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UK Arrests 4 Active-Duty Soldiers For Membership In Banned Neo-Nazi Terror Group
Authorities in the United Kingdom have arrested four active-duty soldiers in the British Army for their alleged connections to a Nazi front group suspected of “the commission, preparation and instigation” of terrorist acts, the Associated Press reported Sep. 5. The move comes at the end of a summer in which the U.S. was so roiled by far-right racist groups — some of whose members had military connections — that the chiefs of all the service branches came out publicly to renounce extremism.
“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.
Wikimedia CommonsIn 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.
Last December, the government announced that it was designating National Action a terrorist group, making membership a crime punishable by fines and 10 years in prison. Twenty-two members of the group were arrested in 2016, police say.
One of National Action’s recruiting flyers.
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.
Just before 8 a.m. on a Sunday morning 78 years ago, Lauren Bruner was preparing for church services and a date that would follow with a girl he'd met outside his Navy base.
The 21-year-old sailor was stationed as a fire controlman aboard the U.S. battleship USS Arizona, overseeing the vessel's .50-caliber guns.
Then alarms rang out. A Japanese plane had bombed the ship in a surprise attack.
It took only nine minutes for the Arizona to sink after the first bomb hit. Bruner was struck by gunfire while trying to flee the inferno that consumed the ship, the second-to-last man to escape the explosion that killed 1,177, including his best friend; 335 survived.
More than 70% of Bruner's body was burned. He was hospitalized for weeks.
Now, nearly eight decades after that fateful day, Bruner's ashes will be delivered to the sea that cradled his fallen comrades, stored in an urn inside the battleship's wreckage.
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Business Insider.
Joshua Kaleb Watson has been identified as one of the victims of a shooting at the Naval Air Station Pensacola, CBS News reported.
The 23-year-old Alabama native and Naval Academy graduate was named to the Academy's prestigious Commandant's and Dean's lists, and also competed on the rifle team, Alabama's WTVY reported.
NAS Pensacola shooter railed against the US and quoted Osama bin Laden online hours before the attack
PENSACOLA, Fla. (Reuters) - The Saudi airman accused of killing three people at a U.S. Navy base in Florida appeared to have posted criticism of U.S. wars and quoted slain al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden on social media hours before the shooting spree, according to a group that monitors online extremism.
Federal investigators have not disclosed any motive behind the attack, which unfolded at dawn on Friday when the Saudi national is said to have began firing a handgun inside a classroom at the Naval Air Station Pensacola.
NAS Pensacola shooter reportedly hosted a 'dinner party' to watch mass shooting videos the week before the attack
The Saudi military officer who shot and killed 3 people at Naval Air Station Pensacola on Friday reportedly hosted a "dinner party" the week before the attack "to watch videos of mass shootings," the Associated Press reports, citing an unnamed U.S. official.
The Minnesota National Guard has released the names of the three soldiers killed in Thursday's helicopter crash.