Nearly as many “extreme neo-Nazis” are referred to a government anti-extremism programme as fundamentalist Islamists, a security minister has warned.
Appearing before the Defence Committee to discuss global Islamist terrorism, Ben Wallace said 43 per cent of individuals referred to the “Channel” part of the Prevent programme were “extreme right-wing neo-Nazis”.
He warned that certain extreme-right individuals were “starting to pose a significant danger”.
Mr Wallace told MPs: “The methods that are bringing these people to our threshold is predominantly through the internet.
"Historically, in the past, they had no friends, they sat on their own, they couldn't talk to anyone else - now they live in a virtual safe space.
"They communicate through the internet ... sometimes we find them actually looking at Isis (IS) terror manuals to learn how to make bombs - obviously for a different reason."
Mr Wallace referred to the period of the early 200s when banned Islamic extremist groups and hate preachers were “fermenting and recruiting”, adding: "Before these people crystallised into Isis fighters and volunteers - that is where we are seeing the far right.
"It is a bubbling group of extremists and we need to get in there using Prevent, using diversion, to prevent them becoming tomorrow's terrorist groups."
Mr Wallace’s comments come after the Director General of MI5 and the commissioner of the Metropolitan Police issued a joint letter warning that ‘far-right’ extremism had reached “unprecedented levels of organisation”.