Student who founded neo-Nazi terrorist groups convicted of terror offences

A neo-Nazi who became the leader of two terrorist groups has been convicted of terror offences.

Andrew Dymock founded the System Resistance Network (SRN) months after National Action was banned in December 2016.

He was expelled from SRN by fellow fascists after an internal row about “satanism” and then set up the Sonnenkrieg Division.

Both groups were proscribed as terrorist organisations in February 2020, but Dymock was prosecuted for activity that came before the ban.

The 24-year-old was convicted of 12 terror offences including encouraging and funding terrorism, and three hate crimes targeting race and sexuality on Friday.

The Old Bailey heard how Dymock had Nazi flags and memorabilia, and once carved a swastika into his then-girlfriend’s buttock.

Prosecutor Jocelyn Ledward said he operated websites and social media accounts that “preached zero-tolerance to non-whites, Jewish and Muslim communities”.

She said SRN “described “homosexuality as a disease”, adding: ”Its clarion call was for the expulsion of minorities and a white revolution. Its online campaign, comprising virulently racist, antisemitic and homophobic propaganda, sought to stir up a race war against ethnic minorities and others that it perceived as race traitors.“

Ms Ledward told jurors Dymock was not being prosecuted for his beliefs, but for his encouragement of terrorist activity and violence.

Dymock denied all charges and claimed he was “set up”. After the verdicts were given, he asked to say goodbye to his parents and told jurors: ”Thank you for killing me.”

Judge Mark Dennis QC remanded him in custody ahead of a sentencing hearing on 24 June.

The counter-extremist group Hope Not Hate called Dymock “dangerous and devious”.

Andrew Dymock was convicted of 15 terror and hate crime offences (Counter Terrorism Policing North East)

“He tried at every angle to wriggle out of the responsibility for his involvement in some of the most vile and sickening Nazi propaganda we have ever seen,” said head of intelligence Matthew Collins.

“The verdict today is welcome, and it is now vital that a sentence that meets the nature of the crimes committed is handed down.”

Dymock, whose parents are academics, set up SRN while studying politics at Aberystwyth University in Wales in 2017.

Ms Ledward said it was one of a small number of groups that filled a “dubious gap” left following the proscription of neo-Nazi terrorist group National Action after it was banned in December 2016.

A recruitment page on SRN’s website set out requirements that members had to be white, located in the UK and “physically fit”.

Dymock claimed to be bisexual at his trial but SRN explicitly barred members of the LGBT community while labelling them “sexual degenerates”.

In an October 2017 post on the fascist Iron March internet forum, Dymock said he wanted to build a “group of loyal men, true to the cause of National Socialism and establishing the Fascist state through revolution”.

The post said SRN was “only looking for the truly dedicated and motivated soldiers to carry the flame with their comrades and ignite the fire that will burn the rats and rot out.”

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The SRN website included violent and racist propaganda posters, and carried articles with headlines such as “Join your local Nazis”, “The truth about the Holocaust” and “Homosexuality, the eternal social menace”, jurors were told.

One of Dymock’s articles, from October 2017, said the only guilt felt about the Holocaust “should be that we did not finish the job”.

Jurors were shown other material written by Dymock that included slurs towards black people, Muslims, gay people and other groups.

The charges against Dymock included encouraging terrorism with the entire content of the SRN website, as well as with articles including one calling for a “glorious” race war where white people would “wake up and bring slaughter to Europa, cleansing it of the unclean filth that pollutes her lands”.

Other charges related to propaganda posters he created, including some calling for terror attacks and for people to rape police officers.

Dymock was expelled from SRN in late February 2018 over his “satanist” beliefs and vowed to set up his own group, which emerged as Sonnenkrieg Division (SKD).

When banning both organisations last year, the government said SRN had operated as an “alias” of National Action after members split the group into factions to dodge the ban.

SKD operated as the UK arm of the American terrorist group Atomwaffen Division, which has been linked to several murders.

Dymock was arrested at Gatwick Airport in June 2018 as he was on his way to board a flight to the US – allegedly for a trip where he would meet US neo-Nazi James Mason.

Police who searched his luggage found extreme right-wing literature including Mason’s Siege essays, which have inspired numerous violent neo-Nazi groups, SKD flags and clothing bearing neo-Nazi logos.

Dymock denied all offences and told police he researched different ideologies while studying international politics and strategic studies.

The defendant claimed he had copies of Mein Kampf to help him with his university dissertation.

The court heard that during interviews, he told officers that any far-right imagery he had was because he liked the art and that the swastika was a religious symbol.

Dymock, of Bath, was convicted of five counts of encouraging terrorism, four of disseminating terrorist publications, two of terrorist fundraising and one of possessing a document useful to a terrorist in 2017 and 2018.

He was also found guilty of stirring up racial hatred and hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation and possessing racially inflammatory material.

Additional reporting by PA