‘Outstanding soldier’ was recruiter for British neo-Nazi terrorist group

‘Outstanding soldier’ was recruiter for British neo-Nazi terrorist group An ‘outstanding soldier’ was at the centre of neo-Nazi terrorists’ attempts to recruit inside the British army. Mikko Vehvilainen was jailed for eight years after being convicted for membership of the banned-group National Action.

Afghanistan veteran, Royal Anglian Regiment Corporal Mikko Vehvilainen, 34, served as a ‘recruiter’ for National Action (NA), according to prosecutors.

The group had been trying to grow its membership through the targeting of the armed forces. Other NA members had been repeatedly trying to join the army, but were rejected.

The court heard how Finnish-born Vehvilainen was connected to three other soldiers, two of which were disciplined internally and remained a part of the forces, while the third was thrown out of the force.

Pavlos Panayi QC told the trial judge that “his career in the army is over and he leaves having brought dishonour on himself and what is more, infamy.”

Upon sentencing, Judge Melbourne Inman QC said that Vehvilainen had a “long and deep-seated adherence.”

His hearing was told how he had “risked his life in Afghanistan” and was thought of as an “outstanding soldier.”

The court heard details of the neo-Nazi’s activities that he carried out from his South Wales home. Vehvilainen, a father-of-three from Sennybridge Camp, Wales, had endeavored to establish an all-white enclave in the north of the country, for which he was in the process of renovating a house in the picturesque village of Llansilin.

Upon searching his house in Sennybridge, police found a picture of Vehvilainen giving a Nazi salute at a memorial for his native Finland‘s independence, as well as a host of Nazi paraphernalia and weapons; including knives, hammers and firearms.

Vehvilainen’s father-in-law, who was present during his arrest, suffered a stroke after the incident, dying a month later. “The defendant will always have that on his conscience,” Panayi said.

The threat from British far-right extremism was highlighted by the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox in June 2016. Her murderer, Thomas Mair, shouted “Death to traitors, freedom for Britain” as he killed her.

Several months later National Action, whose members had expressed support for Mair, was proscribed, the first far-right group to be so since 1940. The group had not carried out any attacks, but were linked to a murder plot against Labour MP Rosie Cooper. 10 members have so far been convicted of having links to NA, while counter-terror officers are continuing to investigate the group and its offshoots.

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