Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Combat 18 (or C18) was a British neo-Nazi organization formed in 1991 after meetings between football hooligans such as the Chelsea Headhunters, and the group Blood & Honour. The "18" in their name is commonly used by neo-Nazi groups, and is derived from the first and eighth letters of the Latin alphabet, in other words the initials of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.
The groups were formed as a response to attacks on meetings of the British National Party and other far-right meetings (most noteably Kensington library) during the early nineties by Anti Fascist Action.
Combat 18 quickly gained a reputation following a number of violent acts targeted at immigrants and people from the political left. In 1992 Combat 18 published the photocopies sheet Redwatch, which, like the German neo-Nazi publication Der Einblick , contained names and addresses of anti-racists, but also encouraged physical violence against those it listed.
Searchlight magazine, Red Action and other commentators on both the left and right spectrums of the media (including journalist Larry O'Hara ) have stated their belief that Combat 18 was the brainchild of the British secret service organisation MI5, being designed to discredit the BNP, whilst simultaneously acting as a 'honey-trap ' to attract the most violent neo-Nazis in Britain into a single organisation, where they could be monitored. It is also believed that Combat 18 was used by MI5 to infiltrate Loyalist paramilitary groups in Northern Ireland. In 1998, the leader of Combat 18, Charlie Sargent, an alleged Special Branch informant, was sentenced to life imprisonment for the 1997 murder of another member of the group.
During factional in-fighting, members of C18 cooperated with a documentary crew from the BBC Panorama program to prove they had been infiltrated and in some cases, controlled [Sargent] by the security services.
This effectively ended the organisation, although a small group of people still exist under that name though are largely inactive.
During April 1999, a former member of the National Socialist Movement (a C18 splinter group), 22-year-old David Copeland, apparently acting alone, carried out a nail bombing campaign aimed at the black, Asian and gay communities in London. On the 23rd April 1999, a bomb exploded in Brixton and another detonated a week later in Brick Lane, East London. On the 30th April, a third bombing at the pub The Admiral Duncan in Soho, killed three people, including a pregnant woman, and injured over a hundred others.
The White Wolves were believed by some journalists to be a C18 splinter group, which they alleged had been set up by Del O'Connor . The White Wolves were initially believed to be linked to these attacks . However, the original terrorist document issued by the White Wolves – announcing their formation - has been attributed to David Myatt whose Practical Guide to Aryan Revolution inspired Copeland.
According to the German "Verfassungsschutz" (Governmental Department for the protection of the constitution) Combat 18 maintains divisions in USA, France, Sweden and Germany. This is however unlikely, as the group remain widely discredited among other groups due to their history of being a state honey trap. Their belief in the cell structure and their principled "Leaderless Resistance" call has however remained popular among other unaligned groups.October 28, 2003 the German police conducted a raid against the German supporters of the group .
See also: Neo-Nazism,
Nick Lowles: "White Riot: The Violent Story of Combat 18", (Milo Books), 2003, ISBN 1903854008
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