UK arrests 5 over racism on internet

2012-04-19 20:01

London - British police arrested five men on Thursday on suspicion of posting racially inflammatory material to social networking sites.

Police have seized computers, laptops and mobile phones from seven locations, including the suspects' addresses and two other places, the North-East Counter Terrorism Unit said.

The suspects arrested include a 43-year-old from North Tyneside in northeast England; a 46-year-old from nearby County Durham; an 18-year-old from Merseyside, northwest England; a 21-year-old from Barnsley in northern England and a 56-year-old from London.

Police said that two men, the 43-year-old from North Tyneside and the 56-year-old from London, have since been released on bail, while the three others remain in custody.

The unit said all five men were arrested "on suspicion of publishing or distributing written material which may stir up racial hatred".

Police would not confirm British media reports that the men were linked to a far-right group called the North West Infidels, which describes itself on its website as an alliance of "right wing nationalists, patriotic and loyalist groups".

A message on the group's Facebook page on Thursday said: "Heads up if you have posted any thing you might get in trouble for delete it now... while you still can."

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