Terror Offences

Three men including two British soldiers have now appeared in court charged with terror offences over their alleged membership banned neo-Nazi group, National Action.

Lance Corporal Mikko Vehvilainen and Private Mark Barrett are accused along with Alexander Deakin of being part of the organisation.

They were allegedly all members of a chat group in which they exchanged racist messages, including plans for a white-only Britain and a race war.

Vehvilainen is also charged with possessing a document containing information likely to be useful for terrorism and publishing material which is threatening, abusive or insulting.

He allegedly posted comments on a website intending to incite racial hatred.

The 32-year-old is also charged with possessing pepper spray.

Barrett, 24, faces a single charge of membership of National Action, contrary to the Terrorism Act 2000.

Deakin faces the same charge as well as possession of documents likely to be useful to a person preparing to commit an act of terrorism and distribution of a terrorist publication.

The 22-year-old allegedly had a copy of "white resistance manual for fun" and sent "ethnic cleansing operations" to people over Skype.

The three men appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court on this morning, all dressed in grey tracksuits.

After confirming his details to the court, Deakin said:

 "I'm a prisoner of conscience, I believe I'm innocent of these charges."

He and Vehvilainen gave no indication of plea, while Barrett pleaded not guilty.

Vehvilainen, based at Sennybridge Camp, Brecon, Powys, and Deakin, from Beacon Road, Great Barr in Birmingham, were remanded in custody.

Barrett, who is based at Gaza Crescent, Dhekelia Garrison, Cyprus, will have a bail hearing later today.

They are all due to appear on September 21 for a preliminary hearing at the Old Bailey.

The group became first extreme right-wing group to be banned under terrorism laws in December 2016.

The proscription meant that being a member of or inviting support for the organisation is a criminal offence carrying a sentence of up to 10 years' imprisonment.

An entry for National Action in the official list of proscribed groups says it is a "racist neo-Nazi group" that was established in 2013 and has branches across the UK which "conduct provocative street demonstrations and stunts aimed at intimidating local communities".

The document adds that the group is "virulently racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic".

Its activities and propaganda materials are particularly aimed at recruiting young people, according to the list.