Met assistant commissioner Neil Basu recently revealed that the fastest growing threat to the United Kingdom is from the Far Right, with seven of 22 thwarted terrorist plots since 2017 stemming from this form of extremist ideology.
Those referred to the Chanel deradicalisation programme from the far Right doubled from 2016 to 2018, and the number is expected to rise further.
Tackling far Right extremism is uniquely challenging. Much like Islamist groups – banned far-right organisations like National Action and Scottish Dawn continue to operate as splinters after being proscribed by the British government. But unlike Islamist organisations, where extremist rhetoric tends to take the form of denouncements against the West and its institutions, Far Right language has traditionally glorified Western countries.
The case uncovered by the Express, however, shows that this second assumption may no longer be true. Threatening a police chief would once have been the calling card of Islamists. This development then represents a worrying escalation in the tactics employed by the far Right to make their mark in the real world.
In the past far-right provocateurs have relied on satire, online memes, or irony, to hide their intentions.
This case suggests that in future it will be easier to enforce the law, amid clear cut threats of violence are made and potential incitement.
Far-right Splinter groups and networks that have yet to be proscribed, who wish to commit so-called ‘white jihad’ pose a unique threat. Copying social media companies by banning more organisations in the real world will give the authorities greater powers to prosecute those who commit crimes.
Nikita Malik is the Director of the Centre on Radicalisation and Terrorism at the Henry Jackson Society.