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National Action arrests: Great Barr man charged with far-right terrorist crimes

By Harry Leather | Great Barr | Crime | Published:

A man from Great Barr is among three suspected neo-Nazi sympathisers who have today been charged with terrorism offences.

Three men will appear charged with terrorism offences on Tuesday

Alexander Deakin, aged 22, is accused of being a member of the banned far-right group National Action and has also been charged with inciting racial hatred.

Two soldiers - one based in Cyprus and one based in Powys, Wales - have also been charged with belonging to National Action, the first extreme right-wing group to be banned under terrorism laws.

Five men, including four serving soldiers, were held on suspicion of terror offences last week, West Midlands Police said.

Deakin, of Brecon Road, Great Barr, has been charged with the five following counts:

  • One count of being a member of a proscribed organisation, namely National Action, contrary to Section 11 of the Terrorism Act 2000.
  • Two counts under Section 58 of the Terrorism Act 2000 − possession of documents likely to be useful to a person preparing to commit an act of terrorism.
  • One count of distribution of a terrorist publication, contrary to Section 2 of the Terrorism Act 2006.
  • He is also charged separately with one count of inciting racial hatred, namely on July 9 2016, posting a number of National Action branded stickers at the Aston University campus in Birmingham, contrary to Section 18 (1) of the Public Order Act 1986.

Mikko Vehvilainen, aged 32 from Llwyncyntefin, Sennybridge Camp, Brecon, Powys, is charged with:

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  • One count of being a member of a proscribed organisation, namely National Action, contrary to Section 11 of the Terrorism Act 2000.
  • One count of possessing a document containing information of the kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism, contrary to Section 58 of the Terrorism Act 2000.
  • Two counts of publishing written material which is threatening, abusive or insulting, by posting comments on a website intending thereby to stir up racial hatred or where having regard to all the circumstances racial hatred is likely to be stirred up thereby, Contrary to Section 19(1) of the Public Order Act 1986.
  • Possession of a weapon, namely pepper spray, contrary to Section 5(1)(b) of and Schedule 6 to the Firearms Act 1968.

Mark Barrett, aged 24 from Gaza Crescent, Dhekelia Garrison, Cyprus is charged with:

  • One count of being a member of a proscribed organisation, namely National Action, contrary to Section 11 of the Terrorism Act 2000.

The men were arrested by counter-terror police in a "pre-planned and intelligence-led" operation last week. If convicted of being National Action members they could face up to 10 years in prison.

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The extremist far-right group was banned last year and, according to the Home Office, is "virulently racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic" and celebrated the death of MP Jo Cox on social media.

All three men will appear at Westminster Magistrates Court tomorrow.

West Midlands Police said a man from Northampton and another from Ipswich, both aged 24, were released without charge on Saturday following inquiries.

Harry Leather

By Harry Leather
Digital Journalist - @hleather_star

Digital journalist covering breaking news across the region from the Express & Star's head office in Wolverhampton.

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