It has been reported that four members of a neo-Nazi gang who shared antisemitic material with each other via the social media platform Telegram have been convicted under anti-terrorism and firearms legislation.
Concerns have previously been raised over the alleged increase in neo-Nazi content on Telegram. Last year, the far-right group Patriotic Alternative was found to have created neo-Nazi channels dedicated to sharing vile messages, antisemitic conspiracy theories, and images glorifying Hitler.
Samuel Whibley, 29, Daniel Wright, 29, Liam Hall, 31, and Mr Hall’s girlfriend Stacey Salmon, 29, were convicted of fifteen offences, including counts relating to the encouragement of terrorism and the publication and dissemination of materials related to it, as well as firearms offences.
The jury at Sheffield Crown Court heard that all four defendants shared antisemitic videos, memes, and images, including material celebrating Adolf Hitler and the Nazis. Ms Hall confessed to finding material online in which Jews were alleged to control the media and banks, as well as to watching videos made by neo-Nazis in an attempt to see “both sides of the argument” about Hitler.
The court heard that the group communicated with each other using a public Telegram channel set up by Mr Whibley under the name Oaken Hearth. This was, jurors heard, used as “a gathering place for British white nationalists.” Mr Whibley then audited prospective members, who had to prove they were white by taking a selfie before answering questions about their involvement in neo-Nazi groups.
Mr White joined the chat using the name “Gott Mit Uns”, words found on the belts of Nazi soldiers during the Second World War.
The group also shared racist material aimed at Black people, while Mr Whibley reportedly praised Christchurch mosque shooter Brenton Tarrant, Norwegian neo-Nazi terrorist Anders Breivik, and Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.
Mr Justice Spencer will sentence all four defendants at a later date.
In October, a teenage neo-Nazi was been jailed for eleven years after using Telegram to plot terrorist acts.
Campaign Against Antisemitism has been monitoring and acting against the threat from the far-right for years and continues to support the authorities following suit.
Campaign Against Antisemitism continues to monitor and report on far-right stickering campaigns, including by the far-right Hundred Handers group.
Image credit: Counter Terrorism Policing Northeast