A racist organization from Great Britain that once boasted a lively U.S. presence before it was routed eight years ago is back again.
The American Friends of the British National Party (AFBNP) was once a serious player in white nationalist circles. The group was created in the late 1990s to raise money from Americans for candidates of the racist British National Party. The AFBNP’s leader, Mark Cotterill, was a master networker who managed to entice right-wing American extremists of seemingly every stripe to address his rather frequent Washington, D.C., meetings.
Among the white nationalist luminaries who spoke to the AFBNP were former Klan leader David Duke, Internet hate guru Don Black, the neo-Nazi National Alliance’s military coordinator Steven Barry, and Richard Kelly Hoskins, a long-time ideologue of the anti-Semitic Christian Identity theology. Several BNP officials, including leader Nick Griffin, traveled to the United States for AFBNP meetings that solicited cash for the party.
All that came to an end in 2002 when the AFBNP collapsed after Cotterill was deported to Britain. The deportation happened after an Intelligence Report exposé revealed that his group had raised at least $85,000 for the BNP in contravention of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). Agents of foreign political entities are required to register with the government or face possible felony charges, fines and deportation. Cotterill did not register.
But now the BNP is back. In March, Adam McArthur filed FARA documents registering to run a “social networking campaign” for the BNP and to “provide overseas voting instructions” for BNP members. Unlike its former incarnation, the new group will not raise funds. McArthur, who according to The Independent is an IT worker who recently moved from England to Berryville, Va., is listed in the FARA documents as the “United States Contact – British National Party” and he reports to Andrew McBride, the BNP’s South East Regional Organizer and Overseas Liaison Officer.
The Independent also reported that the group has signed up 90 American and 60 Canadian supporters. The FARA documents filed by McArthur make no mention of Cotterill, who had a falling out with the BNP after he returned to England. Cotterill now runs his own white nationalist political party, England First.
The documents show that four individuals have so far donated funds for the effort: Patrick Doran; Vanessa McArthur; Simon Thurlow – reportedly a BNP member from New York – and Michael Storm. It is unclear if this Michael Storm is the longtime racial activist of the same name who was once active in both Aryan Nations and the NSDAP/AO (the National Socialist German Workers Party/Overseas Organization, the translated name of the original Nazi party’s overseas unit). Phone and email requests for comment from McArthur, including about these donations and Storm, were not returned.