British soldiers arrested on suspicion of right-wing terrorism

Four British soldiers have been arrested by authorities on suspicion of preparing acts of terror.

London (CNN)Four British soldiers alleged to be members of banned UK neo-Nazi group National Action have been arrested on suspicion of preparing acts of terror.

The men were detained as part of a "pre-planned and intelligence led" operation, according to West Midlands Police, who said there was no threat to public safety.
All four suspects are being held by police. A spokesman for the British Army confirmed the arrests.
    "We can confirm that a number of serving members of the army have been arrested under the Terrorism Act for being associated with a proscribed far-right group," an army spokesman told CNN.
    "These arrests are the consequence of a Home Office, police force-led operation supported by the army."
    The men, aged 22, 24, 24 and 32, are from England and Wales.

    'Banned'

    National Action became the first far-right group to be banned under Britain's terror laws in December 2016. It is a criminal offense in the UK to be a member of the organization.
    At the time it was proscribed, British Home Secretary Amber Rudd said, "National Action is a racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic organization which stirs up hatred, glorifies violence and promotes a vile ideology, and I will not stand for it.
    "It has absolutely no place in a Britain that works for everyone."
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    According to the British Home Office's report into proscribed terror groups, National Action is "virulently racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic." The group came to prominence when far-right extremist Thomas Mair murdered British Member of Parliament Jo Cox in 2016.
    The Labour MP was stabbed and shot by Mair, days before Britain voted on whether to remain in the European Union. Cox, 41, was a prominent proponent of remaining in the EU.
    At his trial, Mair repeated National Action's slogan: "Death to traitors, freedom for Britain." He was jailed for life.