By: BBC News

SourceBBC News

 

Detectives have been given more time to question five men arrested on suspicion of belonging to banned far-right terror group, National Action.

The suspects from Cambridge, Banbury, Wolverhampton, Leicester and Stockport were arrested on Wednesday under Section 41 of the Terrorism Act.

A 37-year-old female suspect, from Banbury, has been released under investigation.

The arrests were pre-planned and intelligence-led, the force added.

West Midlands Police were granted warrants of further detention to hold the suspects until Tuesday.

Officers are continuing to carry out searches at several properties across the country in connection with the arrests.

A string of counter-terrorism units were involved in the operation, including those from the West Midlands, north-west, south-east and east of England.

The five being held are:

  • A 26-year-old man from Cambridge
  • A 21-year-old man from Banbury, Oxfordshire
  • A 28-year-old man from Wolverhampton
  • A 26-year-old man from Leicester
  • A 24-year-old man from Stockport

National Action became the first British neo-Nazi group to be banned after Home Secretary Amber Rudd said it was promoting violence and acts of terrorism.

Who are National Action?

By Dominic Casciani, BBC home affairs correspondent

National Action became the first British neo-Nazi group to be banned after Home Secretary Amber Rudd said it was promoting violence and acts of terrorism.

Members and supporters applauded the murder of Jo Cox MP by a white supremacist – and the group had carried out a series of small, but confrontational, demonstrations in towns and cities throughout England.

One of its most notorious events saw masked members – many of them very young men – gathering outside York Minster to make Hitler salutes.

Since it was banned, detectives have been carrying out more and more investigations into the group which, to all intents and purposes, has organised itself in a similar way to the banned al Muhajiroun network – the extremist Islamist youth movement.

Both have used social media to target young people, attracting them with a simplistic us-and-them message designed to make them angry.

Approximately a fifth of the 400 terrorism-related arrests in the year to the end of last September were categorised by police as “domestic” extremism, which includes suspected far-right activity.

Since National Action was banned just over a year ago there have been more than a dozen arrests. A small number of prosecutions relating to the group will soon come to trial.