Neo-Nazi Luca Benincasa jailed for terrorism offences and child abuse images

A neo-Nazi from Cardiff who admitted various terrorism offences and the possession of violent child abuse images received a nine-year and three-month prison sentence.

Cardiff-based Luca Benincasa, 20, acted as a self-styled recruiter for the proscribed Neo-Nazi group Feuerkrieg Division and possessed materials related to bomb-making.

The BBC reported that Benincasa, who identified as an “incel”, had previously admitted to multiple counts of possessing violent child abuse images where the victims were just four to seven years old.

Other high-profile convictions for far-right terrorist offences included 19-year-old Daniel Harris and Thomas Leech, also 19, both had pleaded guilty to the possession or, with the latter, creating violent child abuse materials.

The court heard how Feuerkrieg Division grew from the proscription of other banned neo-Nazi groups like National Action.

Internet searches from Benincasa included child sacrifice, rape, and a pro-paedophilia t-shirt.

Counter-terror police raids uncovered a tactical vest, camouflage clothing, an SS dagger and flag, a Nazi Party armband, and masks at Benincasa’s home in Whitchurch in January 2022.

Benincasa owned a flag of the SS-Heimwehr in the then-free city of Danzig (now Gdańsk), which the Nazis illegally annexed following the invasion of Poland in 1939. Today, the Polish Post Office in the Free City of Danzig museum in Gdańsk honours the bravery of the Polish Post staff who resisted the Nazis on September 1, 1939.

Flag of the Nazi SS-Heimwehr (L) and the battle flag of the fascist Salò Republic (R), credit: Counter Terrorism Policing.

The third and final flag in Benincasa’s possession concerned the war flag of the fascist Italian Social Republic, broadly known as the Salò Republic – a Nazi puppet regime established in 1943 by Benito Mussolini, which controlled northern and central parts of the country until 1945.

Luca Benincasa entered guilty pleas via videolink at Winchester Crown Court last July to five offences – membership of a proscribed organisation and possession of four documents of a kind likely to be useful to a terrorist.

Detective Superintendent Mark Pope of Counter Terrorism Policing Wales, who led the investigation, said: “The dangerous nature of the material in Benincasa’s possession cannot be underestimated. This is why it is of such importance to hold to account those who seek to join proscribed organisations and gather material which may be useful to a terrorist.

“This intelligence-led investigation has resulted in the conviction of a dangerous individual and highlights the commitment by counter terrorism policing to tackle all forms of extremist ideology.”

Judge Jane Miller KC reflected in their sentencing remarks that Benincasa presents a “serious risk” to the public and will serve his sentence in a young offenders institute.

The detailed BBC reporting added that he sought to recruit teenage boys across the UK and, in one example, Germany, as sought to stay connected with those in the United States.

Det Supt Gareth Rees, who leads on far-right terrorism at Counter Terrorism Policing, told the BBC: “We need to understand how we can stop young people making decisions and being drawn into an area that is both very sad and very damaging and, ultimately at the top level, very threatening.”

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Categories: Far Right groups, Feuerkrieg Division, National Action, Neo-Nazi, News, terrorism

Neo-Nazi Luca Benincasa jailed for terrorism offences and child abuse images

A neo-Nazi from Cardiff who admitted various terrorism offences and the possession of violent child abuse images received a nine-year and three-month prison sentence.

Cardiff-based Luca Benincasa, 20, acted as a self-styled recruiter for the proscribed Neo-Nazi group Feuerkrieg Division and possessed materials related to bomb-making.

The BBC reported that Benincasa, who identified as an “incel”, had previously admitted to multiple counts of possessing violent child abuse images where the victims were just four to seven years old.

Other high-profile convictions for far-right terrorist offences included 19-year-old Daniel Harris and Thomas Leech, also 19, both had pleaded guilty to the possession or, with the latter, creating violent child abuse materials.

The court heard how Feuerkrieg Division grew from the proscription of other banned neo-Nazi groups like National Action.

Internet searches from Benincasa included child sacrifice, rape, and a pro-paedophilia t-shirt.

Counter-terror police raids uncovered a tactical vest, camouflage clothing, an SS dagger and flag, a Nazi Party armband, and masks at Benincasa’s home in Whitchurch in January 2022.

Benincasa owned a flag of the SS-Heimwehr in the then-free city of Danzig (now Gdańsk), which the Nazis illegally annexed following the invasion of Poland in 1939. Today, the Polish Post Office in the Free City of Danzig museum in Gdańsk honours the bravery of the Polish Post staff who resisted the Nazis on September 1, 1939.

Flag of the Nazi SS-Heimwehr (L) and the battle flag of the fascist Salò Republic (R), credit: Counter Terrorism Policing.

The third and final flag in Benincasa’s possession concerned the war flag of the fascist Italian Social Republic, broadly known as the Salò Republic – a Nazi puppet regime established in 1943 by Benito Mussolini, which controlled northern and central parts of the country until 1945.

Luca Benincasa entered guilty pleas via videolink at Winchester Crown Court last July to five offences – membership of a proscribed organisation and possession of four documents of a kind likely to be useful to a terrorist.

Detective Superintendent Mark Pope of Counter Terrorism Policing Wales, who led the investigation, said: “The dangerous nature of the material in Benincasa’s possession cannot be underestimated. This is why it is of such importance to hold to account those who seek to join proscribed organisations and gather material which may be useful to a terrorist.

“This intelligence-led investigation has resulted in the conviction of a dangerous individual and highlights the commitment by counter terrorism policing to tackle all forms of extremist ideology.”

Judge Jane Miller KC reflected in their sentencing remarks that Benincasa presents a “serious risk” to the public and will serve his sentence in a young offenders institute.

The detailed BBC reporting added that he sought to recruit teenage boys across the UK and, in one example, Germany, as sought to stay connected with those in the United States.

Det Supt Gareth Rees, who leads on far-right terrorism at Counter Terrorism Policing, told the BBC: “We need to understand how we can stop young people making decisions and being drawn into an area that is both very sad and very damaging and, ultimately at the top level, very threatening.”

The post Neo-Nazi Luca Benincasa jailed for terrorism offences and child abuse images appeared first on TELL MAMA.

Categories: Far Right groups, Feuerkrieg Division, National Action, Neo-Nazi, News, terrorism

Far-right terror: neo-Nazi jailed for encouraging others to make explosives

A neo-Nazi from Bath received a prison sentence of three years and three months after being found guilty of various terrorism offences.

25-year-old Elliot Brown was found guilty of two terrorism offences at Bristol Crown Court on January 16 (Monday), including for sharing an instructional video of how to create the explosive substance thermite via their Amazon device to a far-right Telegram channel.

A university dropout with no prior convictions, Brown had recorded a short video in March 2020 of his Amazon Alexa speaker responding to his question about making thermite, the BBC reported.

The Telegram channel contained racist and homophobic content targeting various minoritised groups. Police also found white supremacist imagery on the phone of Elliot Brown and video footage of different neo-Nazi terror attacks.

The BBC reported that the convicted neo-Nazi terrorist Dean Morrice, a fellow group member, had purchased enough ingredients three days later to build such an explosive – having retained a copy of the video Brown uploaded to the group.

Morrice received an 18-year prison sentence in the summer of 2021 for various terrorism offences that included the stockpiling of explosives.

Like Morrice, Elliot Brown possessed footage of the white supremacist terror in Christchurch, New Zealand, that resulted in the murder of 51 Muslims.

Last summer, our investigation detailed how Dean Morrice was one of at least sixteen men convicted of far-right terrorism offences across the UK, who took inspiration from, glorified those responsible, or possessed that infamous Christchurch terror attack video.

Elliot Brown will now appear on that list as it emerged following the verdict that a video on his mobile phone included a 48-second clip that turned that act of terror into a video game.

Counter-terror police unearthed additional disturbing materials on their phone, including an antisemitic clip of Smith barbequing that featured a song with the lyrics, “All I wanted to do is grill, but these Jews, they leave me no choice but to kill.” And the livestream of the terror attack in Halle, Germany.

Detective Superintendent Craig McWhinnie, who leads Counter Terrorism Policing South West, said: “Elliot Brown was not just seeking to explore an interest in extremist related materials. The video he produced and thought appropriate to share with people harbouring similar abhorrent views will understandably shock people.

“While there is no evidence that Brown planned to commit any terrorist attack, his actions went beyond just casual talk and are a criminal offence under the Terrorism Act.”

For Superintendent Steve Kendall of Avon and Somerset Police, “People like Elliot Brown, who hold extremist views, can live absolutely anywhere and although these instances are rare, they remind us we all need to be vigilant.

“Our number one priority is always public safety and that’s why we work so closely with our counter terrorism partners and other agencies. We will always work tirelessly to root out offenders such as Brown.”

 

 

 

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Categories: Christchurch, Dean Morrice, Far Right groups, News, Telegram, terrorism

The Guardian removes image of Muslim woman from Covid-19 fraud story

The Guardian newspaper issued a correction last week by removing the stock image of a Muslim woman in an article about fraudulent covid-related grants for businesses.

Tell MAMA was alerted to the issue on January 5, challenging the image choice in several tweets, including quoting the initial tweet, “How is a stock image of a Muslim woman in a headscarf relevant to this story?”.

We followed up this tweet by locating the origins of the stock image, detailing how it was taken in Newcastle in 2021, captioned, “A lady walk past a closed down empty shop on May 12, 2021 in Newcastle-Under-Lyme, England”.

Tell MAMA tweeted, “Here’s the origins of the photo which has nothing to do with the story. Please consider changing.”

On January 6, the change occurred with the clarification making clear, “This article was amended on 6 January 2022 to replace the main image with a more suitable picture.”

Tell MAMA also flagged a tweet that blamed immigrants for fraud, written in reply to the original Guardian tweet.

The use of the stock image occurred previously but in non-related covid coverage.

In 2021, the New York Post used this stock image in a covid-related story about virus levels across the UK.

In broad terms, the risk of stigmatisation through stock imagery, especially during a pandemic, has long been the subject of criticism and concern, mainly when directed towards East and Southeast Asian (ESEA) and Asian American and Pacific Island (AAPI) communities in North America. Academics drew similar concerns during the SARs epidemic in the early 2000s whilst tracing the historical roots of such racialised stigma and prejudice. Further scholarly work details how attaching a stigma to cultural identities invokes assumptions of inferiority. Thus, it risks curtailing inclusion and producing economic and interpersonal forms of discrimination.

Tell MAMA continues to challenge and document how such stock images of Muslim and ESEA communities appeared throughout coronavirus coverage during the pandemic – themes that will feature in more in-depth research.

In March last year, we detailed how the BBC continued to recycle the stock image of a Muslim woman.

We thank The Guardian for replacing the image and hope the necessary steps follow editorially to avoid this occurring again.

The Guardian removes image of Muslim woman from Covid-19 story about business fraud

 

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Categories: Coronavirus, COVID, COVID-19, Hijab, media framing, News, The Guardian

OPINION: Home Office Needs to Publish the Prevent Review Now

There have been numerous reports in the press lately suggesting that the delays to the publication of the Prevent Review by Sir William Shawcross hinges on whether groups and individuals should be named who have tried to undermine Prevent, taken monies and then been supportive of extremist groups or who have been quietly obstructive of the counter-extremism community based programme.

Whatever the reasons, the delay to the publication of the report gives the impression to those working in this area and to the wider public that the Government is not wholly focused on this area of work, is willing to play politics with such a key part of our collective safety and also somehow scared of calling out individuals and groups.

We are not interested in the debate about whether groups should be called out or not. If individuals or groups do support extremist groups and have received public monies, it is the job of the Government to seek redress or to seek to recoup the public monies in the public interest. That is the job of Government and one would hope that these actions would have been taken quickly.

What is of concern to us, is that a report is being withheld that has national significance, gives some direction to this programme of work and which also provides the public with a sense that the review has been thoroughly intense and looked at all areas of Prevent.

This is why we firmly believe that the Government must publish the review now. It has been delayed for over 4 months and delays simply make the review redundant over time. The time for politicking is over, publish the review.

The post OPINION: Home Office Needs to Publish the Prevent Review Now appeared first on Faith Matters.

Categories: Government, Home Office, Prevent review, Sir William Shawcross