tv Exposed BBC News December 8, 2018 12:30am-1:01am GMT
us prosecutors say donald trump's former personal lawyer has given them information on how russian nationals tried to affect the 2016 presidential election. it comes as a court in new york says michael cohen should serve a substantial jail term for crimes including tax evasion. a top executive from the chinese telecoms giant, huawei, will remain in custody over the weekend, after appearing in a court in canada on fraud charges. meng wanzhou, the daughter of the firm's founder, is accused of breaching sanctions against iran. french students clash with police as the country prepares for more anti government protests this weekend. now on bbc news, a special investigation into the hidden world of neo—nazi recruiters. far—right extremists —
spreading hate on our streets. they say they will read the streets of wales. here's our undercover journalist. they are system resista nce journalist. they are system resistance network, an underground group being by police. they want me to break the law, to incite racial hatred and basically so fear and
division. srn recruits through online propaganda. they have zero tolerance for non—whites. they call homosexuality a disease and in one hate—filled video claim that aids is a cure. srn has been targeting south wales for the last year. this follower has just set fire to a masonic hall. he daubed graffiti over schools, a university and a church — images were posted online by srn. for months our undercover journalist has been communicating with them. i've created a fake online profile and persuaded them that i want to join. to get to srn i've had to enter the online world of the far right. it starts on mainstream social media and quickly becomes more and more extreme. you could literally feed off this
stuff day and night. you can read about it, listen to it, even play video games dedicated to the cause. online ourjournalist is posing as university drop out with far—right views. they are looking for bright, disaffected people who are angry enough to join a movement which promises to change things. srn has hundreds of online followers, but he wants to meet them face to face. tonight we expose the group's recruitment tactics and go in search of the people behind srn. we also reveal the support the group has been receiving from the welsh man here in swansea who set up the first extreme far right terror group to be outlawed in britain. police and campaigners believe srn was inspired by the now banned
terror group national action. this is the founder, alex davies. he created national action when he was 18. raised in swansea, he was a hardened neo—nazi by the time he left school. set up five years ago, it rapidly became the uk's most dangerous extreme far—right group. white power! this is ben raymond. he was alex davies‘ media man. they used online propaganda to find new recruits. we are the new generation! we exist and we continue to battle for the final victory of our race! thank you! raymond moved to swansea,
where with alex davies, their messages became more sinister. but the ones who are afraid we're going to gas them all for being traitors. and we will! but from some of their followers there was more than talk. with the hate, came violence. one follower in north wales, zack davies, tried killing a sikh dentist with a machete. and when mpjo cox was murdered two years ago, national action glorified her killer. that led to them being proscribed, making continued membership or support illegal. but the ban hasn't stopped alex davies‘ ambitions for a free, white britain. but the young nationalists of this country are still here, we are unperturbed and we will move forward, regardless of the cost. you are listening to radio aryan. and alex davies has been on radio,
a neo—nazi station which is littered with racist and homophobic content. this is him promoting system resistance network, or srn. the propaganda they put out even makes me blush. it really is, it is over the line legally speaking. but all in all, the fact that they're putting out a solid ns message is really good. he told listeners how to follow srn, the latest nazi—activist group, online. less than two weeks later this happened. srn posters and graffiti were found in a cardiff park ahead of an anti—racism demo. mp stephen doughtyjoined the march. to see swastikas being daubed on streets of grange town was hugely shocking for local residents. it's been a wake—up call for a lot
of people that these groups are operating in our communities and we need to work together to fight them. but alex davies then went back on radio aryan to congratulate srn for getting neo—nazis in the headlines. as long as there's some signs of resistance there there's hope. it's like a fire, as long as you've got some embers burning, all you need is to put some fuel on that fire and it can turn into something very big, very quickly. just over a year ago here in swansea, the police arrested alex davies and ben raymond on suspicion of continued membership of national action. they have not been charged. but some national action followers were, after taking the group underground. ten people have been convicted this year. among them were student alex deakin and soldier mikko vehvilainen. their trials gave a chilling insight
into their violent neo—nazi world. in the heart of rural montgomeryshire, llansilin is a welcoming village. when a vehvilainen moved in, locals didn't suspect a thing. hello, vera, can i come in? vera first met him when he started renovating his cottage. how often did he come up to work on the house? weekends, cos he was in the army, wasn't he? finnish national mikko vehvilaenen was a lance corporal — a fitness instructor based in sennybridge. he said his wife and children would be moving in. when he came first, somebody said, gosh he's come a long way, what's he coming here for? but nobody thought no more you see. vehvilainen was still an active member of national action.
counter—terrorism police raided the cottage after discovering he was now operating underground, with other members in the midlands. he was a neo—nazi, he was a white supremacist. he had access to high—powered crossbows, throwing knives. he was committed to violence and an ideology of hate. but their their plan to wage a race war and to acquire weaponry and to promote violent extremism was undiminished. police found national action leaflets and uncovered secret online conversations between vehvilainen and other extreme far right supporters. in one, he'd offered to let them use his home for meetings and told them how welsh villages like this, with relatively cheap properties for sale, were ripe for turning
into national socialist communities. in sennybridge, at his married quarters, more nazi paraphernalia and weapons. in a message vehvilainen said that black people were not worthy of life. and he could shoot their children and feel nothing. they started using encrypted apps to send messages to each other. they are learning from other terrorist organisations how to communicate, how to radicalise. vehvilainen urged other neo—nazis to join the army. he had access to lots of young influential young men who would have joined the army who could be persuaded and radicalised to follow the nazi ideology so an incredibly dangerous individual. police spotted vehvilainen at this national action demo before the ban. a serving soldier on the side of neo—nazis. we have discovered he has a long and disturbing history as a hitler—loving white supremacist. we have tracked down the former leader of the neo—nazi finnish resistance movement, which vehvilainenjoined long before he became a soldier.
and i am heading to finland where the neo—nazi nordic resistance movement, which national action modelled itself on, has been outlawed. i'm meeting esa holappa, who says he helped radicalise vehvilainen online after meeting him in an extremist chat room 15 years ago. mikko was hateful person, willing to fight and struggle for his ideas and maybe even take another step, what he believes in the ideologies that he followed. it's openly saying certain people need to be exterminated and killed in order to achieve a white revolution, the white victory. national action‘s co—founder ben raymond, travelled to finland
to help build links with neo—nazi groups across europe. holappa was one of finland's leading neo—nazis until turning his back on the movement three years ago after becoming disillusioned. he admits influencing vehvilainen. i had written a lot of articles promoting nazism. i do believe there is a possibility that i have had my part in radicalising him. given that vehvilainen was an open and committed neo—nazi while living here in his native finland, the big question is how was he able to join the british army in the first place? if we have a person who has a long background with extremist movements, i'm sure some intelligence services may have picked up his name somewhere. vehvilainen tried recruiting fellow soldiers.
he boasted in text messages about finding sympathisers. according to holappa, racist groups are actively seeking to infiltrate the army. of course, it is alarming to see a person having these views and having this connection is able to if, i say it like this, walk into the british military. the army said it couldn't tell us how vehvilainen became a soldier. it says it does vet recruits for convictions or links to extremist groups. and has robust measures to ensure those showing extremist views aren't tolerated or permitted to serve. vehvilainen was plotting alongside this man, former aberystwyth university student alex deakin. he's one of ten national action supporters convicted earlier this year. here doing a nazi salute
alongside ben raymond at national action demo before the ban. and he was in swansea in 2016 at the white pride demo, again with ben raymond. but after proscription, deakin, from the midlands, kept looking for new blood. their aim was to keep radicalising, recruiting, growing but bringing in the skills they wanted. deakin‘s plans became more and more violent. he suggested setting up death squads and wrote that alljewish people should be "burned?. in one secret message, deakin said that, despite the ban on national action, ben raymond was designing stickers for all the ex—national action groups and that ideas for new ones should be sent to him. ben raymond said deakin was speaking
for himself and without his knowledge or consent. our undercoverjournalist has befriended ben raymond online. these days he calls himself an "artist." he sent me some pictures. i was quite shocked to see the sort of artwork he was producing, recreating images of dr mengele and adolf hitler. i think it's his idea of a joke but actually it's a reference to murdered jews being turned into soap in the holocaust. he denies it's a sickjoke. he calls it "satire." just like the extreme far—right computer game he shared on facebook. so what's the purpose of the game? you start off by killing
anti—fascists then as you move through the levels, the different enemies change to blacks, jews, gays, muslims. after his arrest in september last year, he made a film warning far—right suspects not to co—operate with police. respond to all questions with no comment. raymond says it's the same advice solicitors give political prisoners. ..and hail victory. and since his arrest, ourjournalist found alex davies continuing to push extremism online. you're listening to radio aryan. in one episode, i listened to alex davies talking about a new extreme far—right website called england lives. if you're a budding writer and want to become a journalist or whatever, maybe send in a couple of articles to them and try and support that website. it glorified killer darren osborne from cardiff, who drove a van into worshipper at a mosque in finsbury.
it was full of racist stuff, really vile, vile language. like many extreme far—right websites, the people behind them are hidden. those hunting extremists in wales know that online is a big challenge. the ideology and intention has not changed. it's the tools that are available for criminality in all its forms to exploit. what i'd say, though, is it's also an opportunity for us to investigate, and it doesn't matter whether people are trying to radicalise online or offline, if the offence is there, we will investigate and bring people tojustice. our undercover journalist says srn want him and others to use encrypted messaging. they know the police are onto them. we know they have more than 200 followers on social media, but what we don't know is how many of them are willing to break the law for the cause. this man is one of them.
in the early hours in newport, he attacked buildings and vandalised a church in the name of srn and was caught on cctv. it showed a person dressed all in black with his face covered, to put up posters and obviously a stencil with a spray can to put two swastikas on there, so it was quite clear, but you couldn't see the person's face. he was quite pleased with his work because he stood back and took some photos of it, so obviously he wanted to show this off. pastor cleverley believes the church was targeted because it supports asylum seekers and refugees. this was the man behind the mask — 23—year—old austin ross. he had no previous convictions. when police caught him, he admitted the attacks but he refused to answer their questions about srn.
when we searched his house, we found a stencil kit of a swastika, and that was identified as what he used on a number of occasions. he just wanted to get a message out there that most people in our society thankfully find disgusting and abhorrent. two months after contacting our undercover journalist, srn got back in touch. they want to interview him online. they've sent me a message asking about my physical fitness — what means of transport i have, do i have any mental or physical disabilities? at any stage, they could turn a webcam on, so i've bought one of these to hide my identity — it's what they wear in their videos. they begin typing questions. i'm not telling you my name, for obvious reasons. i am 24 and i live in south wales.
i've seen your propaganda. i've seen your posters and i really relate to that. ok, you are interested — good. so what's the next step? what do i do? he's instructed to put up 20 srn propaganda posters in the community. is there anyone that will go out with me or do i go on my own? suddenly, they want to speak. man: yeah, basically wear black clothes and a facemask and don't look at cameras and stick up 20 odd posters. have a plan of where to do it — probably do it after! o'clock, when it's properly black out. 0k. is that clear enough? yeah, 0k.
how does it work now? once i have done it, what do i do? take some pictures, send them to me, just to show you have done it. and then i will leave you to do a bit of reading. and we will go to the next stage and see about full membership. what is full membership? we will bring you along to stuff and actually tell you stuff. ok, what sort of stuff is it you know? well, you will find out when you are a full member. he told him to read extremist material and hitler's mein kampf. ok, is there anyone in south wales that i can meet or link up with? well, you have to be a member first, which you ain't. 0k. and this is the initiation — you do that on your own, everyone does that on their own. where did you hear about us? i heard your name on podcasts, radio aryan, and i've also seen you guys online. cool austin ross was the first person to be jailed in the name of srn.
he got six years. his family say they had no idea of his links to the group and they are devastated by what's happened. hours after speaking to srn, they emailed us the posters they wanted us to put up for our initiation. he's asking me to go and commit acts of vandalism which incite racial hatred. we didn't do what they wanted, but we sent srn images suggesting we had. after that, communication came to an end. spreading or inciting racial hatred is a crime. in mid wales, vehvilaenen won't be returning to the village he wanted to turn into a neo—nazi zone. he was jailed for eight years and discharged from the army. alex deakin got nine years. you're listening to radio aryan.
but on radio aryan, they're called prisoners of war, and ben raymond has been on to rally support for jailed racists. these people are very intellectual people. you can send them books. if they have books, what you are doing is turning a horrifically bad situation into what hitler called his greatest education at the expense of the state. we wanted to interview the man behind radio aryan. he calls himself sven longshanks and runs a chatroom where, amongst other things, we found members mocking the grenfell disaster. he refused to talk to us, but emailed to deny any wrongdoing and says radio aryan is for nationalists to listen to in the privacy of their own homes and that he's not responsible for anything that ben raymond or alex davies may have said on his programmes.
and what about ben raymond and alex davies? they have been under police investigation for 15 months. is it not of concern to you that alex davies has been promoting srn through an online radio network? absolutely, so extreme right—wing activity in any form, whether it's as part of a proscribed organisation or a looser network, is extremely concerning. where we have evidence of that taking place, we will always investigate. if people are broadcasting hate messages, and there's criminal law that is breached, we will investigate and prosecute — there is nowhere to hide. they believe they have a right to their views and to free speech, but mp stephen doughty, who sits on the commons home affairs committee, has reported radio aryan and comments made to the police. this is free speech that is too
damaging for the rights of others. you cannot have liberty to impinge on the liberty of others, and i think a lot of these organsiations hide behind that when in reality they are allowing disgusting and hateful content to exist. he's asking the westminster government to outlaw system resistance network. we need to have a much quicker process for looking at proscription of organisations. i understand due processes have to be gone through, but sometimes we do wait a long time before action is taken. but it is also about the penalties for technology and internet companies that continue to host this content. security minister ben wallace thanked us for our investigation. he said the government will not hesitate to proscribe any organisation that poses a threat. it's working on tackling extremist propaganda online, and this winter further measures to combat the threat will be published. we wanted to ask alex davies why he promoted srn and another hate site on radio aryan.
we know he's been living here in swansea. we were told he's moved on. no—one could tell us where he's gone — we have tried contacting him online too, but he's simply not responded. what about ben raymond? he refused to be interviewed and didn't answer all our questions, so i'm going to see if i can get some answers. mr raymond, mr raymond, it's wyre davies here from bbc wales. we spotted someone at an upstairs window. he's still refusing to answer specific questions we have for him. why is he continuing to call for support for people who are now convicted racists? and srn? two months ago, anti—terror police investigating graffiti in cardiff arrested a man, but tonight the group is still out there, peddling hate. the hunt for those behind what may become britain's next banned
terrorist group continues. so will the fight against the threat of extremism on the streets and online. has been quite an unsettled week of weather but with the weekend on the horizon things are starting to change. we will start off on a windy day to saturday with some showers around, but somewhat dry albeit cool conditions arrive in the second half of the weekend. still under the influence of this area of low pressure and to the south of that low is where the strongest of the winds will be over the next few hours, still gusting in excess of 50
miles an hour through southern scotland, northern ireland and northern england for a time. further south, slightly quieter and two at night, the cooler night for many, 5— eight degrees. we start tomorrow with some sort dry weather around, scattered showers and queueing to the north but as we go through the morning line of more organised showery rain will move through southern scotland and the midlands, to the south of the more mild, 12— 13 degrees, somewhat cooler conditions heading from the north. this northerly wind which will start to push its way down through the country on bringing cooler conditions for all. hello and welcome to bbc news. i'm ben bland. us prosecutors have called for president trump's former personal lawyer to be given "a substantial jail sentence". in papers filed with the courts, special counsel robert mueller said michael cohen lied about a potential property deal in moscow that could have brought the trump organisation millions of dollars from russian sources.