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Far-right Dutch group training members at combat camps

Generation Identity at a Tommy Robinson London rally [Barcroft Media via Getty Images]

Date of publication: 9 April, 2019

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A Dutch far-right group are sending new recruits to training camps in France.
A far-right group is sending newly recruited members to military-style training camps, Dutch media has revealed.

The Dutch organisation Identitair Verzet - a branch of so-called "alt-right" Generation Identity - has sent new recruits to attend camps featuring man-on-man fighting, strength training and combat training recently in both France and the Netherlands, Dutch newspaper NRC reported Monday.

The Dutch National Coordinator for Combating Terrorism and Security said it is aware of the attendance of Dutch nationals in the camps.

In the Netherlands, the far-right group has only a handful of followers but in other European countries its members number in the hundreds.

A spokesperson for the organisation said the training was to increase confidence. But Danny Oudsen, a far-right researcher, told the Dutch NRC his research indicates the training is in preparation for a race war predicted by the far-right group.

A similar phenomenon was reported on by British ITV in 2017 when undercover reporters in Generation Identity (GI), a pan-European white nationalist movement, discovered British supporters had joined the organisation and attended its camps.

One man, secretly filmed for the ITV documentary, titled "Undercover - Inside Britain's New Far Right", described the week-long GI camp, involving daily two hour training and mock demonstrations, as "really good".

Video footage shows hundreds members of GI lined up, doing push ups, and practicing hand-to-hand combat.

A senior member of GI told a reporter in a vetting interview for the group: "We want young normal people, who want to get involved and we train them."

The GI movement aims to preserve Europe's indigenous population and its "ethno-cultural identity", in the face of perceived threats - low birth rates and immigration - it calls the "Great Replacement".

The far-right groups push back heavily against what it sees as the Islamisation of Europe. Identitair Verzet in the Netherlands planned to protest outside a mosque in The Hague, calling for its closure.

Slick videos and social media presence has attracted many white, middle class followers. GI is estimated to have thousands of activists involved in actions on the ground and tens of thousands more suppporting online.

The group runs "Defend Europe" operations in the Alps and the Mediterranean. The group crowdfunded more than a 100,000 euros for a boat in the Mediterranean to stop the flow of refugees and prevent their rescue by NGO's.

Launching in the UK in 2017, the organisation marked the occasion by hanging a banner off Westminster bridge, reading "Defend London. Stop Islamisation".

Far-right violence is on the rise. Last month, the city of Christchurch in New Zealand was struck by violence when a white supremacist shooter entered two mosques and gunned down 50 Friday prayer goers. 

The man behind the Christchurch mosque shootings donated 1,500 Euros to Martin Sellner, the leader of the Austrian Generation Identity movement.

Prevent, the UK government's controversial anti-extremism programme, received hundreds of referrals in cases of right-wing extremism in 2015-2016.

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