Page last updated at 14:54 GMT, Friday, 14 May 2010 15:54 UK

White supremacist arrests 'prevented carnage'

By Chris Stewart
Chief Reporter, BBC Look North

Ian and Nicky Davison
Ian Davison founded the ASF and his son was a leading member

The police officer who brought white supremacist Ian Davison to justice is convinced a terror attack was imminent - and that his arrest prevented possible carnage.

Det Supt Neil Malkin said once his team of detectives uncovered Davison's production of the deadly poison ricin and his mastery of bomb-making, there was no time to lose.

"We knew he was at the centre of an extreme right-wing group", said Mr Malkin.

"And we knew he advocated the use of violence towards ethnic communities.

"But that was just the start of it. When we uncovered the fact he was preparing himself, with the production of pipe bombs and the purchase of castor beans to make ricin, I knew we couldn't wait any longer. I had to initiate the arrest.

"Clearly, he had the capability to commit a terrorist attack, whether with a pipe bomb or with the ricin.

"Had we not arrested him, I am convinced he would have caused carnage."

Durham Police began investigating Davison's internet activities after receiving information from another force.

They quickly discovered he was part of a worldwide network of white supremacists, schooled in the doctrines of Adolf Hitler and the American white nationalist David Lane.


Convicted neo-Nazi Ian Davison recorded this footage of a pipe bomb being detonated at an unknown location, according to police

Lane died in prison in 2007 for his part in crimes, including murder, committed by members of his organisation The Order.

How Davison came to form his right-wing views is not known.

"There is nothing [in his past] that we know of," said Mr Malkin. "He wasn't known to us before this and he lived his life very much behind closed doors."

The 41-year-old and his son Nicky were arrested in June when a jar of ricin was found at Ian Davison's home in Burnopfield, County Durham.

Terror manuals were found on Nicky's computer in nearby Annfield Plain.

Their group, the Aryan Strike Force, was described at Newcastle Crown Court as an "unmistakable example of neo-Nazis in Britain".

It was set up by Ian Davison, but his son was a leading member who helped administer the ASF website.

Police raid Ian Davison's home

Part of his network login included the number 1488.

The "14" referred to a 14-word slogan coined by Lane which states: "We must secure the existence of our people and the future for white children."

The "88" was a reference to "Heil Hitler" - the letter H being the eighth letter of the alphabet - and was also a reference to an 88-word statement from his book Mein Kampf.

Nicky Davison's defence was that he espoused the same views as his father simply because he wanted to please him, but the jury did not believe him.

Mr Malkin said: "Nicky has his own mind. He could have walked away from what his father believed at any time he wanted."

During Nicky Davison's trial, the jury was shown scores of postings on the ASF website.

Jews, Muslims and black people were all considered "targets" by the group, and they were keen to ensure new members were not simply "keyboard warriors" - fantasists who would chat online about violence, but who were not prepared to take violent action.

They were also shown a set of photographs taken at what the ASF said was a training camp in Cumbria.

Men wearing balaclavas are seen to unfurl swastika flags and to make Heil Hitler salutes.

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