Alex Davies

Alex Davies is the co-founder of National Action (NA), the British neo-Nazi organization banned in 2016 as a terrorist group. NA was the first far-right group to be proscribed in the United Kingdom since World War II.“National Action becomes first extreme right-wing group to be banned in UK,” Gov.UK, December 16, 2016, https://www.gov.uk/government/news/national-action-becomes-first-extreme-right-wing-group-to-be-banned-in-uk. Davies and Benjamin Raymond created NA in 2013 based on a neo-Nazi ideology and belief in an oncoming race war between whites and minorities.James Rodger, “How neo-Nazi group National Action targeted Britain's disaffected youth,” Birmingham Live, July 18, 2018, https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/how-neo-nazi-group-national-14923511. In 2017, the British charity Hope Not Hate named Davies one of its top 12 most influential far-right activists.Steven Hopkins, “National Action Still 'Active' And 'Poses Serious Terrorist Threat' Despite Ban, Report Claims,” Huffington Post UK, February 15, 2017, https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/national-action-still-active-and-poses-serious-terrorist-threat-despite-ban-report-claims_uk_58a2c549e4b03df370d9b204.

NA specifically targeted university students and other youth for recruitment. In 2014, NA’s website declared: “To be on our side, a nationalist must be openly racist and openly anti-Semitic. There is no legitimate reason to not be a racist or an anti-Semite in 2014. The battlefield today is race.”Simon Wright and Ben Glaze, “Exposed: Rise of Hitler-loving National Action group who want to 'ethnically cleanse' the UK,” Mirror (London), June 7, 2014, https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/exposed-rise-hitler-loving-national-action-3659759#.U-YgoeNdVrI. From 2013 to 2016 NA members performed Nazi salutes at the Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany, held a Miss Hitler contest, and defaced a statue of Nelson Mandela in London.Steven Hopkins, “National Action: How Neo-Nazi Group Went From An Open Joke To An Alleged Army-Trained Terror Threat,” Huffington Post UK, September 5, 2017, https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/national-action-who-are-the-neo-nazi-group_uk_59ae84ace4b0dfaafcf26829.

In 2011, the United Kingdom’s Prevent program identified then-16-year-old Davies as vulnerable to radicalization.Rohit Kachroo, “Founding father of banned white supremacist group National Action identified as being at risk of radicalisation at 16,” ITV, July 25, 2018, http://www.itv.com/news/2018-07-25/founding-father-of-banned-white-supremacist-group-national-action-identified-as-being-at-risk-of-radicalisation-aged-16/. That year, Davies joined Young BNP, the youth wing of the British National Party (BNP), but found it to be “in disarray.”Simon Wright and Ben Glaze, “Exposed: Rise of Hitler-loving National Action group who want to 'ethnically cleanse' the UK,” Mirror (London), June 7, 2014, https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/exposed-rise-hitler-loving-national-action-3659759#.U-YgoeNdVrI. Davies left the group in 2013 to form NA with Raymond.Simon Wright and Ben Glaze, “Exposed: Rise of Hitler-loving National Action group who want to 'ethnically cleanse' the UK,” Mirror (London), June 7, 2014, https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/exposed-rise-hitler-loving-national-action-3659759#.U-YgoeNdVrI. A 2014 Prevent assessment identified Davies as “the driving force” behind NA.Charlie Bayliss, “Revealed: How self-styled ‘intellectual’ behind banned supremacist National Action mob was on government ‘at risk of radicalisation’ watch list at age of 16,” Daily Mail (London), July 26, 2018, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5994415/Man-National-Action-mob-government-risk-radicalisation-watch-list-age-16.html. According to the report, Davies “simply considered black and Asian races inferior to white people.”Charlie Bayliss, “Revealed: How self-styled ‘intellectual’ behind banned supremacist National Action mob was on government ‘at risk of radicalisation’ watch list at age of 16,” Daily Mail (London), July 26, 2018, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5994415/Man-National-Action-mob-government-risk-radicalisation-watch-list-age-16.html. Davies spent seven years in the Prevent program, though he largely refused to work with program officials during that time.Charlie Bayliss, “Revealed: How self-styled ‘intellectual’ behind banned supremacist National Action mob was on government ‘at risk of radicalisation’ watch list at age of 16,” Daily Mail (London), July 26, 2018, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5994415/Man-National-Action-mob-government-risk-radicalisation-watch-list-age-16.html.

In June 2014, an undercover reporter from the British tabloid the Mirror publicly revealed Davies as NA’s co-founder. While leading an NA rally in Liverpool, England, that month, Davies handed out fliers declaring: “Cleanse Britain of parasites. The white man is on the march – white power.”Simon Wright and Ben Glaze, “Exposed: Rise of Hitler-loving National Action group who want to 'ethnically cleanse' the UK,” Mirror (London), June 7, 2014, https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/exposed-rise-hitler-loving-national-action-3659759#.U-YgoeNdVrI. In an interview with the undercover reporter, Davies said that what he’d like to do to Jews is “too extreme” to say in public.Simon Wright and Ben Glaze, “Exposed: Rise of Hitler-loving National Action group who want to 'ethnically cleanse' the UK,” Mirror (London), June 7, 2014, https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/exposed-rise-hitler-loving-national-action-3659759#.U-YgoeNdVrI. He also declared that NA members were prepared to go to prison: “If we can stay out of prison we will. But you have to consider race-hate laws. They’re quite ambiguous, so it is possible some of us would go to prison. But we’re prepared for that.”Simon Wright and Ben Glaze, “Exposed: Rise of Hitler-loving National Action group who want to 'ethnically cleanse' the UK,” Mirror (London), June 7, 2014, https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/exposed-rise-hitler-loving-national-action-3659759#.U-YgoeNdVrI; Lucy Sherriff, “Meet New Neo-Nazi Group National Action Which Just Wants To 'Piss People Off,’” Huffington Post UK, March 6, 2014, https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/03/06/new-neo-nazi-group-national-action_n_4910260.html.

Davies had been a first-year philosophy student at the University of Warwick when the Mirror revealed his identity. He announced his withdrawal days after the public revelation of his name and student status. Students who knew Davies told Warwick’s student newspaper, The Boar, that Davies had not expressed fascist views to them or in interactions with minorities.Ann Yip and Samuel Lovett, “Fascist leader leaves Warwick,” The Boar (Coventry), June 18, 2014, https://theboar.org/2014/06/fascist-leader-leaves-warwick/. Days after the revelation of Davies’s identity, students held a mass protest on campus against racism.Harriet Pavey, “Warwick University Students Lead "Inspiring" Rally Against Neo-Nazis,” Huffington Post UK, June 13, 2014, https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/06/13/warwick-uni-neo-nazi-demo_n_5491192.html. Davies returned to his home in Wales to work in a call center.Rohit Kachroo, “Founding father of banned white supremacist group National Action identified as being at risk of radicalisation at 16,” ITV, July 25, 2018, http://www.itv.com/news/2018-07-25/founding-father-of-banned-white-supremacist-group-national-action-identified-as-being-at-risk-of-radicalisation-aged-16/.

On June 16, 2016, Thomas Mair murdered British Labour Parliamentarian Jo Cox while shouting “Death to traitors, freedom for Britain.”Danny Boyle  Raziye Akkoc,  “Labour MP Jo Cox dies after being shot and stabbed as husband urges people to 'fight against the hate' that killed her,” Telegraph (London), June 17, 2016, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/06/16/labour-mp-jo-cox-shot-in-leeds-witnesses-report/. Though there is no direct link between Mair and NA, group members praised Mair and adopted his slogan on their website.Richard Vernalis, “Alleged Neo-Nazi 'had sick "chat s**t, get banged" poster of murdered MP Jo Cox,’” Mirror (London), March 15, 2018, https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/alleged-neo-nazi-had-sick-12190944. The U.K. government banned NA in December 2016 for its praise of Cox’s murder.“National Action becomes first extreme right-wing group to be banned in UK,” Gov.UK, December 16, 2016, https://www.gov.uk/government/news/national-action-becomes-first-extreme-right-wing-group-to-be-banned-in-uk. Following NA’s proscription, the group reportedly split into smaller subgroups under various aliases to avoid detection. Aliases include Scottish Dawn and NS131.Lizzie Dearden, “National Action: Banned neo-Nazi terrorist group still active in UK after finding loophole,” Independent (London), September 8, 2017, https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/nazi-group-uk-national-action-banned-still-operating-loophole-soldiers-arrested-terrorism-plot-a7937206.html. Christopher Lythgoe assumed the leadership of NA, according to testimony at Lythgoe’s June 2018 trial.Nadia Khomami, “Two members of banned neo-Nazi group National Action jailed,” Guardian (London), July 18, 2018, https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/jul/18/neo-nazi-group-national-action-members-jailed. It is unclear when exactly Davies stepped away from NA as he was not among several alleged NA members arrested throughout 2017 for belonging to a banned organization.“Group of men charged in National Action investigation,” Greater Manchester Police, October 26, 2017, http://www.gmp.police.uk/content/TriageWebsitePages/712453C70CE1CF8C802581C5004FF9BB?OpenDocument; Lizzie Dearden, “National Action: 11 suspected members of banned neo-Nazi terror group arrested in England and Wales,” Independent (London), September 27, 2017, https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/national-action-arrest-terror-terrorist-far-right-neo-nazi-police-counter-terror-soldiers-wales-a7969566.html.

The British website ITV confronted Davies in July 2018 in Wales, shortly after Lythgoe was sentenced to eight years in prison for membership in NA. Davies responded to questions about his motivations by saying that everything was already a matter of public record.Rohit Kachroo, “Founding father of banned white supremacist group National Action identified as being at risk of radicalisation at 16,” ITV, July 25, 2018, http://www.itv.com/news/2018-07-25/founding-father-of-banned-white-supremacist-group-national-action-identified-as-being-at-risk-of-radicalisation-aged-16/.

 
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