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Monday, February 6, 2023

Right Wing Extremism Increases in UK as Two Men Jailed

An extreme right wing teenager who amassed a plethora of guides on terrorism, bomb making and gun production has been jailed for four years in the United Kingdom.

Jacek Tchorzewski, 18, a Polish national staying in Buckinghamshire, England, was handed the sentence for 10 counts of possession of information likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism on September 20 at the Old Bailey court in London. He pleaded guilty at the same court in June.

The sentencing is the culmination of an intelligence-led, joint operation by the Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Command and the Eastern Region Specialist Operation Unit Counter Terrorism Policing (ERSOU CTP).

Officers from the ERSOU CTP stopped Tchorzewski at Luton Airport on February 20 before he could board a flight to Poland. They searched him and seized his mobile phone. Examination of this phone revealed Tchorzewski had saved a number of documents that were in breach of the Terrorism Act 2000, and so detectives arrested him.

Digital forensic experts from ERSOU CTP further examined Tchorzewski’s phone and unearthed a wider cache of terrorist documents and guidance on developing viable bombs and guns.

Subsequently, on April 14, detectives from the Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Command, supported by ERSOU CTP, further arrested Tchorzewski on suspicion of more terrorism offences.

The forensic specialists also found Tchorzewski had downloaded an array of extreme right wing material which praised Hitler, neo-Nazism and Satanism. The documents featured anti-Semitic sentiments and even called for genocide.

It was also apparent that Tchorzewski was a close associate of Oskar Dunn-Koczorowski, who had been convicted of terrorism offenses months earlier after police in Counter Terrorism Policing North East identified he had been encouraging terrorism on a neo-Nazi group’s social media account.

Tchorzewski’s phone contained a number of pictures of him and Dunn-Koczorowski posing with a Nazi flag and giving Nazi salutes.

Commander Richard Smith, head of the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, said:“Tchorzewski’s obsession with neo-Nazism, terrorism and weaponry was not harmless curiosity. It was clear from the sheer quantity of terrorist material and neo-Nazi propaganda on Tchorzewski’s devices, and his friendship with Dunn-Koczorowski, that his mindset was one of violence and hatred towards communities other than his own.

“The guides Tchorzewski had collected would provide someone, with the right materials, sufficient guidance to make viable explosives and firearms, capable of causing death or serious injury.

“This case is a reminder that police are working with determination to stop terrorists whatever their toxic ideology. Extreme right wing cases like this one increasingly contribute to the overall number of counter terrorism investigations nationally and we are seeing more people of extreme right wing mindset referred to Prevent.

Detective Superintendent Ian Butler, head of the ERSOU CTP, said:“This is an excellent example of the wider CT network working together to mitigate the threat of extreme ideology, and clearly demonstrates that Eastern Region ports are a hostile environment for extremists seeking travel.”

This was not the first right wing terrorism case the Old Bailey heard last week. On September 18, a man from Leeds, northern England, was sentenced to two years and two months imprisonment after he was found guilty of terrorism offenses.

A jury found 33 year old Pawel Golaszewski guilty of six counts of possessing a document or record containing information of a kindly likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism, on Wednesday September 18, 2019. He was arrested last February following an intelligence led investigation by Counter Terrorism Policing North East.

Detective Chief Superintendent Martin Snowden is the Head of Counter Terrorism Policing North East. He said the possession of documents such as those recovered from Golaszewski’s devices is a very serious offense.

“The jury felt there was no reasonable excuse for Golaszewski to seek out and retain detailed information about how to kill people, step by step instructions for making high grade explosives and guerrilla warfare techniques. Golaszewski’s interest in this material is deeply concerning particularly in light of his support for right wing causes and his racist, anti-Muslim and anti-immigration views.

“While his intentions for the possession of this material are unknown, the fact remains that these publications represent a threat to public safety. Their potential to be used by those intent on causing harm to others should not be underestimated.”

In the wake of these cases, the head of Counter Terrorism Policing has called upon the public to help tackle right wing extremism by seeking help for those vulnerable to radicalization.

Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu warned about the significant growth of right wing terrorism in the U.K., revealing that nearly a third of terrorist attacks foiled since 2017 were linked to the ideology.

Police and security services have foiled 22 terror attacks since March 2017, with seven relating to Right Wing Terrorism. It represents more than 10 percent of Counter Terrorism Police’s caseload, up from six percent just two years ago, and the ideology accounted for 24 percent of terrorism-related arrests in the 12 months to June 2019.

“There is a small but growing threat from right wing terrorism to the U.K. and we are working alongside our partners in the security services to combat it,” said Basu.

“We are dedicating more officers and more resources to tackle it, and together we are bringing the full might of the U.K. CT machine to bear against those who wish to do us harm or incite violence.

“The whole of society has a part to play in this fight. My officers might be on the frontline, but we cannot succeed without the help and support of the public.”

Home Office figures show that more people are trusting the Prevent program with their concerns about right wing extremism, with the number of referrals into the British government’s safeguarding scheme nearly doubling to 18% since 2015/16.

“Prevent has a proven track record in protecting vulnerable people, but each foiled plot represents a missed opportunity and as a society we must do more to protect those who need our help,” added Basu.

“We are currently running more than 800 live investigations and the only way we will see that decline in the long-term is to start treating the causes of terrorism and not just the symptoms.

“The Prevent program is our best hope of doing that, and we have thousands of people around the country who work every day to guard vulnerable people against the dangers of extremism and radicalization.”

Read more about right wing extremism in Bridget Johnson’s report for HSToday

Kylie Bielby
Kylie Bielby has more than 20 years' experience in reporting and editing a wide range of security topics, covering geopolitical and policy analysis to international and country-specific trends and events. Before joining GTSC's Homeland Security Today staff, she was an editor and contributor for Jane's, and a columnist and managing editor for security and counter-terror publications.

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