Three men, including two British Army soldiers, were today charged under the UK's anti-terror laws after being arrested over a suspected neo-Nazi terror plot. West Midlands Police said a 22-year-old from Birmingham, a 32-year-old arrested in Powys, and a 24-year-old from Northampton have been charged with being members of a banned neo-Nazi outfit. They were among five men, four soldiers and a civilian, arrested last week over a plot linked to banned far-right group, National Action. Two 24-year-olds among them had been released without charge and police had been given more time to question the remaining three suspects, who have now been formally charged. One among those charged had been arrested in Cyprus and the UK Ministry of Defence had previously confirmed that he was held at the island's British Dhekelia base before being transferred to Royal Air Force (RAF) Akrotiri for a flight back to the UK. The men are suspected of being involved in the commission, preparation and instigation of acts of terrorism under the Terrorism Act 2000, namely on suspicion of being members of a proscribed organisation. Some of the serving Army men belonged to the Royal Anglian Regiment. "The arrests were pre-planned and intelligence-led; there was no threat to the public's safety," a West Midlands Police spokesperson had said at the time of the arrests on September 5. The arrests were carried out in conjunction with counter-terror units from the West Midlands, Wales and the East Midlands.
Several properties were searched in connection with the arrests. National Action, a British far-right group, was banned last year by UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd. An entry for National Action in the UK's official list of proscribed organisation 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". Its activities and propaganda materials are particularly aimed at recruiting young people, it notes. Being a member of, or inviting support, for a proscribed organisation is a criminal offence carrying a sentence of up to 10 years in prison under British laws.
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