Five arrested in right-wing terror raids in England and Wales

Anti terror police

Counter Terrorism Police have arrested five right-wing suspects in Keighley in West Yorkshire, Swindon and Anglesey in North Wales.

Three men, a woman and a teenager were arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism under section 41 of the Terrorism Act 2000.

Detectives have been given until May 8 to hold and question the following individuals, if required:

  • A 29 year old man from Keighley
  • A 30 year old man from Keighley
  • A 28 year old woman from Keighley
  • A 16 year old male from Swindon
  • A 28 year old man was from Anglesey

A statement from Counter Terrorism Policing North East regarding the Keighley Arrests said: “We recognise that local people may have concerns as a result of the police activity in Keighley over the weekend. The arrests were pre-planned and intelligence led and there is not believed to be any immediate risk to the local community. The arrests form part of an ongoing investigation led by Counter Terrorism Policing North East into to Right Wing Terrorism.

“We are grateful for the continued understanding, patience and support of local residents while these enquiries continue. We do not confirm the names or details of individuals arrested unless they are charged.

“This is an ongoing investigation. Speculation of any kind is unhelpful and could have a negative impact on the investigation and any future prosecution(s). We respectfully ask people not to comment or speculate about the arrested subjects or the investigation on social media or other platforms.

“If you have any concerns, please speak to your local Neighbourhood Policing Team in the first instance. Every year thousands of reports from the public help police tackle the terrorist threat. If you see or hear something that doesn’t seem right, trust your instincts and ACT by reporting to police in confidence at gov.uk/ACT.

“Reporting won’t ruin lives, but it could save them. Action Counters Terrorism. Remember, in an emergency, always dial 999.”

There has been a steady increase in the threat from right-wing terrorists in recent years.

Official figures show that 89 white people were arrested on suspicion of terror offences in 2020, compared with 63 Asian suspects, 15 black suspects and 18 of other ethnicities.

“The proportion of white people arrested exceeded the proportion of Asian people arrested for the third consecutive year,” a Home Office document said.

“Arrests of persons of white ethnic appearance accounted for 48 per cent of arrests, up seven percentage points on the previous year. Those of Asian ethnic appearance accounted for 34 per cent of terrorist-related arrests, down five percentage points.”

Dean Haydon, the senior national coordinator for counter terrorism policing, said: “While the rest of us have been focussed on protecting ourselves and our families from this terrible disease, terrorists have not stopped planning attacks or radicalising vulnerable people online.

“As we follow the government’s roadmap out of the tightest restrictions there will be greater opportunity for terrorists to operate, and we want the public to join the police, security staff and retail workers in a collective community effort to minimise the chance of attack.”

The figures also showed that one in five people behind bars for terror offences in Britain on December 31 were right-wing extremists – the highest proportion since records began. But the vast majority (75 per cent) were still classed as having “Islamist extremist” views.

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