Neo-Nazi arrests: British soldiers charged for being members of banned group National Action

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Three men, including two British soldiers, have been charged with terror offences including being members of a banned neo-Nazi group.

Mikko Vehvilainen, 32, and Mark Barrett, 24 – both with the Army – have been charged with being members of National Action.

Alexander Deakin, 22, has been charged with same offence.

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

Deakin, from Beacon Road in Birmingham, is also charged with possession of documents likely to be useful to a person preparing to commit an act of terrorism, and distribution of a terrorist publication.

He faces a separate charge of inciting racial hatred including concerning National Action stickers posted at Aston University campus in Birmingham in July last year.

Vehvilainen, based at Sennybridge Camp in Brecon, is charged with possessing a document containing information likely to be useful for terrorism, publishing material which is threatening, abusive or insulting, posting comments on a website intending to stir up racial hatred, and possessing pepper spray.

Barrett, 24, based at Dhekelia Garrison in Cyprus, has no additional charges.

West Midlands Police said: “The arrests were pre-planned and intelligence-led and there was no risk to the public’s safety.”

All three, among five men arrested on September 5, are due to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.

The force said a man from Northampton and another from Ipswich, both aged 24, were released without charge on Saturday following inquiries.

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