LONDON – A British police officer who lied about his banned neo-Nazi membership was sentenced to four years and four months in prison on Friday.
Benjamin Hannam – Britain’s first serving police convicted of terrorism, according to Reuters – was convicted at London’s Old Bailey court for previously being a member of the United Kingdom. National Action at the far right. The group was banned under the UK terrorism law in 2016.
Hannam, 22, was found guilty of two counts of fraud and two counts of holding documents that were used by the terrorists in April’s trial. He pleaded guilty to child pornography possession.
Hannan, who hails from north London, is a probation officer of the Metropolitan Police, the UK̵7;s largest police force covering Greater London.
The court heard during the hearing that Met’s anti-terrorism officials linked him to an active online profile at the far-right Iron March extremist forum, frequented by members of National Action.
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After seizing a computer and USB memory stick, police found he visited a page linked to National Action, as well as a page related to being included in the UK’s list of prohibited terrorist organizations.
The researchers also found manuals on how to use knives to seriously injure or kill, and a document written by Anders Breivik, a right-wing extremist who killed 77 people in a 2011 terrorist attack in Norway.
Prosecutors said Hannam attended the National Action conference in a London pub in 2016 and remained active until summer 2017.
In April 2016, before National Action was banned, other users expressed interest in the group, and as prosecutor Hannam replied: “It’s always nice to have more people participating. More, which will make everyone more fun! “
The Veterinary Form asks prospective officers to apply to the Met if they have ties to the far-right group – twice, Hannam said he did not.
His association appears to have ended before police training began in 2018, but the police force made it clear that previous involvement would be enough to disqualify him.
After a hearing last April, Jenny Hopkins of the Crown Prosecution Service said: “ His lies were made to him and he was exposed as a deeply racist belief with publications applied to. Terrorists as well as “
In a police trial last week, he was found guilty of serious misconduct and contract terminated.
Right-wing terrorism is raising concerns for UK law enforcement agencies. The Home Office said potential terrorism cases involving far-right extremist suspects referring to expert terrorism prevention services rose 22 percent this year to March 2020.