Neonazi Met Police officer first to be formally convicted for membership of a banned terror group

Apr.2, 2021

A NEONAZI Met officer became the first policeman to be formally convicted for membership of a banned terror group today.

PC Ben Hannam, 22, was found guilty over his links to right-wing extremist group National Action (NA) following a trial at the Old Bailey.

He was also convicted of lying on his application and vetting forms to join the Metropolitan Police, as well as for making explosive devices and having terror documents detailing knife combat.

A jury had deliberated for more than 32 hours before handing down the verdict.

Judge Anthony Leonard QC lifted a ban on reporting the case after Mr Hannam admitted possessing an indecent image of a child, which was to have been the subject of a separate trial.

Mr Hannam, who gave away no reaction in the dock, was granted bail ahead of his sentencing on April 23 but warned by the judge that he faced jail.

He had been working as a probationary officer for the Metropolitan Police for nearly two years before he was found on a leaked user database of extreme right-wing forum Iron March.

Mr Hannam had signed up to the forum when he joined the London branch of NA in March 2016.

The officer, who has autism, said he was “desperate to impress” an older NA organiser who gave him free stickers and badges.

His association with NA ended before he began working for the Met and counter-terrorism officers acted “swiftly” once he had been identified as a suspect.

Commander Richard Smith, head of the Met’s counter-terrorism command, said it was a “unique” case.

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He said: “Ben Hannam obviously lied on his application form to join the Met.

“He would never have been able to join had we known then of his interest in the extreme right wing and his previous membership of National Action.”

Published at morningstaronline.co.uk