The co-founder of a neo-Nazi terror group saw a government ban as a “hurdle to overcome” while continuing to push his agenda, a court has heard.
Alex Davies is accused of remaining a member of National Action after it was outlawed as a terrorist organization in December 2016, then creating a spin-off group called NS131 which was later banned.
Winchester Crown Court heard the 27-year-old told a neo-Nazi colleague it was ‘pretty cool’ to be ‘up there’ with the banned British Union of Fascists in 1940.
The government announced its intention to ban National Action, adding it to a list of 70 groups including Isis and the IRA, on December 12, 2016.
Jurors were told that later that day a neo-Nazi contact messaged Mr Davies and his co-founder Ben Raymond, who has since been found guilty of membership.
The man wrote that he was ‘very sorry to hear the news of the insane ban looming’ and urged them to ‘see it as an opportunity to be creative in expressing the same without using words that will offend “.
The jurors received a response from Mr Davies, where he wrote: “There is nothing to get excited about. I am sure we will find a creative way to overcome the obstacles in front of us.
The court heard that following the ban, National Action split into regional factions that operated under new names, in an effort to evade prosecution.
Prosecutor Barnaby Jameson QC said Mr Davies founded an offshoot called NS131, which stands for National Socialist Anti-Capitalist Action, while traveling around the country for numerous meetings with other National Action members.
“Look at the number of cities the defendant visited in what was clearly a national action matter during the proscription – his boots were the most worn out of them all,” he told jurors on Thursday.
“It was a continuity terrorist group and you can easily deduce that the accused remained a leader of National Action. An idealist, a pathfinder and a decision maker.
The jury saw footage of the defendant boxing with other neo-Nazis and training with a crossbow, and recounted how he had previously performed a Hitler salute at a German concentration camp.
Mr Jameson said Mr Davies acted as a “post-ban recruiter and vetting agent”, and used encrypted platforms and in-person meetings as part of broad operational security attempts.
“That’s what this case is about: overturning the ban,” he added. “They were a group that, by their own admission and in the words of Ben Raymond, only bullets would stop.”
The court heard that Mr Davies had given other members legal advice following the ban, including on anti-terrorism and incitement to racial hatred laws, but NS131 was banned as a pseudonym of National Action in September 2017.
A total of 17 people have been convicted of the remaining members after the national action ban, including several whom Mr Davies met in 2017.
Among the NS131 members was Benjamin Hannam, who became a Metropolitan Police officer but was convicted of terrorism offenses last year.
Mr Jameson described National Action as a “tiny, covert group of white jihadists arming themselves for direct and violent confrontation”.
“They were not armchair neo-Nazis – the ultimate goal of the group was to exploit racial tensions as a means of all-out assault on the democratic order,” he added.
The prosecutor told jurors that Mr Davies was ‘imbued with a violent and bigoted ideology’ and had ‘constantly plotted to further an unwavering terrorist agenda’.
The accused, from Swansea, denies being a member of a banned group between December 17, 2017 – the day after the National Action was banned – and the date of his arrest on September 27, 2017.
The trial continues.