A Couple Denied Being Neo-Nazis. Their Photo of Baby ‘Adolf’ With a Swastika Proved Otherwise

(The Washington Post) —

Claudia Patatas and Adam Thomas had long denied being leading members of the white power group National Action, which is banned in Britain. But their family photos suggested otherwise.

There is the one of Patatas holding their newborn while Thomas holds a flag emblazoned with the Nazi swastika.

And there’s one of Thomas cradling the baby boy; the child is wearing polka-dot footie pajamas, his father the sort of hooded robe favored by Ku Klux Klansmen.

There is also the middle name that the couple chose to give to their son: Adolf.

At the end of a seven-week trial in Birmingham Crown Court, Thomas and Patatas were convicted of terrorism charges after leading not-so-secret double lives. Both were found guilty Monday of being members of National Action, the extreme right-wing organization that virtually deifies Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich. Thomas was also found guilty of possessing instructions to make a bomb.

Thomas, a British warehouse security guard, and Patatas, a Portuguese-born photographer, were arrested in January with four other men and charged with being members of National Action, which was banned by the British government in 2016 and is labeled a terrorist organization.

The group hoped to start a race war that would rid Britain – or at least the county of Midlands, halfway between London and Liverpool – of anyone who didn’t happen to be white, according to police. When National Action was banned, after lawmaker Jo Cox was killed by a far-right extremist, the group re-branded, calling itself the “TripleKMafia,” a not-too-subtle allusion to the Ku Klux Klan.

But authorities said the group’s members weren’t simply a bunch of photo-snapping Nazi-philes with white power insignia decorating their homes.

“We now know they were a dangerous, well-structured organisation,” Midland Police Detective Chief Superintendent Matt Ward said in the police statement. “Their aim was to spread neo-Nazi ideology by provoking a race war in the UK and they had spent years acquiring the skills to carry this out.

“They had researched how to make explosives. They had gathered weapons. They had a clear structure to radicalize others. Unchecked, they would have inspired violence and spread hatred and fear across the West Midlands.”

Underscoring the threat, police announced the conviction of two other members of National Action: Mikko Vehvilainen and Alex Deakin.

Vehvilainen, 34, a Finland native, was a lance corporal in the British army who Ward said had “access to young men who could be radicalised and recruited into the group. He was an incredibly dangerous individual and a key part of the National Action strategy.”

Thomas had tried twice to join the military but was rejected both times.

Patatas and Thomas had also tried to swell the ranks of National Action, putting up offensive stickers at Aston University in Birmingham.

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