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Met Police officer, 22, becomes first cop to be convicted of belonging to banned Neo-Nazi group National Action


A MET Police officer has become the first cop to be convicted of belonging to a neo-Nazi organisation.

Benjamin Hannam, 22, faces jail after being found guilty of joining the banned far-right extremist group National Action in 2017.

An Old Bailey trial found Benjamin Hannam, 22, guilty of being a member of neo-Nazi group National Action

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An Old Bailey trial found Benjamin Hannam, 22, guilty of being a member of neo-Nazi group National Action
He is the first British police officer to be convicted of belonging to a banned neo-Nazi terror group

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He is the first British police officer to be convicted of belonging to a banned neo-Nazi terror groupCredit: PA

The rookie cop was convicted at the Old Bailey after lying on his application to join the Met about his extremist beliefs and having terror documents detailing knife combat and making explosive devices.

Hannam also admitted possessing child abuse images, which was to have been the subject of a separate trial.

He was convicted afer a three-week trial which could not be reported due to other allegations that he kept the indecent images of a child.

Appearing in the dock today, the extremist looked to his supporter in court and nodded as he was found guilty of terrorism and fraud offences.

COP EXTREMIST

Hannam had been working as a probationary officer for the Met for nearly two years before he was found on a leaked database of users of extreme right-wing forum Iron March.

He had signed up to the forum when he joined the London branch of neo-Nazi group NA in March, 2016.

Hannam’s association with NA ended before he began working for the Met and counter-terrorism officers acted “swiftly” once he had been identified as a suspect.

Commander Richard Smith, head of the Met’s counter-terrorism command, said it was a “unique” case.

He said: “Ben Hannam obviously lied on his application form to join the Met.

Ben Hannam obviously lied on his application form to join the Met

Commander Richard Smith, head of the Met’s counter-terrorism command

“He would never have been able to join had we known then of his interest in the extreme right wing and his previous membership of National Action.

“Once we identified his involvement with that organisation we took immediate steps to arrest him and put him before the court.”

Members of NA thought Adolf Hitler was a “divine figure” and celebrated “Aryan purity”, hatred of non-white groups and Jews and genocide, the court heard.

Hannam tried to recruit a new member via Iron March and, in a reference to Adolf Hitler, said: “Then again it is pretty funny and we all know our stance on the big man.”

NA was banned in 2016 after it glorified the murder of MP Jo Cox.

But Hannam continued to meet high-profile people linked to the group, including NA co-founder Alex Davies.

In April 2017, he took part in outdoor boxing in woodland which was filmed on Mr Davies’ camera.

He was filmed spray-painting NA graffiti on a all

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He was filmed spray-painting NA graffiti on a allCredit: PA
Cops who raided his bedroom found neo-Nazi posters, notes detailing his membership of NA, as well as NA badges and business cards

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Cops who raided his bedroom found neo-Nazi posters, notes detailing his membership of NA, as well as NA badges and business cardsCredit: PA
Hannam had hoarded far-right material before his arrest

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Hannam had hoarded far-right material before his arrestCredit: PA

On July 2, he spray painted the symbol for an NA alias – NS131 on the outskirts of Swindon, for a propaganda video.

On July 19, Hannam applied to join Scotland Yard, denying he had ever been a member of the British National Party “or similar organisation”.

Dan Pawson-Pounds, prosecuting, said: “On any view, National Action is one such organisation. Benjamin Hannam answered ‘no’ to these questions on both forms.

“Benjamin was well aware of what the BNP was, must have known that his membership of National Action, either before or after proscription, was caught by these questions and, in answering “no” deliberately misled the police.

“Had he answered “yes”, as he would have well known, his application would have been rejected.”

When officers searched his bedroom last year, they found neo-Nazi posters, notes detailing his membership of NA, as well as NA badges and business cards.

He had stored on a USB stick two documents said to be useful to a terrorist.

Mass murderer Anders Breivik’s manifesto contained guidance on making radiological, chemical and biological weapons, and improvised explosive devices while the second document detailed how to carry out a fatal knife attack.

Hannam, of Edmonton, north London, is currently suspended from duty and now faces jail.

The judge said his conviction would lead to a jail sentence.

Hannam, of Edmonton, north London, is due to be sentenced

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Hannam, of Edmonton, north London, is due to be sentencedCredit: PA





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