“We can confirm that a number of serving members of the army have been arrested under the Terrorism Act for being associated with a proscribed far-right group,” the British Ministry of Defense said in a statement after the arrests, which were announced by central England’s West Midlands Counterterrorism Unit on Tuesday morning.
That “proscribed far-right group” is National Action, a secretive neo-Nazi network that first surfaced publicly in 2014 on British college campuses. The physically combative, anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant white supremacist group openly celebrates Adolf Hitler and the original Nazi party because they represent “a successful nationalist movement,” according to a movement leader.
In 2014, National Action gained notoriety for protesting a statue of Nelson Mandela in London, at one point sticking a banana in the African civil rights leader’s hand.
National Action has gained notoriety in recent years for its violent rallies, intimidating attempts to create “white zones” in major English cities, and calls to fight “the disease of international Jewry.” But the last straw for the British government came last year, when the neo-Nazis gave open support to a right-wing activist who murdered a Labour member of Parliament, Jo Cox, in broad daylight.
Authorities disclosed no further details on the soldiers arrested in the latest operation, telling the AP only that they’d been picked up in a “pre-planned and intelligence-led” raid of National Action-connected properties, with “no threat to the public’s safety.”
The U.K. and other European countries have seen an uptick in far-right extremism in recent years, and the arrests may strike a nerve across the pond as the U.S. military community contends with service-connected radicals after the deadly racist protests in Charlottesville.
There’s “no place for racial hatred or extremism in @USMC,” Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert Neller tweeted after Charlottesville. “Our core values of Honor, Courage, and Commitment frame the way Marines live and act.” That’s true, as many vets have pointed out. But the fact that even a few organized hatemongers are military-connected — and that leaders like Neller have to draw a public line in the sand, in 2017 — suggests the U.S. and its allies have a longer struggle ahead of them to keep race extremists from preying on recruits in the ranks.
Two airmen were administratively punished for drinking at the missile launch control center for 150 nuclear LGM-30G Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles at F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming, the Air Force confirmed to Task & Purpose on Friday.
Two F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters recently flew a mission in the Middle East in "beast mode," meaning they were loaded up with as much firepower as they could carry.
The F-35s with the 4th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron took off from Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates to execute a mission in support of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, Air Forces Central Command revealed. The fifth-generation fighters sacrificed their high-end stealth to fly with a full loadout of weaponry on their wings.
The U.S. Senate closed out the week before Memorial Day by confirming Gen. James McConville as the Army's new chief of staff and Adm. Bill Moran as the Navy's new chief of naval operations.
McConville, previously vice chief of staff of the Army, was confirmed on Thursday along with his successor, Lt Gen. Joseph Marin. Moran, currently vice chief of naval operations, was confirmed Friday along with his successor, Vice Adm. Robert Burke.
The Pentagon is producing precisely diddly-squat in terms of proof that Iran is behind recent attacks in the Middle East, requiring more U.S. troops be sent to the region.
Adm. Michael Gilday, director of the Joint Staff, said on Friday that the U.S. military is extending the deployment of about 600 troops with four Patriot missile batteries already in the region and sending close to 1,000 other service members to the Middle East in response to an Iranian "campaign" against U.S. forces.