An A-star student said to have fallen down “the rabbit hole of the internet” to become a neo-Nazi has pleaded guilty to fourteen terror charges.
Harry Vaughan, who is eighteen, is said to have begun taking an interest in Satanic neo-Nazism at the age of fourteen, unbeknownst to his parents, who were bewildered when he was arrested some years later.
He had “every advantage that could have been afforded to him,” according to his barrister, having been educated at a prestigious grammar school and received four A-star grades in summer exams.
In 2018, he applied to join the System Resistance Network, a white supremacist successor to National Action, which the Government proscribed as a terrorist organisation in 2016 following a long campaign by Campaign Against Antisemitism and others. He wrote at the time that “there is nothing I wouldn’t do to further the cause”.
He was arrested at home on 19th June last year in a counter-terrorism operation against a far-right online forum called Fascist Forge. His laptop was seized, revealing documents relating to antisemitism, Satanism and neo-Nazism, as well as as far-right terrorist book, bomb-making manuals and materials from the Sonnenkrieg Division, a neo-Nazi organisation that was proscribed by the Government this year.
Police also discovered videos of child abuse, which also led to charges to which Mr Vaughan has pleaded guilty.
The Head of the Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Command reportedly said that the case “illustrates it is possible for any young person to be susceptible to radicalisation,” adding: “Harry Vaughan is an intelligent young man who was predicted A-star grades and aspiring to study computing at university. Yet, online, he was an enthusiastic participant of right-wing terrorist forums.”
Mr Vaughan faces sentencing at the Old Bailey in the coming days.
Campaign Against Antisemitism’s analysis of Home Office statistics shows that an average of over three hate crimes are directed at Jews every single day in England and Wales, with Jews almost four times more likely to be targets of hate crimes than any other faith group.
Image credit: Metropolitan Police