After winning a sweeping victory in Brazil’s presidential election, Jair Bolsonaro will now begin implementing his hard right agenda in Latin America’s biggest nation.
He joins a growing number of nationalist and far-right parties and politicians who are making significant electoral gains, especially across Europe.
But the rise of the far-right has also been linked with a big jump in hate crimes, including antisemitic attacks like the one in Pittsburgh on the weekend where 11 people were killed in a synagogue.
Britain’s domestic intelligence service MI5 will now take the lead for the first time in combating extreme right-wing terrorism amid mounting fears white supremacists are trying to stir up a racial war in the UK.
The Guardian reports that the counterintelligence and security agency will take over from the police in the monitoring and combating of far-right terrorism. It means white supremacist ideology will sit within the same portfolio as Islamist terrorism and Northern Ireland-related terrorism, both covered by MI5.
It comes as far-right extremism rears its head on a global stage, with 11 Jewish worshippers being murdered in a synagogue in Pittsburgh and 13 pipe bombs having been delivered to opponents of President Donald Trump in the US. Both perpetrators are reportedly sympathisers of far-right ideology.
The decision to switch from the police to the domestic intelligence agency, means that extreme right-wing activity will now be considered as posing a real threat to national security. It’s hoped MI5, with its high-level techniques and greater powers will be better able to establish the violent intentions of the far-right than the police.
In the UK, four far-right plots have been prevented since March 2017, compared with 13 Islamist plots in that time. There are around 100 live investigations into right-wing extremism taking place, illustrating the growing problem.
The police will take the executive lead, taking over from MI5 when the time arises to disrupt a plot and make arrests.
One senior police source told the Guardian that the move made sense, saying: “MI5 are driving the car, and SO15 [Counter Terrorism Command] are in the passenger seat. When there is a need to take a plot out, SO15 get in the driving seat.”
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