July 05, 2020
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The Ghost Of Hitler

Soccer hooligans yesterday, neo-Nazis today: the spectre lives

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The Ghost Of Hitler

The name of Adolf Hitler is about again. In the Blair-Clinton war circus with Milosevic; in the gunning down of 12 schoolchildren and a teacher in Colorado; in the London nail bombs that killed three and injured over a hundred.

The London bombers call themselves the White Wolves. This is a breakaway extremist group from within Combat 18, a neo-Nazi organisation that grew out of the racist National Front and the British National Party, and which takes its name from the position of Hitler's initials in the alphabet. Last fortnight the group circulated a note, announcing that "Jews and non-whites who remain after 1999 has ended will be exterminated." The note declared: "Our main line of attack must be the immigrants themselves. If this is done regularly, effectively and brutally, the aliens will respond by attacking the whites." And that in turn would bring about a mass conflict.

The first bomb went off in Brixton, a black suburb, the second near Brick Lane, the heart of the Bangladeshi world in London. Both times the suspect bags were spotted and removed, preventing anything worse than injuries. The third bomb at a gay pub in Soho in the heart of London, which killed three and injured 70, showed that the White Wolves were after anyone 'different'. The 'white' vision: a Britain of white heterosexuals producing blue-eyed babies and attending church on Sunday.

Leicester told a grim story last fortnight. Down Belgrave Road and Melton Road all dustbins had been sealed and warning notices put up by the police in shops and cultural centres. Shopkeepers were asked to install security cameras. A couple of miles away, the Indian cricket team was playing a Leicestershire team-no policeman was in sight, no restrictions were in force. The neo-Nazi threat seemed directed not at visitors playing as English a game as cricket, but at immigrants sharing "white space" and "white jobs".

This is the most serious wave of racist violence after the skinheads surfaced in the '70s. The targets so far have been blacks and Bangladeshis, the poorest immigrants with the greatest dependence on state security. But Indians aren't safe either. Warns the White Wolves manifesto, smuggled out by an infiltrator: "Many immigrants are innocent of any recognised crime individually, but collectively they make up an invading army that threatens the birthright of children and the unborn generations of our folk.... Their presence spells the death of our people, so if they must be forced out with extreme violence, then so be it."

Significantly, the neo-Nazi groups are emerging within two towering pillars of national life in Britain-the army and football. The name White Wolves derives from a football club in Wolverhampton in the Midlands. Its chief, Del O'Connor, believed to be hiding in the US, is a former football hooligan. And members of Combat 18 traced to north-east Hampshire had close connections with the local football club.

More worrying is the army link. Combat 18 members in Hampshire were found to have close links with members of the Parachute Regiment. Last year two soldiers and one ex-soldier were arrested for training racist gangs and ammunition made with the soldiers' expertise was seized. Dozens of other soldiers are being investigated, and the police admit there are "pockets of neo-fascist activity in some regiments".

Moreover, the literature of the White Wolves indicates that its members have other more respectable fronts. Followers are advised that if anyone is "a member of an established nationalist party, stay with it".

The police believe the White Wolves have struck after four years of preparation. The group works in small cells of no more than five members to prevent infiltration. These receive instruction on the Internet on how to assemble a bomb-the ingredients can be bought at local stores. But literature from the White Wolves speaks of access to "heavier weaponry" with help from members of the British Army.

Much of the funds come from fascist music. Typically a CD sells about a thousand copies at £15 each. The neo-Nazi record label 'Blood and Honour' has grown into a multi-million dollar business. With that kind of money and members of the British Army at hand to help, the name of Hitler is ominous once again, this time to Britain's immigrants.

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