Brian Sims

Co-founder of right-wing terror group convicted at Winchester Crown Court

THE CO-FOUNDER of National Action, a small and secretive right-wing group which espoused hateful violent rhetoric, has been convicted of being a member of a proscribed organisation. Alex Davies, 28, was found guilty by a jury at Winchester Crown Court.

Davies was found guilty of being a member of a proscribed terrorist group between 17 December 2016 and 27 September 2017, which is contrary to Section 11 of the Terrorism Act 2000.

National Action was jointly founded by Davies in 2013, but joined the list of extremist groups proscribed by the Government in December 2016 after it drew greater attention to itself by openly celebrating the murder of a Member of Parliament.

The Crown Prosecution Service’s Counter-Terrorism Division is responsible for prosecuting all terrorism crimes and terrorist-related offences in England and Wales. Terrorism offences are distinct from other types of crime in that individuals who commit them have political, religious, racial and/or ideological motivations. The team works alongside the specialist Counter-Terrorism Police.

Nick Price, head of the Crown Prosecution Service’s Counter-Terrorism Division, explained: “It’s clear that Davies secretly set up a new right-wing terror group after the ban on National Action and had a leading role in recruiting people to join the group.”

Price continued: “My team has worked hard to prove that he was a willing and important member of National Action and worked to avoid the ban and keep the racist and hateful views of National Action alive. This included travelling thousands of miles to meet new members. I’m glad that Davies has been convicted for his crimes.”

UK counter-terrorism in the spotlight

London has played host to the world’s leading counter-terrorism and security experts this week as the annual Leadership in Counter-Terrorism (LinCT)-AA Conference ran in the capital. Hundreds of delegates attended the event, sharing Best Practice and knowledge from law enforcement and intelligence agencies across the globe.

Keynote speakers included experts from policing, the Security Services and the private sector, with collaboration and innovation being highlighted as core priorities.

Dean Haydon, senior national co-ordinator for Counter-Terrorism Policing and president of LinCT-AA, observed: “The purpose of this event is to maintain, strengthen and build on the fantastic relationships that already exist in this sector. If we are to keep the public safe from new and emerging threats, it’s essential that we work closely with our global partners through the Five Eyes alliance, but also more widely.”

Haydon added: “This is the first time London has hosted the event and I’m incredibly proud to have welcomed delegates to our wonderful city. It has been an opportunity to showcase our expertise and our progress in recent years.”

Among the issues discussed at conference were international intelligence gathering, the Protect Duty, radicalisation in prisons and extreme right-wing terrorism.

Background to Leadership in Counter-Terrorism

The LinCT programme was first created in 2004 as a leadership project between the FBI, the Scottish Police College, the Police Service of Northern Ireland, The Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Harvard University and St Andrews University.

Since then, the programme has evolved to include a significant number of new partners, but the core purpose of preventing terrorism remains.

The LinCT-AA Conference is held annually, with previous events having been organised in New York, Melbourne, Sydney, Toronto and Los Angeles.

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