Feuerkrieg Division (FKD) has become the third Neo-Nazi organization in just six months to be proscribed as a terrorist group by the U.K. government.
As of July 17 2020, it is an offense to be a member of or support FKD, with those found guilty facing up to 10 years in prison and an unlimited fine.
FKD is a small, international neo-Nazi organization that follow a white supremacist ideology and also advocates ‘accelerationism’ – which is the use of violence and acts of terrorism to bring about a ‘race war’ and the fall of existing social and political systems.
They promote their ideology online through the sharing of violent white supremacist propaganda, commonly using social media platforms to target young people aged between 13 and 25.
Deputy Senior National Coordinator for Counter Terrorism Policing, Assistant Chief Constable Tim Jacques, said: “Today’s proscription is yet another step forward in our battle against this hateful ideology, which aims to incite hatred and violence between our communities.
“Last year we called Right Wing Terrorism the fastest-growing terrorist threat in the U.K., but despite this rapid growth it thankfully still has a relatively small footprint in this country.
“However, we must do everything we can to stop it growing further in terms of reach and influence – and this proscription helps us in that fight.
“Our world class Counter Terrorism Network has become adept at identifying and disrupting these groups, but like the recently proscribed Sonnenkrieg Division, and National Action before that, we should expect FKD to splinter and rebrand under a different name.
“We will continue to use every power at our disposal to arrest and charge those who support this group and those like it, but we can only hope to beat this insidious ideology by stopping young and vulnerable people from following the path towards extremism in the first place.”
Analysts at Counter Terrorism Policing have warned that groups like FKD are increasingly targeting young people with their rhetoric and propaganda, reporting that young people who engage with right wing extremism are highly likely to do so online.
The groups often use mainstream social media platform to post non-extreme information regarding popular or relatable topics, with the intention of engaging these younger audiences before encouraging them to migrate to less moderated platforms where they can share more graphic and extreme content.
“Too often recently we have seen young people in the U.K. jailed after being lured towards extremism and violence by what they consume online,” said Assistant Chief Constable Jacques.
“We don’t want to be in the business of convicting children and young people, but when they become a risk to themselves and others we must take the appropriate action to protect the public.
“We can stop this from happening, but it requires parents, friends and family to help us by talking to their children about what they view online, and sharing their concerns when they suspect someone they know is in danger of being radicalized. It is a difficult thing to do, but we must see it for what it is – action which could potentially save their life and the lives of others.”