September 11, 2017 / 8:47 PM / 10 months ago

Police charge serving soldiers over suspected far-right terrorism

LONDON (Reuters) - Three men, including two serving soldiers, were charged by British police on Monday with terrorism offences, including belonging to a banned far-right group.

The men were among five arrested on Sept. 5 as part of a pre-planned, intelligence-led operation. The other two were released without charge on Sunday.

West Midlands Police said 22-year-old Alexander Deakin, 32-year-old Mikko Vehvilainen and 24-year-old Mark Barrett had all been charged with being members of neo-Nazi organisation the National Action group.

Barrett and Vehvilainen both gave their addresses as British army bases. All three will appear before Westminster Magistrates Court on Tuesday.

National Action became the first far-right group to be outlawed in Britain last year after the murder of member of parliament Jo Cox, whose killing the group had praised.

Police said Deakin had also been charged possessing documents useful in committing or preparing an act of terrorism, distributing a terrorist publication and inciting racial hatred.

Vehvilainen was also charged with possessing documents useful in committing or preparing an act of terrorism, as well as publishing threatening or abusive material and possessing a weapon.

Reporting by Kylie MacLellan; Editing by Alison Williams

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