Extreme-right terrorism, U.K., populism | Homeland Security News Wire

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TerrorismExtreme-right terrorism threat growing: U.K. police

Published 27 November 2016

Neil Basu, deputy assistant commissioner to the U.K. national coordinator for counter-terrorism policing, has said police fear the threat of far-right violence is growing and poses a similar danger to communities as other forms of extremism. “Over the past twelve months, there have been indications that the threat from [the] extreme right wing could be increasing and we are alive to this,” he said. Figures release by the police show that concerns over potential extreme rightwing radicalization led to a 73.5 percent increase in referrals to the counter-radicalization program Prevent last year, compared with the previous twelve months.

Neil Basu, deputy assistant commissioner to the U.K. national coordinator for counter-terrorism policing, has said police fear the threat of far-right violence is growing and poses a similar danger to communities as other forms of extremism.

Basu, said: “Over the past twelve months, there have been indications that the threat from [the] extreme right wing could be increasing and we are alive to this.”

Basu made his comments following a judge on Wednesday sentenced the neo-Nazi Thomas Mair to a life  sentence for the murder of the Labor MP Jo Cox. Mair shot and stabbed the 41-year-old mother of two as she arrived for a constituency surgery in Birstall, West Yorkshire, in a politically motivated assassination.

The Guardian reports that Basu said referrals to the anti-radicalization scheme Prevent linked to the far right had increased over the last year. “Currently just under 10 percent of all Prevent referrals relate to the extreme right wing, and we have put programs in place to support those at risk of being radicalized,” he said.

Basu, responding to criticism of police for not taking the terrorism threat from neo-Nazis as seriously as that from Islamic extremists, said: “We recognize that lives can be destroyed and community cohesion undermined in exactly the same way it can from other forms of extremism.”

Figures release by the police show that concerns over potential extreme rightwing radicalization led to a 73.5 percent increase in referrals to Prevent last year, compared with the previous twelve months. There were 323 cases of right-wing extremism referred in 2014-15, increasing to 561 in 2015-16.

Police say one reason for the increase in referrals was the introduction of a legal requirement for those working in public services such as health and education to report concerns about extremist and suspicious behavior.

Basu said: “U.K. policing is committed to tackling extremism in all forms and this includes the threat from the extreme right wing. Cases are pursued by our officers with exactly the same level of resource and vigor as other forms of ideology.

“The vast majority of investigations are led by officers working in the national counter-terrorism network. There have been a number of successful prosecutions over recent years and this is testament to the work of police teams up and down the country.”

Basu said that “The overriding threat remains from Daesh [ISIS]-inspired groups, but our operations reflect a broader range of dangerous ideologies and we will work tirelessly with our partners to confront them.

“Within counter-terrorism policing headquarters, there is a national unit that receives intelligence from forces around the country relating to domestic extremist groups. This is assessed daily and the unit works with forces to mitigate the risk.

“We work with all our communities to inform them about the threats and the role they can play in helping police. Anyone with any concerns is urged to contact their local force.”

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