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'Neo-Nazi' arrests: Three alleged members of National Action appear in court charged with terror offences

Three alleged members of a banned neo-Nazi group have appeared in court charged with terror offences.
Two soldiers and a civilian stand accused of joining National Action, which became the first far-right group prohibited by the UK last year because of its “virulently racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic” ideology.
Lance Corporal Mikko Vehvilainen, Private Mark Barrett and Alexander Deakin were allegedly members of a chat group where racist messages were exchanged, including plans for a white-only Britain and race war.
Vehvilainen, who was arrested at Sennybridge Camp in Powys, is also charged with possessing a document containing information likely to be useful for terrorism and publishing threatening, abusive or insulting material.
The 32-year-old allegedly posted comments on the supremacist website Christogenea.org, intending to stir up racial hatred, and had a copy of a manifesto written by far-right terrorist Anders Behring Breivik, who massacred 77 people in Norway in 2011.
Vehvilainen is also charged with possessing illegal pepper spray.
Barrett, a 24-year-old soldier based at Kendrew Army Barracks in Rutland, faces a single charge of membership of National Action, contrary to the Terrorism Act 2000.
Deakin, of Great Barr in Birmingham, faces the same charge and is also accused of possessing documents likely to be useful to a person preparing to commit an act of terrorism and distribution of a terrorist publication.
The 22-year-old allegedly had a copy of a ”white resistance manual for fun” and sent “ethnic cleansing operations” to people over Skype.
The three men appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, wearing grey prison tracksuits.
After confirming his details, Deakin told the court: “I’m a prisoner of conscience, I believe I’m innocent of these charges.”
He and Vehvilainen gave no indication of a plea and were remanded in custody, while Barrett pleaded not guilty.
Barrett, who was detained at Dhekelia Garrison in Cyprus, will have a bail hearing later today.
All three defendants are due to appear at the Old Bailey on 21 September for a preliminary hearing.
Two other men initially detained in the case, both aged 24 from Northampton and Ipswich, were released without charge.

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