British soldier returned to UK after arrest in neo-Nazi investigation

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A 24-year-old serviceman has been flown back to the UK for questioning after being arrested as part of an inquiry into banned neo-Nazi group National Action.

The soldier was brought back from Cyprus, where he had been posted, and detained by West Midlands Police on Thursday.

The force said the man from Northampton – understood to be a member of the Royal Anglian Regiment – was held on suspicion of being concerned in the commission, preparation and instigation of acts of terrorism.

He was also arrested on suspicion of being a member of a proscribed organisation contrary to Section 11 of the Terrorism Act.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) confirmed on Tuesday that the man had been detained by the Royal Military Police at a British base in Cyprus and would be flown to Britain.

West Midlands Police said the man had been taken to a police station in the force area.

A police spokesman said a further four men arrested on Tuesday – a 22-year-old from Birmingham, a 32-year-old man arrested in Powys, a 24-year-old arrested in Ipswich and a 24-year-old arrested in Northampton – continue to be held at a police station in the West Midlands.

Those arrested are reported to include four serving members of the Army.

One of the men is believed to have been serving in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME), while at least one other is in the Royal Anglian Regiment.

National Action, described by the Home Office as “virulently racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic”, became the first extreme right-wing group to be banned under terrorism laws in December 2016.

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