Man said ban on neo-Nazi group would be ‘badge of honour’, court told

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A man accused of founding a banned neo-Nazi group told a Scandinavian associate to “take it as a badge of honour” if his own organisation were to be declared illegal, a court has heard.

Ben Raymond, 32, allegedly exchanged messages with a member of the Nordic Resistance Movement, claiming the authorities had “fabricated” evidence to ban National Action.

National Action was banned under terror legislation in 2016, becoming the first far-right group to be proscribed since the British Union of Fascists in 1940.

Raymond is said to have set up the group in 2013 to wage a “white Jihad” and race war in Britain, becoming its propaganda chief.

A lengthy message to the Scandinavian man, allegedly penned by Raymond, claimed National Action had been unfairly banned in response to the murder of Jo Cox by Thomas Mair in June 2016.

Mair was convicted of Ms Cox’ murder in November 2016, and National Action was banned around a month later.

The message described Mair as a “mental invalid” adding, “it is highly unlikely he even knew an organisation like National Action existed”, the court heard.

“(This was) an unfortunate civic incident, not a political killing – such groups will be banned now no matter what the truth is,” the message read.

Raymond allegedly claimed a National Action tweet reading “Don’t let this man’s sacrifice go in vain” and saying Ms Cox “would have filled Yorkshire with more sub-humans” had been taken out of context and was about voting leave in the Brexit referendum.

“This provided the sole justification for the ban,” the message said.

It went on to say police and politicians had “fabricated the evidence they needed and the facts did not matter”.

The message read: “We all consider it our greatest duty to make the world fully regret this step and arrogant decision.”

It continued: “If the same fate should befall the Nordic Resistance Movement, take it as the badge of honour that will inspire you for the fight ahead.”

Bristol Crown Court previously heard that on that on the day of Ms Cox’s murder, one of National Action’s social media accounts praised Mair and said: “Only 649 MPs to go #WhiteJihad #ChurchillAkbar #BritainFirst #NationalAction #DayofTheRope.”

The jury has been told Raymond was also linked to other convicted neo-Nazis such as Jack Renshaw, who is serving a life sentence for plotting to murder Labour MP Rosie Cooper in 2017.

In a Skype chat with convicted National Action member Daniel Bogunovic, Raymond said: “Renshaw’s f****** owned.

“He can blast Jews better than any Klan leader alive or dead.”

Raymond, of Beechcroft Road, Swindon, denies membership of a proscribed organisation contrary to Section 11 of the Terrorism Act and six counts of possessing a document or record of use to a terrorist contrary to Section 58 of the Act.

According to the charges, the material includes documents entitled Ethnic Cleaning Operations, 2083 – European Declaration of Independence by Andrew Berwick, Homemade Detonators by Ragnar Benson, TM 31-210 Improvised Munitions Handbook, Homemade Molotov Cocktail and Cluster Bomb.

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