Andrew Leak—the Dover migrant centre petrol bomber—was a far right racist who admired Nazi Tommy Robinson. He threw three petrol bombs attached to fireworks at a Border Force immigration centre in Dover, Kent, last Sunday.
The police would have known about his long history of supporting the far right within hours of the assault. But they kept it quiet until days later—and counter-terrorism cops are yet to declare it a terrorist incident.
In October last year, Leak wrote online that he had sent a parcel “to the British government”. He said it had warned, “I will end illegal immigration into this country within one year from the French boat side.”
He pictured himself online wearing a Union flag face mask and frequently shared posts by Robinson. Leak also shared conspiracy theories by far right groups, including New World Order, the Traditional Britain Group and Turning Point UK.
In August, Leak wrote, “Next time the job centre sanctions your money for not looking for enough work ask them about the thousands of people getting benefits who cannot speak English and cannot write English. How are they looking for work?
“I have put in freedom of information request how many people cannot speak English right English…all of these people should be excluded from benefit.”
Leak was also an Islamophobe. In July he claimed “all Muslims are guilty of grooming… they only rape non-Muslims”. And last year he wrote, “A message to the UK government: if you dare come for our children we will come for you. If I can not have freedom, then I will choose death.”
He also “liked” a number of far right groups on Facebook, including Enoch Powell was Right, Close UK Borders, God Hates Islam, and the Patriots party.
This information underlines how the Tories’ vile words and actions against migrants and refugees encourage fascists and the far right. And it shows the sort of people who cluster around Robinson.
News of Leak’s far right links are not being widely publicised. Instead, some right wing newspapers are attempting to justify the attack—claiming his benefits had been cut and saying he had physical and mental health issues.
Every report comes with figures on refugee crossings. This type of scapegoating fuels the violence Leak carried out. Leak drove over 100 miles from High Wycombe to throw the firebombs. Two exploded and a fourth was found in his car, where he was found dead.
A day after the bombing, home secretary Suella Braverman donned far right language to claim in the Commons there is an “invasion” of migrants crossing the Channel. She added, “Let’s stop pretending that they are all refugees in distress.”
Meanwhile, she is pushing ahead with plans to force vulnerable child refugees to undergo X-rays, CT scans and MRI imaging to prove their age. And Braverman continues to insist she isn’t responsible for overcrowding at Manston processing centre in Kent. Here refugees are treated like “animals” and forced to sleep on the floor.
Meanwhile, councils have “significant concerns” about unaccompanied children being sent to hotels. More than 1,300 child migrants were placed in hotels between July and September. As of 19 October, 222 of these young people are missing. Almost all are boys aged 16 to 17.
Some 39 have been missing for at least 100 days and 17 were lost within a day of the Home Office becoming responsible for them.
The Tories and their supporters are desperate to stop migrants from reaching safety, and will continue to pump lies and incite violence to do so. It’s up to anti-racists and anti-fascists to stop them.
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They targeted the Egyptian embassy
But it’s only a change of language