Prosecutor described Ben Raymond as having an “entrenched terrorist mindset.”
By Benjamin Kerstein, The Algemeiner
One of the most prominent members of a far-right neo-Nazi terrorist group in the United Kingdom has been found guilty of remaining involved with the organization after it was proscribed by the British government.
Ben Raymond was one of the founders of National Action, which was banned in 2016 under UK anti-terrorism laws, though it continues to be active underground.
Raymond was convicted Tuesday of possessing terrorist reading materials and membership in an illegal organization by the Bristol Crown Court, the Independent reported.
Documents cited included a manifesto by Norwegian far-right terrorist Anders Breivik, who murdered 77 people in two terror attacks in July 2011, and a book on constructing explosives.
Evidence was produced in court that Raymond maintained contacts with National Action leaders following the ban and had been involved in online chat groups with other neo-Nazis.
Raymond, said prosecutor Barnaby Jameson, had been involved in “forwarding the National Action cause before and after proscription” and told other leaders of the group on the day the ban came down that he was “super excited about working on all new projects.”
The prosecutor charged that Raymond had an “entrenched terrorist mindset” and was involved in creating neo-Nazi propaganda at his home.
“He was careful not to stockpile weapons or carry out physical attacks himself,” Jameson said. “He fought his holy war with words and images. He was, like Joseph Goebbels of the original cabal of Nazis, the natural head of propaganda.”
The judge in the trial referred to Raymond as a “puppet master” who was “pulling the strings and promoting the cause without himself personally attending so many of their rallies and meetings.”
Raymond’s defense lawyer Barra McGrory said, “Just because an individual may be sympathetic with the aims and rationale of an organization it doesn’t mean they belong to it.”
“To hold views which are repugnant to many, obnoxious and offensive, in itself is not an unlawful act,” he claimed.