Wiltshire artist was ‘Joseph Goebbels’ of National Action, court said | UK News
One talented artist was the “Joseph Goebbels” of the violent neo-Nazi group National Action and continued to be a leading figure in the organization after it was banned by the British government, a jury said.
Ben Raymond, 32, of Swindon, Wiltshire, was one of the founders of NA, whose members amassed machetes, swords, ice picks, guns and even a crossbow powerful enough to take down a elephant, the Bristol Crown Court said.
Raymond is said to have acted as the group’s “traveling ambassador”, which is said to have had ties to far-right groups in Eastern Europe, Norway and the United States and was trained to spark a race war.
He was also reportedly a close associate of an NA member who planned to kill Labor MP Rosie Cooper and was in close contact with a man called Zack Davies shortly before attacking an Asian dentist in a supermarket in the north of the country. of Wales with a machete.
Barnaby Jameson QC, prosecuting, said Raymond was a “public face” of NA and was careful not to stockpile weapons himself or commit physical attacks.
“His jihad was carried out with words and images,” said Jameson. “He was, like Joseph Goebbels of the original Nazi cabal, the natural leader of propaganda.
“He gave interviews to the media, exposing the group’s virulent ethnic cleansing program to the media with sometimes transcendent calm. “
Founded in 2013 when Raymond was a student, NA was, according to Jameson, “racist, anti-Semitic and aggressive”, a “white jihadist” group that had not been seen in the UK since the British Union of Fascists, which been banned. in 1940.
The group was small, secretive and paranoid, the jury was told, communicating using encrypted messaging systems, some of which self-destruct, and conducting paramilitary training such as mixed martial arts and combat with knives.
NA was banned in December 2016, said the court, the first far-right group to be banned since World War II, joining organizations such as the IRA and al-Qaida.
But Jameson said Raymond and others flouted the ban with NA “turning” into cells that continued to function underground. After the ban, another leader emailed the other members: “We’re losing skin for another… These are exciting times. “
Groups that emerged after the ban included the Midlands-based TripleK mafia, one in the northwest called Revenge, and Scottish Dawn, the court was told. Raymond used his artistic skills to create the TripleK logos, it is claimed.
Raymond denies being a member of a banned organization and possessing material that could be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism, including information on the manufacture of molotov cocktails.
The trial continues.