A man charged with murdering British politician Jo Cox gave his name as “Death to traitors, freedom for Britain” in court.
Thomas Mair, 52, made the statement when he was asked to identify himself at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in central London on Saturday (local time).
Mair has suspected ties to far-right groups and has been described as a loner by neighbours who said he liked gardening and showed no signs of being radicalised.
It seems pretty clear that while had had serious mental illnesses, his motivation was political – making this an act of terrorism.
While his comments in court may not explicitly be about the EU referendum, most would interpret them as wanting Britain to leave. Brexit has been leading in the polls, and had momentum. It is possible that his actions may trigger a backlash against Brexit and make it more likely the British vote to remain in the EU – achieving the exact opposite to what he wanted.
Records have surfaced showing Mair subscribed to a far-right publication and sought information from white supremacist groups. His younger brother also revealed Mair had a history of mental illness for which he received treatment.
Whether or not he is found insane, he should never be back in the community.