UK neo-Nazi who studied in yeshiva sentenced to prison

Adam Thomas who once studied in Jerusalem yeshiva but later named son after Adolf Hitler, sentenced to six years in prison.

David Rosenberg,

Left to right: Thomas, Patatas, Bogunovic
Left to right: Thomas, Patatas, Bogunovic
West Midland Police Department

A neo-Nazi who once studied in a Jerusalem yeshiva and tried to convert to Judaism has been sentenced to six-and-a-half years in prison for membership in a terrorist group.

Adam Thomas, a resident of the town of Banbury, in Oxfordshire in central England, was convicted last month of being a member of the neo-Nazi group “National Action”, which under British law is recognized as a banned terrorist organization.

Thomas, 22, was convicted along with his 38-year-old girlfriend, Claudia Patatas, and four other National Action members: Daniel Bogunovic, 27; Joel Wilmore, 24; Darren Fletcher, 28; Nathan Pryke, 27.

Britain banned the National Action movement after a member assassinated lawmaker Jo Cox ahead of the Brexit referendum vote in 2016.

On Tuesday, a Birmingham court sentenced the six to prison sentences ranging from six-and-a-half years to three years and four months. Thomas was sentenced to six-and-a-half years in prison, while his girlfriend, Patatas, was sentenced to five years.

In addition to membership in a terrorist organization, the six defendants were convicted of a variety of other crimes, including possessing material for committing a terror attack – in relation to Thomas’ possession of bomb-making instructions – and inciting racial hatred.

Thomas and Patatas made headlines in October in the UK after it was revealed that they had named their son ‘Adolf’, in honor of the Nazi leader.

Thomas, Patatas, and their son, Adolf West Midland Police Department

Last month, officials from the Machon Meir yeshiva in Jerusalem confirmed that Thomas had been enrolled as a student in 2015 in the hopes of converting to Judaism.

A yeshiva official said Thomas was ultimately rejected by the school’s conversion program after staff members realized he was unstable.

“We sensed after a while that he was a real ‘meshugeneh’ [mentally-unstable individual],” the yeshiva official said. “This was not evident immediately. He was quite knowledgeable in Torah, mild-mannered and even somewhat pleasant.”

“He has a fantastic memory and was passionate about Torah knowledge. He has a very dark side as well, and a pull towards extremism. Once this side came out we knew he was not worthy for giur [conversion] studies.”

The West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit (WMCTU) said on Tuesday that Thomas and his compatriots constituted a serious threat, and had planned to ‘provoke a race war’ in Britain.

"These individuals were not simply racist fantasists; we now know they were a dangerous, well-structured organization,” said WMCTU chief Matt Ward.

“Their aim was to spread neo-Nazi ideology by provoking a race war in the UK and they had spent years acquiring the skills to carry this out. They had researched how to make explosives, they had gathered weapons and they had a clear structure to radicalize others. Unchecked they would have inspired violence and spread hatred and fear across the West Midlands.”

Wilmore (l), Fletcher (c), Pryke (r)
West Midland Police Department


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