National Action: Seventeen-year-old boy among five arrested on suspicion of far-right terror group membership

A teenager is among five people arrested on suspicion of being members of National Action (Rex)

Police have arrested five people – including a 17-year-old boy – suspected of being members of a banned far-right terrorist group.

The youth, from Nottingham, was arrested by counter-terrorism officers after a series of raids across the country, West Midlands Police said.

Two men, aged 22 and 28, both from Birmingham, a 23-year-old man and a woman, 22, both from Halifax, West Yorkshire, were all arrested on Wednesday.

The five have been detained on suspicion of being members of a proscribed organisation, National Action, which was banned in December 2016 by former Home Secretary Amber Rudd.

The suspects are all being held at a police station in the West Midlands, after an operation carried out by West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit in conjunction with CTP North East and East Midlands CTIU.

Far-right group National Action is a proscribed organisation (Rex)

A number of addresses are also being searched in connection with the arrests.

A police spokesman said: ‘The arrests were pre-planned and intelligence-led.’

Ms Rudd made National Action, the first extreme right-wing group to be proscribed by the Government since the Second World War, a banned group in December 2016.

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However, in March 2017, an undercover investigation by ITV found that its members were still meeting in secret.

In the official list of proscribed groups, it is described as a ‘racist neo-Nazi group’ that was established in 2013 and has branches across the UK.

It is the first extreme right-wing group to be outlawed in the UK.

National Action was banned in December 2016 by Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary at the time (Rex)

The proscription means that being a member of or inviting support for the organisation is a criminal offence, carrying a sentence of up to 10 years in prison.

The group has held numerous marches and demonstrations on Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday, and celebrated the election of Donald Trump as US President.

When she banned the group, Ms Rudd said: ‘National Action is a racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic organisation which stirs up hatred, glorifies violence and promotes a vile ideology, and I will not stand for it.

‘It has absolutely no place in a Britain that works for everyone.’

Christopher Lythgoe, the group’s leader, was jailed for eight years in July after he was arrested by police investigating a plot to kill West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper and a female police officer.