A neo-Nazi from Cardiff who admitted various terrorism offences and the possession of violent child abuse images received a nine-year and three-month prison sentence.
Cardiff-based Luca Benincasa, 20, acted as a self-styled recruiter for the proscribed Neo-Nazi group Feuerkrieg Division and possessed materials related to bomb-making.
The BBC reported that Benincasa, who identified as an “incel”, had previously admitted to multiple counts of possessing violent child abuse images where the victims were just four to seven years old.
Other high-profile convictions for far-right terrorist offences included 19-year-old Daniel Harris and Thomas Leech, also 19, both had pleaded guilty to the possession or, with the latter, creating violent child abuse materials.
The court heard how Feuerkrieg Division grew from the proscription of other banned neo-Nazi groups like National Action.
Internet searches from Benincasa included child sacrifice, rape, and a pro-paedophilia t-shirt.
Counter-terror police raids uncovered a tactical vest, camouflage clothing, an SS dagger and flag, a Nazi Party armband, and masks at Benincasa’s home in Whitchurch in January 2022.
Benincasa owned a flag of the SS-Heimwehr in the then-free city of Danzig (now Gdańsk), which the Nazis illegally annexed following the invasion of Poland in 1939. Today, the Polish Post Office in the Free City of Danzig museum in Gdańsk honours the bravery of the Polish Post staff who resisted the Nazis on September 1, 1939.
The third and final flag in Benincasa’s possession concerned the war flag of the fascist Italian Social Republic, broadly known as the Salò Republic – a Nazi puppet regime established in 1943 by Benito Mussolini, which controlled northern and central parts of the country until 1945.
Luca Benincasa entered guilty pleas via videolink at Winchester Crown Court last July to five offences – membership of a proscribed organisation and possession of four documents of a kind likely to be useful to a terrorist.
Detective Superintendent Mark Pope of Counter Terrorism Policing Wales, who led the investigation, said: “The dangerous nature of the material in Benincasa’s possession cannot be underestimated. This is why it is of such importance to hold to account those who seek to join proscribed organisations and gather material which may be useful to a terrorist.
“This intelligence-led investigation has resulted in the conviction of a dangerous individual and highlights the commitment by counter terrorism policing to tackle all forms of extremist ideology.”
Judge Jane Miller KC reflected in their sentencing remarks that Benincasa presents a “serious risk” to the public and will serve his sentence in a young offenders institute.
The detailed BBC reporting added that he sought to recruit teenage boys across the UK and, in one example, Germany, as sought to stay connected with those in the United States.
Det Supt Gareth Rees, who leads on far-right terrorism at Counter Terrorism Policing, told the BBC: “We need to understand how we can stop young people making decisions and being drawn into an area that is both very sad and very damaging and, ultimately at the top level, very threatening.”