Combat 18

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Combat 18
AbbreviationC18, 318
FoundersDavid Myatt
Charlie Sergant
Harold Covington
Founded at United Kingdom (Country of origin)
Legal statusActive
Banned in Germany
PurposeParamilitary fomenting white nationalist revolution, against the supposed Zionist Occupation Government.
Key people
William Browning, Charlie Sargent, Harold Covington, Del O'Connor, David Myatt
Affiliations Order of Nine Angles[3]

Combat 18 (C18 or 318)[4] is a neo-Nazi terrorist organisation that was founded in 1992.[5] It originated in the United Kingdom, with ties to movements in Canada and the United States. Since then it has spread to other countries, including Germany. Combat 18 members have been suspected of being involved and directly responsible in the deaths of numerous immigrants, non-whites, German politician Walter Lübcke and other C18 members.[6]

On 21 June 2019, the government of Canada added Combat 18 (alongside its affiliate Blood & Honour) to its list of terrorist organisations,[7] which was the first time that a far-right group was added to the list.[8] Members in the UK are barred from joining the British Prison Service,[9] the armed forces and police.[10] On 23 January 2020, the German government announced a ban of the German offshoot of Combat 18.


Combat 18's name is often abbreviated "C18". The "18" in its name is derived from the initials of the Nazi German leader Adolf Hitler: A and H are the first and eighth letters of the Latin alphabet.[11]


Combat 18


In early 1992, the far-right British National Party (BNP) formed Combat 18 as a stewarding group whose purpose was to protect its events from anti-fascists.[12][11] Its founders included Charlie Sargent[11] and Harold Covington.[13]

C18 soon attracted national attention for threats of violence against immigrants, members of ethnic minorities and leftists.[14] In 1992, it started publishing the Redwatch magazine, which contained photographs, the names and addresses of political opponents. Combat 18 is an openly neo-Nazi group that is devoted to violence and hostile to electoral politics, and for this reason Sargent split decisively from the BNP in 1993.[11]

1997: murder of Christopher Castle[edit]

Sargent split with his former C18 colleagues over allegations that he was an informer for the British security services. The rival faction, led by Wilf "The Beast" Browning, wanted Sargent to return the C18 membership list, in exchange for the return of his plastering tools and £1,000. However, such was the animosity and fear between them that a mutually acceptable go-between, 28-year-old C18 member "Catford Chris" Castle, was driven to Sargent's mobile home in Harlow, Essex, by Browning, who waited in the car, while Castle went to visit Sargent. He was met at the door by Charlie Sargent and his political associate as well as former Skrewdriver guitarist Martin Cross. Cross plunged a nine-inch (22 cm) blade into Castle's back.[15] Browning took Castle to hospital in a taxi, but doctors were unable to save him and he died shortly after arrival.

Despite Sargent's attempt to implicate Browning, Sargent was convicted of murder at Chelmsford Crown Court the following year. He and Cross were sentenced to life imprisonment.[12] Cross remains in prison and, following a short period on licence, Sargent was returned to custody on the weekend of 15 November 2014.[16]

Post-Sargent history[edit]

Between 1998 and 2000, dozens of Combat 18 members in the United Kingdom and Ireland were arrested on various charges during dawn raids by the police. These raids were part of several operations which were conducted by Scotland Yard in co-operation with MI5. Those arrested included Steve and Bill Sargent (Charlie Sargent's brothers), David Myatt and two serving British soldiers, Darren Theron (Parachute Regiment) and Carl Wilson.[17] One of those whose house was raided was Adrian Marsden, who later became a councillor for the British National Party (BNP).[18] Several of those arrested were later imprisoned, including Andrew Frain (seven years) and Jason Marriner (six years).

Some journalists believed that the White Wolves are a C18 splinter group, alleging that the group had been set up by Del O'Connor, the former second-in-command of C18 and a member of Skrewdriver Security.[19] The document issued by the White Wolves announcing their formation has been attributed to David Myatt,[20] whose Practical Guide to Aryan Revolution allegedly inspired the nailbomber David Copeland,[21][22] who was jailed for life in 2000 after being found guilty of causing a series of bombings in April 1999 that killed three people and injured many others.

A group calling itself the Racial Volunteer Force split from C18 in 2002, although it has retained close links to its parent organisation.[23] On 28 October 2003, German police officers conducted raids on 50 properties in Kiel and Flensburg that were believed to be linked to German supporters of the group.[24] The Anti-Defamation League says there are Combat 18 chapters in Illinois, Florida and Texas.[25] On 6 September 2006, the Belgian police arrested 20 members of Combat 18 Flanders. Fourteen of them were soldiers in the Belgian army.

C18 has long been associated with loyalists in Northern Ireland. In July 2008, "C18" was painted on St Mary's Oratory in County Londonderry.[26] On 18 June 2009, graves belonging to numerous people, including Provisional Irish Republican Army hunger-striker Bobby Sands were desecrated with C18 graffiti.[27] Racist attacks on immigrants continue from members of C18.[28] Weapons, ammunition and explosives have been seized by police in the UK and almost every country in which C18 is active. In late 2010, five members of Combat 18 Australia (among them Jacob Marshall Hort and Bradley Neil Trappitt) were charged over an attack on a mosque in Perth, Western Australia. Several rounds were fired from a high-powered rifle into the Canning Turkish Islamic Mosque, causing over $15,000 damage.[29]

The online forum presence of Combat 18 was officially ended at the end of November 2014, with the Combat 18 forum redirecting to a US-based nationalist video and DVD merchandising store which now owns the domain.[30] On 6 March 2018, eight members of Combat 18 were arrested in Athens, Greece, accused of multiple attacks on immigrants and activists. They had 50 kg of ANFO in their possession.[31]

On 23 January 2020, an important day in German history, because 75 years previously, Allied forces liberated the Auschwitz concentration camp, the German Minister of Interior banned Combat 18 nationwide in Germany. More than 200 police officers carried out raids in six German states seizing mobile phones, computers, unspecified weaponry, Nazi memorabilia and propaganda material.[32]

The murder of Walter Lübcke[edit]

An alleged member of the German branch of Combat 18 named Stephen Ernst was the suspect in the case of the murdered local politician Walter Lübcke of the Christian Democratic Union of Germany. Ernst confessed to the crime on 25 June 2019.[33] The Federal Minister of the Interior, Horst Seehofer, then announced his intention to ban the organisation in Germany.[34]

Links with football hooliganism[edit]

Flag used by hooligans related to Combat 18

Members of the organisation include known football hooligans and groups. The most high-profile incident involving Combat 18 members in football came on 15 February 1995, when violence broke out in the stands at Lansdowne Road in the international friendly between Ireland and England. There was also taunting of "No Surrender to the IRA" aimed at Irish fans. The violence was so bad that the match had to be abandoned.[35]

Before the 1998 FIFA World Cup, 26 Seaburn Casuals (Sunderland AFC supporters) hooligans were arrested in a police raid after a military-issue smoke bomb was let off at a local pub after a fight with bouncers. By the end of the operation, over 60 were facing charges. Some of the Seaburn Casuals hooligans arrested in were involved with Combat 18. The operation failed when a judge ruled that CCTV footage from the pub was inadmissible as evidence.[36]

Canada terrorism list[edit]

Due to concerted efforts by Canadians on 21 June 2019, two neo-Nazi/alt-right groups were added to the Canadian terrorist list.[37] This is in part due to Canada's response to the Christchurch mosque shootings[38] and a petition to Canada's Federal Government: EPetition e-2019 by #NoPlace2Hate. This means that criminal acts by members of this group now additionally fall under Canada's Criminal Code for Terrorism[39] which can include additional prison sentences for criminal acts including financial contributions to a known terrorist organisation.

Ban in Germany[edit]

On 23 January 2020, the German government announced and enforced an order banning "Combat 18 Deutschland", the German offshoot of Combat 18. The order by the Ministry of the Interior states that "Combat 18 Deutschland" is directed against the constitutional order and that its goals and activities are contrary to criminal laws and against the idea of understanding among nations.[40] The order stipulates that the organisation be dissolved and that all assets of the organisation be seized and confiscated; in addition, signs of the organisation must no longer be used and no replacement organisation may be formed. On the day of the announcement, more than 200 police officers raided the homes of the organisation's leading members.[41] According to the government, at the time of the ban the organisation had "approximately 20 members" and "an unknown number of sympathisers".[42] The Interior Ministry linked the decision to the murder of Walter Lübcke and the Halle synagogue shooting.[41][43]

"Combat 18 Deutschland" filed suit against the ban in the Federal Administrative Court and asked the court to preliminarily enjoin the ban's enforcement pending a decision on the merits. In September 2020, the court rejected the latter request, stating that the public interest in the immediate enforcement of the ban prevailed over the organisation's interests, further noting that the challenge against the ban will likely not succeed as the court's summary examination of the merits suggests that the organisation's activities are indeed directed against the constitutional order.[44]


  1. ^ "Combat 18". Counter Extremism Project. 6 October 2020.
  2. ^ Patrik Hermansson (3 January 2023). "Accelerationism, Leaderless resistance and Combat 18". Hope not Hate.
  3. ^ Lowles, Nick (2003). White Riot: The Violent Story of Combat 18. Milo Books. ISBN 1-903854-00-8.
  4. ^ "318". Anti-Defamation League. Archived from the original on 27 September 2019. Retrieved 8 September 2019.
  5. ^ Atkins, Stephen E. (2004). Encyclopedia of Modern Worldwide Extremists and Extremist Groups. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 67. ISBN 9780313324857.
  6. ^ "Ex-Combat 18 man speaks out". BBC News. 25 November 2001. Archived from the original on 26 May 2007. Retrieved 27 February 2006.
  7. ^ "About the listing process". Public Safety Canada. 21 December 2018. Archived from the original on 5 October 2016. Retrieved 29 June 2019.
  8. ^ "Canada adds neo-Nazi groups Blood & Honour, Combat 18 to list of terror organizations". Global News. 26 June 2019. Archived from the original on 3 July 2019. Retrieved 29 June 2019.
  9. ^ Staff Membership of Racist Groups and Organisations: Annex A Archived 25 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine, HM Prison Service, 2001
  10. ^ "Officer resigns over BNP badge" Archived 4 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine, BBC News, 3 October 2008
  11. ^ a b c d "BNP: under the skin – 1992 - 1993". BBC News. 2001. Archived from the original on 26 June 2018. Retrieved 26 June 2018.
  12. ^ a b Ryan, Nick (1 February 1998). "Combat 18: Memoirs of a street-fighting man". The Independent. Archived from the original on 2 October 2015. Retrieved 26 June 2018.
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  17. ^ Rajeev Syal and Andrew Gilligan, "MI5 swoops on Army 'neo-Nazis'", Sunday Telegraph, 7 March 1999. Archived from the original at Wayback Machine, 12 March 2003. Retrieved 6 January 2019.
  18. ^ "BNP Under the skin: Profile of Adrian Marsden" Archived 18 October 2006 at the Wayback Machine, BBC News
  19. ^ Stuart Millar, "Anti-terror police seek White Wolf racist over bombs", The Guardian, 28 April 1999
  20. ^ "Theoretician of Terror", Searchlight, issue #301, July 2000.
  21. ^ Weitzman, Mark (2006): "Antisemitismus und Holocaust-Leugnung: Permanente Elemente des globalen Rechtsextremismus", in Greven, Thomas: Globalisierter Rechtsextremismus? Die extremistische Rechte in der Ära der Globalisierung. 1 Auflage. VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften/GWV Fachverlage GmbH, Wiesbaden, ISBN 3-531-14514-2, pp. 61-64.
  22. ^ Copsey, Nigel & Worley, Matthew (2017). Tomorrow Belongs to Us: The British Far Right since 1967. Routledge, ISBN 9781317190882, p. 156.
  23. ^ "Combat 18" Archived 10 May 2007 at the Wayback Machine at
  24. ^ "German raids target neo-Nazis" Archived 29 October 2003 at the Wayback Machine, BBC News, 28 October 2003
  25. ^ Anti-Defamation League "Racist Skinhead Project" Archived 21 February 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  26. ^ "Neo-Nazi vandals in church attack" Archived 9 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine, BBC News Northern Ireland, 26 July 2008
  27. ^ "What happened to Combat 18 after the ´95 Landsdone Road riot?". Newstalk. Retrieved 4 September 2021.
    - "C18 graffiti daubed on graves". U.TV. Press Association. 18 June 2009. Archived from the original on 9 May 2012.
  28. ^ "Belfast racists threaten to cut Romanian baby's throat". The Belfast Telegraph. 17 June 2009. Archived from the original on 8 October 2012.
  29. ^ "Alleged Combat 18 members in court over mosque shooting". Perth Now. Retrieved 4 September 2021.
    - "Two WA men arrested over mosque shooting". Perth Now. Retrieved 4 September 2021.
  30. ^ "NS88 Video Division". NS88. Archived from the original on 4 February 2019. Retrieved 3 February 2019.
  31. ^ "Ο 'Τσαμπ' της 'Combat 18' και ο 'Λύκος' της Χρυσής Αυγής επιβεβαιώνουν τη λογική των 'συγκοινωνούντων δοχείων'". News 24/7 Greece (in Greek). 8 March 2018. Retrieved 4 September 2021.
    - "Greek neo-Nazis arrested in police crackdown". Deutsche Welle. 7 March 2018. Retrieved 4 September 2021.
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    - "Steinmeier in Yad Vashem - Worte der Verantwortung". Tagesschau (in German). Archived from the original on 23 January 2020. Retrieved 23 January 2020.
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  34. ^ Litschko, Konrad (15 October 2019). "Nur leere Worte?: Nach dem Lübcke-Mord drohte Innenminister Seehofer, Combat 18 zu verbieten. Dann wurde es ruhig. Nun machen Innenminister aus den Ländern Druck". Die Tageszeitung (in German). Archived from the original on 15 September 2019. Retrieved 15 September 2019.
  35. ^ Hopkins, Nick (20 April 1999). "Splinter group that found the BNP too soft". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 20 October 2010. Retrieved 11 December 2016.
    - Kelsey, Tim (7 August 1993). "Informer exposes neo-Nazi football gangs: Tim Hepple, who infiltrated the British National Party after a decade as a football hooligan and neo-Nazi activist, says a new more violent group, Combat 18, is behind many racial attacks, Tim Kelsey reports". The Independent. London. Archived from the original on 25 September 2015. Retrieved 25 August 2017.
  36. ^ Andy Nicholls, Nick Lowles, Hooligans 2: The M-Z of Britain's Football Hooligan Gangs (Milo books, 2005)
  37. ^ "About the listing process". 21 December 2018. Archived from the original on 5 October 2016. Retrieved 6 April 2020.
  38. ^ "Government of Canada Announces Initiatives to Address Violent Extremist and Terrorist Content Online". Public Safety Canada. 26 June 2019. Archived from the original on 2 July 2019. Retrieved 8 July 2019.
  39. ^ "Consolidated federal laws of canada, Criminal Code". Legislative Services Branch. 8 April 2019. Archived from the original on 14 May 2019. Retrieved 8 July 2019.
  40. ^ "Bekanntmachung eines Vereinsverbots gegen "Combat 18 Deutschland" vom 13. Januar 2020 (ÖSII3-20106/2#13) (BAnz AT 23.01.2020 B1)" (PDF) (in German). Bundesanzeiger. 23 January 2020. Retrieved 26 September 2020.
  41. ^ a b "Germany bans Combat 18 as police raid neo-Nazi group". BBC News. 23 January 2020. Archived from the original on 27 January 2020. Retrieved 24 January 2020.
  42. ^ "Antwort der Bundesregierung auf die Kleine Anfrage der Abgeordneten Martina Renner, Dr. André Hahn, Gökay Akbulut, weiterer Abgeordneter und der Fraktion DIE LINKE – Drucksache 19/18577 –: Combat 18 und Blood & Honour in Deutschland" (PDF) (in German). Bundesregierung. 15 May 2020. p. 2. Retrieved 25 September 2020.
  43. ^ "Bundesinnenminister verbietet "Combat 18 Deutschland"" (in German). Bundesministerium des Innern, für Bau und Heimat. 23 January 2020. Retrieved 25 September 2020.
  44. ^ "Verbot der Vereinigung "Combat 18 Deutschland" bleibt vollziehbar (Pressemitteilung Nr. 54/2020)" (in German). Bundesverwaltungsgericht. 25 September 2020.

Further reading

  • Lowles, Nick (2003). White Riot: The Violent Story of Combat 18. Milo Books. ISBN 1-903854-00-8.
  • O'Hara, Larry (1996). Searchlight for Beginners. Phoenix Press. ISBN 0-948984-33-3.
  • O'Hara, Larry (1994). Turning Up the Heat: MI5 After the Cold War. Phoenix Press. ISBN 0-948984-29-5.

External links[edit]