A government propaganda unit has been secretly working to dismantle a British neo-Nazi network linked to murders and extremist plots around the world, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.
Undercover agents from the security service’s Research, Information and Communications Unit (RICU) have been ordered to infiltrate the far-Right Order of Nine Angles (ONA) movement.
Intelligence chiefs are increasingly concerned about the threat from far-Right terrorism.
Jonathan Hall QC, the UK’s Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation, warned last week that the terrorist threat was increasingly coming from such ideologies that were spreading among young men through the internet.
Undercover agents have been ordered to infiltrate a British neo-Nazi network, Order of Nine Angles, linked to murders and extremist plots around the world. Pictured: Paraphernalia associated with the extremist group Order of the Nine Angles
New MI5 chief Ken McCallum recently said that 30 per cent of major late-stage terror plots that had been thwarted by the security services since 2017 were linked to far-Right extremism, while Scotland Yard Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said ten of the 12 under-18s arrested for terrorism in 2019 were inspired by far-Right ideology.
Whitehall sources said the RICU operation was set up to build a case for banning ONA, which is considered by some to be the most extreme far-Right network in the world.
Established in Britain in the 1960s, a leaked report from the US National Counterterrorism Center last month said ONA was suspected of ‘exacerbating’ conflicts among racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists.
New MI5 chief Ken McCallum (pictured) recently said that 30 per cent of major late-stage terror plots that had been thwarted by the security services since 2017 were linked to far-Right extremism
Two years ago, a 16-year-old boy became the youngest person in the UK to be convicted of plotting a terror attack that prosecutors said was partly inspired by ONA.
Nick Lowles, chief executive of the anti-extremism group Hope Not Hate, said: ‘In the online world you earn your spurs by being more extreme.
‘There is nothing more extreme than ONA material.
‘What they’ve done is successfully utilise social media and growth of extremist online forums to propagate ideas of terrorism, Nazism and sexual violence.’
A source said RICU agents were infiltrating secret chatrooms, adding: ‘The Dark Web is no longer as dark as some terrorists and paedophiles believe.
‘Far-Right terrorism is a real threat, and this is an effort to dismantle it at its roots.’
A spokesman for the Home Office, which oversees RICU, said: ‘The Government is taking a range of actions against groups that promote extreme Right-wing views.’
A 37-year-old Briton and two Germans with suspected far-Right links have been arrested in Spain following the seizure of explosives, 160 guns and, reportedly, portraits of Hitler.