Fascism rising: security committee warns of rise in right-wing terror threat

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UK lawmakers have warned of a growing threat from right-wing extremists. They’ve urged the military and police to tighten background checks.

The parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) said in its annual report that the phenomenon had been steadily increasing since 2017, with tech-savvy young men driving the rise.

ERWT ideology

The report also stated that a growing number of young people under the age of 24 are now on the radar of the UK domestic security service MI5 investigating extreme right-wing terrorism (ERWT).

Of the 25 attacks which the security services and counter-terrorism police prevented between March 2017 and January 2020, eight were motivated by an ERWT ideology.

The report said:

The new ERWT threat is fragmented and complex, increasingly driven by the internet and characterised by a technologically aware demographic of predominantly young men, many of them still in their teens, who are typically ‘Self-Initiated Terrorists’

However, few of the individuals suspected belong to organised groups. MPs said:

Read on...

Their motivation can be highly individualistic, according to their particular personal circumstances, the nature of their grievances and perceptions of their own capabilities.

Determining how, why and when they may choose to attack is therefore particularly challenging.


The ISC report may cast doubt on the effectiveness of government counter-extremism efforts. The centrepiece of these has been the highly questionable Prevent scheme. Prevent has been accused of being Islamophobic and disproportionally targeting Muslims in the UK.

As long ago as 2017, when the reported rise in far-right extremism started, campaigners were warning:

[Prevent] is broken, it’s counterproductive and I think there is a lack of accountability.

They added:

This strategy has been in place for over a decade and there’s been no discernable impact.

Fascism ascendant?

It seems clear that far-right sentiments are rising across the world. A coup attempt led by an aristocrat and involving veterans and police officers was foiled in Germany recently. We’ve seen a rise in the US following Donald Trump’s election loss in January 2021. It isn’t a huge stretch to imagine similar plots emerging in the UK – with its enduring climate of migrant-bashing and xenophobia.

We must remain vigilant at all times about the danger of far-right radicalisation. As ever, we must also be wary of blaming the ‘other’ in these times of increased economic downturn and decline.

Additional reporting by Agence France-Presse.

Featured image via Wikimedia Commons/Lionheart Photography, cropped to 770 x 403, licenced under CC BY 2.0.

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  • Show Comments
    1. The UK and other NATO countries have spent the last 8 years arming and training the armed forces of the Ukrainian regime which has extreme right-wing ideology at its heart.
      The Banderistas (the Azov Regiment) are driven by a Nazi ideology and wear a Nazi symbol on their uniform (the Wulfsangel … Not sure how you spell it).
      This is no secret.
      It is well-documented and is well-known.
      Just look up Azov regiment on Wikipedia if you have doubts.
      I therefore have my doubts about attempts by the British State to tackle ERWT and the ideology behind it.

    2. There’s also the problem that many of the weapons being given to Ukraine (whose army, as Jonno-2 points out, includes openly fascist regiments) are turning up across the world in the hands of people who you really wouldn’t want to have them. Criminal gangs in Finland and Albania, and terrorist groups in Africa have been cited as examples.

      They’re being sold on the black market by Ukrainian officials. Everyone sending weapons knows, but turns a blind eye.

      The question is : how long before some of those arms reach right wing extremists in the UK ?

      Or have they already ?

    3. Ukraine has been known for years as the most corrupt country in Europe.
      NATO now hold them up as defending democracy.
      The UK government is only too happy to sing along with the same tune.
      Ukraine’s Nazi credentials are hardly-ever mentioned in the MSM.
      What hypocracy !

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