These are exciting times.”
Several other extremist groups emerged following the National Action ban. KKK Mafia, Revenge and Scottish Dawn were formed after the crackdown on National Action.
Discussing the dangerous activities of National Action, Detective Chief Superintendent Kenny Bell said: “They share a real toxic extreme ideology which is a danger to the public, the same ideology that we have seen manifested in the tragic attack in New Zealand, the murder of Jo Cox MP and the attack at Finsbury Park mosque in 2017.
“This group was amassing weapons and recipes for bomb-making. They communicated through secret channels to recruit others to their cause. Left unchecked they presented a real threat to the public.”
During the four week trial prosecutor Barnaby Jameson QC described Raymond as the “public face” of National Action.
Jameson added: “His jihad was fought with words and images.
“He was, like Joseph Goebbels of the original cabal of Nazis, the natural head of propaganda.
“He gave media interviews, setting out the group’s virulent ethnic cleansing agenda to the media with sometimes transcendental calm.”
Judge Christopher Parker QC said Raymond had “groomed” people during his role as the propaganda chief of banned terror group National Action.
He said: “You intended that the material should be used in order to recruit new members, and specifically new young members.
“In effect these young people were at risk of being groomed by your material to commit acts of extreme racial violence [with] which National Action no doubt had sympathy.”
Raymond was sentenced to an eight-year prison sentence and two-year extended period on licence at Bristol Crown Court on Friday (3rd December). Raymond will also be subject to the notification provisions of the Terrorism Act for 15 years.