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There's A Police Manhunt For A West Country Anarchist Called "Badger"

Police are seeking information on Huw "Badger" Norfolk, who's wanted in connection with two serious crimes and thought to be part of an anarchist network linked to several arson attacks.

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Police are offering a £10,000 reward for information about Huw "Badger" Norfolk, 27, an anarchist wanted in connection with serious crimes in Bristol and Bath.

avonandsomerset.police.uk

Norfolk has long been linked to anarchist groups in the southwest of England that are thought to be responsible for scores of incidents and, according to one estimate, £20 million of damage in the last few years.

Police said he often gives false names such as Geoffry and Howard and has several tattoos, including "anarchy" and "peace" on his left arm. He wasn't described as an immediate danger to the public, but police asked people to contact them if they saw him.

Avon and Somerset police launched an appeal yesterday calling on anyone with information to get in touch.

Norfolk is wanted in connection with an arson attack on a phone mast in January 2013 near Bath which police say left 80,000 homes and businesses cut off, and for smashing windows and throwing paint over the Bristol Post's office during the August 2011 riots.

Detective chief inspector Andy Bevan, who is leading Operation Rhone, the force's investigation into these crimes, said:

He may not be in England or the UK and could possibly be in Europe or further afield. He has links to anarchist communities and the areas and surrounding areas of Bristol, Bath, Cheltenham, Pembrokeshire, and London.

We do not believe he is an immediate danger to the public although we would advise anyone spotting him not to approach him but to contact police instead.

Operation Rhone is investigating more than 100 incidents of arson and criminal damage, but Norfolk is wanted in relation to two only.

Norfolk, who is referred to on insurrectionist sites such as 325.nostate.net as a "comrade" and a "fugitive", appears to have written this open letter to the police two months after the Bristol Post's office was damaged:

And of course as the clash continues and escalates with increasing recognition that everything we desire lies beyond the ruin of their rule, the enemy will carry on retaliating against those people with every vile method in their book: propaganda to misrepresent our passions and aims; the loyal "opposition" of political parties and unions presented as the democratically acceptable way we should amend our "extreme" expressions to; the surveillance, infiltration and invasion of our friendship groups and spaces; the arrest, interrogation and imprisonment of our comrades-in-struggle.

The Telegraph reported that Norfolk had a comfortable middle-class upbringing in Cheltenham.

His parents are David Norfolk, 64, a company director, and Gill Garrett, 65, a former lecturer and writer, The Telegraph said. The family house is reportedly worth £700,000. Police said the parents have "no clue" as to Huw Norfolk's whereabouts.

Attempts to catch Norfolk are part of a wider drive to clamp down on attacks by anarchist groups in Bristol and surrounding areas that have largely escaped national media attention.

325.nostate.net

The loosely organised Informal Anarchist Federation (IAF, sometimes styled FAI) – an umbrella term used by anarchist groups across Europe – has claimed responsibility for several arson attacks.

In November 2011, two Bristol councillors, Geoff Gollop and Kevin Quarterley, had their cars set on fire.

An online message from the IAF headlined "Claim of responsibility" said: "This is the fire of the ghetto delivered to their door and a taste of what the right wing filth deserve. When the people lose their fear, the capitalists panic. Get your hands off the students and workers demonstrations. We can strike you any time we wish."

But that was just one in a string of incidents:

– In May 2012 the group said it was behind two attacks on railway signals in Bristol that caused delays and cancellations.

– In June 2013, six cars parked at an asylum screening centre in Portishead were set on fire, an act for which the IAF-affiliated Borderless Solidarity Cell took credit.

– In August 2013, the IAF claimed responsibility for torching a £16 million police firearms training centre in Portishead (pictured above).

– In February this year the IAF claimed credit for setting fire to three military vehicles at a marine base in Bristol.

– And in July one arrest was made in connection with the torching of Virgin Media-branded cars in Bristol.

Charlotte Leslie, MP for Bristol North West, told the Mail on Sunday in May that people would be "stunned" to learn about the series of attacks, adding:

If these attacks were the work of a religious extremist, the police and the rest of the media would be all over them. Yet this is every bit as serious, and, potentially, every bit as dangerous. How far does this network go? Who is collaborating with it?'

Patrick Smith is a senior reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Patrick Smith at patrick.smith@buzzfeed.com.

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