A Metropolitan Police officer, Benjamin Hannam, has been found guilty of being a member of a banned neo-Nazi terrrorist organisation, National Action.
Hannam, of Enfield, North London, was also convicted of lying on his Met Police application and being in possession of terror documents that detailed knife combat and making explosive devices. He is the first British officer to be convicted of a terrorism offence.
The officer, who is currently suspended from duty, had been working as a probationary officer for nearly two years before his identity was discovered on a leaked membership database of extreme far right forum Iron March. He had reportedly signed up to the forum after joining the London branch of National Action in March 2016.
Hannam allegedly left the group after several months, before joining the Met in 2018. He did not disclose his past membership with the group and told the court he had never been a member of NA despite regularly attending group meetings.
When arrested in March 2020, National Action business cards and badges, as well as “writings about his involvement with the group”, were found at his home. Detectives also found he was in possession of multiple prohibited images including “pseudo images”—i.e. images made to look like photographs—of young boys and girls.
The court heard that on the same day National Action was banned in December 2016, Hannam reportedly transferred a knife-fighting manual and other extremist texts from his computer to a memory stick. Jurors were also told that Hannam had been part of a successor version of NA called NS131, which was outlawed in September 2017. Images and videos have since surfaced online of Hannam spray-painting neo-Nazi logos.
After the jury returned their verdict at the Old Bailey, Judge Anthony Leonard QC said Hannam had been “convicted of serious offences” and was being bailed as a “courtesy” ahead of sentencing on April 23.
The judge also lifted a ban on reporting the case after Hannam admitted possessing an indecent image of a child, which was part of a separate trial.
Scotland Yard have claimed that after reviewing Hannam’s time as a Met Police officer they have found no evidence of extremist ideology influencing any of his actions.