Jo Cox's Accused Killer Linked to US Neo-Nazi Group

Thomas Mair bought manuals about guns and explosives
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 17, 2016 6:44 AM CDT
Jo Cox's Accused Killer Linked to US Neo-Nazi Group
MP Jo Cox in a 2015 file photo.   (Yui Mok/PA via AP, File)

The man accused of Thursday's shocking murder of a British lawmaker in broad daylight appears to have connections to a white supremacy group in the US. The Southern Poverty Law Center reports that Thomas Mair, 52, in 1999 spent $620 on how-to manuals about guns and explosives from a neo-Nazi group called the National Alliance, including one about building a homemade pistol. Along those lines, the Telegraph reports that Mair was a subscriber to a pro-apartheid magazine in South Africa, with a 2006 blog attributed to the magazine's publisher describing him as "one of the earliest subscribers and supporters of S. A. Patriot.” Police have yet to speculate about a motive for the slaying of 41-year-old Jo Cox, who was a strong advocate for more inclusive immigration policies in Britain, especially for Syrian refugees.

Witnesses have said that Cox's killer yelled "Britain first!," which also happens to be the name of a far-right British group known for its anti-Muslim demonstrations, notes the Washington Post. The group has disavowed the slaying. Cox's murder also comes just a week ahead of the UK referendum on whether to leave the European Union, a vote in which the issues of immigration and national identity have been huge factors, reports the New York Times. Campaigning on the so-called Brexit vote was temporarily halted by both sides in the wake of her death. Mair's brother, meanwhile, says he's stunned. "My brother is not violent and is not all that political," he says. "I don’t even know who he votes for. He has a history of mental illness, but he has had help.” (Read more Jo Cox stories.)

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