CST Blog

Aryan Strike Force

1 July 2010

Following the convictions of two more members of the neo-Nazi Aryan Strike Force last week, the Jewish Chronicle has a fascinating background article detailing the antisemitism and violent fantasies of the group:

They were two anonymous houses in anonymous suburban terraces. But when police arrived with search warrants they found much more than three-piece suites and pictures on the mantelpiece.

Walls were adorned with Nazi flags and rooms were littered with weapons, including knives, a machine gun and rice flails. In one, a Samurai sword hung above a bed and knuckledusters were displayed like trophies.

The men who rented the houses, builder Trevor Hannington, 58, in Merthyr Tydfil, and food packer Michael Heaton, 42, in Leigh, Greater Manchester, were members of Aryan Strike Force, a sinister organisation dedicated to ridding the country of ethnic minorities - including Jews.

The founders of that group - two men whose views were so far right, they thought Hitlerite factions such as Combat 18 and Blood & Honour were too soft - believed the government was secretly run by Zionists and saw it as their duty to save the Aryan race from destruction.

They were Durham father and son Ian and Nicky Davison, who met Heaton and Hannington via the internet. Their recruits were easily seduced by the virulent antisemitism in the postings they saw on the ASF website.

Heaton, a so-called "street fighter", and Hannington were fascinated by the infamous Tsarist forgery, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Hannington was later described by a judge as "a lonely man with little in his life". He tried to impress Davison by lying about an army career and claiming he was a survival expert.

All four began writing to each other using pseudonyms: Heaton was "Wigan Mike" and Hannington "The Fist of Wrath".

Their web postings were as extreme as any police had encountered. The forums were read by around 300 members throughout Australia, Canada and Northern Europe.

Nicky Davison, 19, told them: "As true national socialists we have a duty to fight against this. Whether it's in the boardroom or on the streets, we will resist, we will fight. Whether we are one or a million, we will stay loyal and continue the fight."

Hannington also posted, saying: "I would encourage any religion or race that wants to destroy the Jews. I hate them with a passion."

In another, he wrote: "They will always be scum. Destroy 'em with whatever it takes."

Heaton posted more than 3,000 times before he and Davison fell out, and he left to form his own group.

But what none of them knew was that every posting and every conversation was being monitored. Police had secretly hacked into the ASF website and Davison's private email.

When officers saw a video of pipe bombs being detonated, they raided Davison's house in Myrtle Grove, Burningfield, Durham.

During a search they found that he had bought castor beans from America and several other items which together constituted a recipe for the deadly toxin, ricin.

They say they found enough of it in a jar in his kitchen to kill up to 15 people.

Davison later became the first person in Britain to be jailed under the Chemical Weapons Act when he got 10 years at Newcastle Crown Court. His son was jailed for two years after being found guilty of possessing terrorist manuals.

Heaton and Hannington faced a separate trial in Liverpool. Heaton was convicted of using threatening, abusive or insulting words likely to stir up racial hatred and was jailed for two and a half years. Hannington was jailed for two years after admitting stirring up racial hatred, possessing information likely to aid terrorism and disseminating a terrorist publication.

Read the article in full here.

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