The world's law enforcement agencies have a terrible blind spot when it comes to far-right, white supremacist terror groups, treating them as unimportant lone wolves despite their prolific and bloody acts of violence.
The pro-Brexit side in the UK has more than its share of murderous right-wing thugs, who were critical to the passage of the initial Brexit vote, going so far as to stab an anti-Brexit MP to death for her political views.
Now, with the future of Brexit in doubt, there's reason to worry that these terror cells will exact vengeance on the UK. Yesterday, a video surfaced of British soldiers using a picture of Jeremy Corbyn -- who could well be the next Prime Minister of Britain -- for target practice.
On the same day, the trial of a neo-Nazi who had plotted the murder of an anti-Brexit MEP concluded.
Other soldiers have been recorded cheering for Tommy Robinson, the founder of the English Defense League, a far-right hate group, who is now an advisor to the UKIP, the political party that led the pro-Brexit movement. Priti Patel, a Tory MP, has called Corbyn "a man who sides with terrorists and socialist dictators." The right-wing terrorist Darren Osborne -- who murdered a man when he drove his van onto the pavement in front of the Houses of Parliament -- has said that one of his goals was to murder Corbyn, saying "it would be one less terrorist [on] our streets."
Labour MP Rosie Cooper gave a speech in the House of Commons about the neo-Nazis who were caught planning her assassination over her anti-Brexit stance "to send a message to the state, to send a message to this place" (the plot was not foiled by the police, but rather by the anti-fascist campaigning group Hope Not Hate, who infiltrated the terror cell and exposed its plans). Other MPs have been called "traitors" by Tommy Robinson, on the basis of their opposition to Brexit.
The video of the soldiers pretending to assassinate Corbyn was, predictably, defended by a trans-Atlantic alliance of far-right trolls. James Delingpole, a Breitbart columnist, asked, “How is it wrong for the Army to train against terrorist-supporting, Jew-hating, Commie revolutionaries?” Jonathan Schanzer, a vice president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a neoconservative think tank, wrote that it was “reassuring that British soldiers find him repugnant.” (Accusations that Labour has been slow to discipline or expel party members for making anti-Semitic remarks have been distorted by Corbyn’s political enemies into supposed proof that his criticism of Israeli rights abuses is motivated by anti-Semitism.)
One of the the former soldiers who approvingly shared the clip on Twitter, an Iraq war veteran from Belfast named Trevor Coult, dismissed it as “a bit of tomfoolery.” (A screenshot of a tweet Coult later deleted shows that the copy of the video he shared was uploaded to Twitter by a Petty Officer who is currently serving in the Royal Navy.)
Last month, Coult suggested that British Army veterans were showing restraint by not killing Corbyn for his prior criticism of myth-making around the British role in the First World War.
Specter of Far-Right Violence Haunts Crisis Talks Over Brexit [Robert Mackey/The Intercept]