Andrew Dymock: The neo-Nazi exposed by the BBC
Andrew Dymock, the son of two academics from Bath, has been convicted of multiple terror offences following an Old Bailey trial.
The university student, who founded and led two banned neo-Nazi terrorist groups, was first exposed by the BBC.
In the summer of 2017, racist and homophobic propaganda posters began appearing in cities throughout the UK.
Bearing the logo of a new neo-Nazi group, the material abused and sought to intimidate gay, Jewish, black and Muslim people.
The group, System Resistance Network (SRN), also emerged online, using its website and social-media accounts to spread vile imagery, videos and diatribes.
Much of the material went beyond stirring up hatred, crossing instead into open encouragement of violence and genocide.
In December 2016, National Action had become the first neo-Nazi group to be banned in the UK as a terrorist organisation, but a subsequent increase in terrorism prosecutions relating to right-wing ideologies had yet to begin.
The BBC began tracking SRN’s street-level activity and, over the following months, found at least 10 cities had been targeted – from Dundee to Southampton, Newport to Cambridge.
It became clear SRN’s presence in such disparate places was due to its requirement that aspiring members proved themselves by covering their local areas with propaganda.
The organisers hid behind masks and online aliases, making them hard to identify, although there seemed to be links to National Action.
There was a clear connection to the US terror group Atomwaffen Division, with the organisations referencing and promoting one another.
Atomwaffen, linked to five murders in the USA, draws on the most violent parts of the white-power canon, blending them with obscure Satanist-occult beliefs, to promote the apocalyptic idea an inevitable societal collapse should be accelerated through terrorism and criminality.
One of the SRN leaders used the alias Blitz.
There were suggestions Blitz was an already-notorious figure from National Action – but the information the BBC found contradicted this claim.
When, in spring 2018, Blitz split from SRN, following a row over his adherence to Satanism, he created an even more extreme group, Sonnenkrieg Division (SKD).
The group lionised the Moors murderer Ian Brady and cult-leader Charles Manson, with its racist and misogynistic online material promoting the rape and murder of women and children and calling for the Duke of Sussex to be shot for marrying Meghan Markle.
The BBC obtained private-chat logs, containing SKD members, in which Blitz:
criticised Adolf Hitler for “not slaughtering the subhuman British at Dunkirk”
said the age of sexual consent should be 12
called for police officers to be raped and killed
The chats revealed that SKD was created as a European version of Atomwaffen Division.
Some of the young men discussed vulnerable girls they had encouraged to self-harm, laughing at the hurt they had caused.
One member, later revealed to be Leeds student Michael Szewczuk, mocked a girl he had asked to cut a Swastika into herself, writing she “can’t even carve her own skin properly”.
Blitz used a series of aliases but left clues about his real identity, including:
seemingly at university, he identified himself as coming from the west country and being in a “very wealthy tourist town”
a reference to planned travel to the US, to meet Atomwaffen members, on a certain date
stating his “parents pay for everything”, implying he was from a materially comfortable background
mentioning shopping at Morrisons
But his bedsheets were the giveaway.
Blitz posted a photo in the chat of a neo-Nazi book resting on distinctive rainbow-coloured sheets.
The same bedsheet was visible in photos, shared by Blitz elsewhere, of a girl naked on a floor while he brandished a copy of a neo-Nazi text over her, as well as an image of her with wounds and swastikas carved into her skin.
Separately, the BBC found a selfie of Blitz lying on the same sheets.
Eventually, investigations led to a name: Andrew Dymock.
Dymock seemed to be the son of two academics, from the wealthy town of Bath in the west country, and at university, in Wales.
His Bath flat was next to the only Morrisons in the city. He had tried to travel to the US on the date mentioned in the chats but had been arrested at the airport and turned back.
Enquiries on the ground confirmed that Dymock was the person in the Blitz selfie.
Dymock was exposed in December 2018 as the SKD founder.
He was arrested the next day and charged with 15 offences the following year after a detailed police investigation.
Since his arrest, Atomwaffen, SRN, and SKD have all been outlawed as terrorist organisations by the government, with SKD also becoming the first right-wing extremist group to be banned in Australia.
Seven people linked to Dymock or his groups have been convicted of terror offences and hate crimes, including the son of a House of Lords clerk and the youngest person to be convicted of planning a terrorist attack in the UK.
At trial, Dymock denied ever being a neo-Nazi and claimed he merely had an academic interest in the subject
He said he was gay, meaning he was opposed to homophobia, and blamed a vast conspiracy – involving neo-Nazis, the police, and mysterious unknown men – for framing him
The jury rejected his lies.
Dymock, who sought to terrorise others, now faces years in prison.