France – The French government has banned three far right groups. The groups; the Third Way, the Revolutionary Nationalist Youth (JNR) and the Desire to Dream Association have officially been dissolved. The three groups had been accused of having the characteristics of private militias, provoking discrimination and hate and violence. The French government had vowed to crackdown on far right groups as it has a large community of Muslims in the country.
Germany – There have been recent clashes between German police and Salafist demonstrators in the city of Bonn. The Muslims were demonstrating against a far right group known as Pro German Citizens Movement (Pro-NRW) who was to display anti-Islam caricatures against the wishes of the German police. The cartoons were those that the Danish cartoonist published in 2005 that were anti-Islamic and sparked world-wide protest. Germany has a large number of far right groups but the Pro-NRW organization has only approximately 250 members. Far right extremism is expanding throughout Europe and is now becoming a growing concern.
United Kingdom – Minbar Ansar Deen and Boko Harem have been prescribed as extremist groups by the UK are about to be made illegal under terrorism laws. Membership, supporting, arranging meetings, or the wearing of clothing supporting either group, will be made into a criminal offesce. Minbar Ansar Deen also known as Ansar al-Sharia UK, is a group that promotes terrorism through websites which encourage people to travel overseas and engage in extremist activity. Boko Harem operates in Nigeria and is a well-documented terrorist organization. The move to ban the two groups could indicate that the UK government is concerned that both organizations are attempting to spread further and these powers, once implemented, will give the police the authority to target their support networks.
On July 12, an explosion occurred near a Mosque in the town of Tipton, West Midlands. Debris was found after the device exploded which consisted of nails and the police stated that the incident will be treated as a terrorist incident. The device was planted on the same day as the funeral of the off-duty soldier, Lee Rigby. The two events are likely to be connected, although no group or person has claimed the bomb attack. Events of this nature are becoming rather frequent and it will not be long before members of the Islamic community retaliate against far right groups. It is also possible that Islamists who have fought in Syria return and may take up ‘a cause’ and create a terrorist group that sees Islam as being threatened by those who support far right ideology. Failing that, outside influences will use these attacks as propaganda to fuel unrest in the Islamic community. Currently these hate related incidents are appearing one way but it will not be long before those on the other side see enough is enough.
Paula Ashley is the Senior Counter-Terrorist Analyst