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Combat 18

From Academic Kids

Combat 18 (or C18) was a British neo-Nazi organization formed in 1991 after meetings between the group Blood & Honour and football hooligans such as the Chelsea Headhunters. The "18" in their name is commonly used by neo-Nazi groups, and is derived from the initials of Adolf Hitler: A and H are the first and eighth letters of the Latin alphabet.

Contents

Early history

The group was formed in the early 90s in response to attacks by Anti-Fascist Action on meetings of the British National Party (BNP) and other far-right groups. C18 soon gained notoriety for its members' violent attacks on immigrants and its left-wing opponents. In 1992, it published Redwatch, which, like the German neo-Nazi publication Der Einblick, contained names and addresses of anti-racists and encouraged violence against them.

Suspicions of state manipulation

Searchlight, Red Action, and other commentators on both the left and right, including journalist Larry O'Hara, have stated that C18 was created by Britain's internal security service MI5 to discredit the BNP while acting as a honey trap, or sting operation, designed to attract the most violent neo-Nazis in Britain into a single organization, where they could be monitored more easily. Some commentators also suggest that it was used by MI5 to infiltrate Loyalist paramilitary groups in Northern Ireland.

In 1998, the leader of C18, Charlie Sargent, an alleged Special Branch informant, was sentenced to life imprisonment for the 1997 murder of another member of the group.

During in-fighting, members of C18 cooperated with a documentary crew from the BBC's Panorama in an effort to show that they had been infiltrated and, in some cases, controlled indirectly by the security services.

This effectively ended the organization, and although a small group of people still identify with the name, they are largely inactive.

However, no evidence has ever been produced to substantiate the allegations that Charlie Sargent was an informant, or that C18 itself was set-up by, or manipulated by, either MI5 or Special Branch. Some former supporters and members of C18 regard such suspicions and allegations of State involvement as themselves the product of MI5 dis-information, designed to divide C18 internally, a tactic which would seem to have worked.

Between 1998 and 2000, in "Dawn Raids", dozens of Combat 18 members in the UK were arrested by the Police on various charges in several operations conducted by Scotland Yard in co-operation with MI5. Those arrested included Steve Sargent (brother of Charlie Sargent), David Myatt, Andrew Frain, Jason Marriner, and two serving British soldiers, Darren Theron (Parachute Regiment) and Carl Wilson (1st Battalion, The Queen's Lancashire Regiment)[1] (http://republican-news.org/archive/1999/March11/11comb.html). Several of those arrested were later jailed - these included Frain (seven years) and Marriner (six years).

London nailbomber

During April 1999, a former member of the National Socialist Movement (a C18 splinter group loyal to C18's founder, Charlie Sargent), 22-year-old David Copeland, apparently acting alone, carried out a nail bombing campaign aimed at the black, Asian, and gay communities in London. On April 23, 1999, a bomb exploded in Brixton, and another a week later in Brick Lane, East London. On April 30, a third bomb at the Admiral Duncan pub in Soho killed three people, including a pregnant woman, and injured over 100 others.

White Wolves

The White Wolves were believed by some journalists to be a C18 splinter group, which they alleged had been set up by Del O'Connor, the former second-in-command of C18. The White Wolves were initially believed to be linked to the Copeland attacks. [2] (http://www.guardian.co.uk/bombs/Story/0,2763,204778,00.html) The document issued by the White Wolves announcing their formation has been attributed to David Myatt, whose Practical Guide to Aryan Revolution allegedly inspired Copeland.

Combat 18 outside Britain

According to Germany's Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz (BfV), or internal security service, C18 maintains divisions in the U.S., France, Sweden, and Germany. This is unlikely, however, as the group remains widely discredited among other far-right groups because of the honey-trap suspicions. Combat 18's use of the cell structure, and its call for a so-called "leaderless resistance," has nevertheless remained popular among other unaligned groups.

On October 28, 2003 the German police conducted raids against 50 properties in Kiel and Flensburg believed to be linked to German supporters of the group. [3] (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/3220563.stm)

Muslim response

In 2001, C18 attacks on Muslim communities in Bradford and Oldham led to the formation of the Muslim group Combat 786.

See also

Neo-Nazism

References

Further reading

pl:Combat 18 sv:Combat 18

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