Surge in far-right extremism membership in Cornwall and the reality behind terrorist attacks in UK
Categories: Latest News
Tuesday September 11 2018
The Cornwall Live reports on Steve Rowell, Cornwall Council’s preventing extremism/terrorism lead, warning that there has been a surge of support for far-right extremist groups recently.
Mr Rowell warned Cornwall councillors that “We are seeing a rise in extreme right-wing activists nationally and right here in Cornwall”.
The warning came as part of a briefing.
Mr Rowell noted that increasingly right-wing groups were utilising social media platforms to voice their divisive messages that aim to exploit concerns around globalisation, conflict and migration.
He added that: “Nearly all of them share racist views. If someone goes on social media and makes a comment that incites hatred and or racial violence that is a criminal offence”.
From a Freedom of Information (FoI) request made by MEND, Devon and Cornwall Police noted that between April 2017 and March 2018 941 race hate crimes and 96 religious hate crimes were reported (a hate crime can have more than one flag).
Mr Rowell also highlighted that the council had policies to prevent and tackle extremism and terrorism borne out of right-wing groups as well as others.
In the briefing, it was highlighted that in the UK over the past year there had been 12 terror plots foiled, though it was not clarified as to the nature of the individual terror plots.
The European Union Terrorism and Situation and Trend (TESAT) Report noted that in 2017 the UK reported 9 disrupted plots associated with religiously-motivated terrorism.
The TESAT report is an annual report produced by Europol which aims to provide insight into incidents associated with domestic terrorism.
The report highlighted the significance of ethno-nationalist terrorism, which made the majority of all terrorist attacks in Europe (137 of 205 attacks; 67%); and the significance of, ‘underreported’, far-right terrorism that has found particular fertile ground in the UK.
The report further noted that 14 completed incidents were religiously-motivated, with more than 6 times as many incidents being a separatist attack in the same period (88). A further five attacks were said to be due to right-wing terrorism.
The figures highlight the complex nature of the field of terrorism that is often painted by a broad brush by the media. Ethno-national and separatist attacks are rarely discussed in media discourse despite their threat to national security.
Sir Julian King, the EU Security Commissioner, in March 2017 warned of the “growing menace of right-wing violence extremism” in the EU.
He stated: “Keep in mind the growing menace of right-wing violent extremism…I’m not aware of a single EU member state that is not affected in some way by right-wing violent extremism. So while today’s book is focussed on jihadist radicalisation albeit recognising that right-wing extremism can have an impact on that radicalisation. I think we also need to keep in mind the growing menace of right-wing violent extremism”.
He added: “In the course of last year, we’ve witnessed an increasing number of attacks against mosques and asylum centres. There was also the brutal murder in the UK of the British member of parliament, Jo Cox”.