4 alleged neo-Nazi soldiers accused of plotting terror

Counter-demonstrators hold up placards as the far-right group the English Defence League (EDL) gather for a demonstration in central London, June 24, 2017.

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Last Updated Sep 5, 2017 7:27 AM EDT

LONDON -- Police in England arrested four alleged members of a neo-Nazi group on Tuesday on suspicion of the "commission, preparation and instigation of acts of terrorism."

The West Midlands Police said in a statement that the male suspects, a 22-year-old from Birmingham, a 32-year-old from Wales, a 24-year-old from Ipswich and a 24-year-old from Northampton, were accused of being members of the banned white supremacist group National Action.

Britain's Ministry of Defense confirmed that all four men were serving members of the Royal Army after the arrests were announced.

"A number of properties are being searched in connection with the arrests," the police said in their statement, which added that the arrests were "pre-planned and intelligence-led."

The police said there was no threat to public safety at any point due to the suspects' alleged plotting, but they did not go into further detail about what acts the four men were accused of preparing.

Membership in the Nation Action group became a crime under British counterterrorism law just last year, when the group was officially black-listed -- the first far-right political group to be banned in the U.K.

According to The Guardian, National Action has held demonstrations in various British cities featuring slogans such as "Hitler was right," with speeches on "the disease of international Jewry."  

National Action praised the brazen daytime murder of British Parliamentarian Jo Cox last summer, by a man with links to neo-Nazi groups.

When Thomas Mair, 52, stood in a courtroom accused of the murder, he was asked by the judge to identify himself and replied by saying only: "My name is death to traitors, freedom for Britain." That refrain is the slogan of National Action, according to The Guardian.