A businessman from a Scottish seaside town can today be unmasked as a former online recruiter for banned neo-Nazi terror group, National Action.
Nicholas Waugh was also involved with the far-right group, Scottish Dawn, and appears to have promoted both groups on the internet using the pseudonym HaggiSS.
A joint investigation by The Ferret and Daily Record identified Waugh after a neo-Nazi online forum called Iron March was hacked and data about its users leaked.
It includes a raft of comments and contacts made by Waugh, from Aberdeenshire, including one where he tries to order “bundles” of National Action stickers to “give out”.
He also used Iron March to build international links by messaging fascists in Lithuania, Bulgaria and Australia and he encouraged people to attend demonstrations in the UK.
Waugh describes himself as a “a private citizen of good character and businessman”.
He runs an online shop called Wodenstone on Etsy, selling handcrafted traditional jewellery – including Pictish designs, Celtic crosses, Anglo-Saxon pendants and Norse rune rings.
Wodenstone gives its location as Rosehearty, Aberdeenshire, and, with almost 1,000 sales, the business has earned an ambassadorship for a clothing brand.
The Iron March leak was posted anonymously online.
It contained the website’s database, which made it possible to match usernames with forum posts, direct messages and email, postal and IP addresses.
The information revealed Waugh was in contact with the founder of National Action, who used the name Daddy Terror on Iron March.
Waugh also supported Scottish Dawn, which emerged shortly after National Action was banned in 2016.
Before being proscribed under counter-terrorism laws, National Action held street protests across the UK and ran a whites-only food bank in Glasgow.
After being banned in 2016 National Action re-emerged a few months later in Scotland under the name Scottish Dawn.
It was banned in September 2017 following an undercover sting by The Ferret which exposed its links to National Action. Waugh appears to have been a leading figure with National Action before it was banned. There is no suggestion he is currently involved.
Trying to get Scotland up and running. HaggiSS
On 14 October 2014 he was in contact with National Action (NA) founder Ben Raymond, aka Daddy Terror.
HaggiSS wrote: “Hello, do you have a few bundles of stickers you can send my way? Meeting some Stormfags in November and one of them requested some so I thought I would try and get some to give out to them. Cheers. Nicholas.”
Daddy Terror replied: “Hi, I only have the red and black kind but I am happy to send a load. Tell me how many you think you will want. I don’t appear to have an address for a Nicolas so let me know.”
In reply, HaggiSS said his name was “N Waugh” and gave an address in Fraserburgh which helped us to identify him.
He messaged other Iron March members, encouraging them to join demos including a Scottish Defence League protest in Edinburgh and a White Man March in Newcastle in 2016.
He was in contact with a user called Aberfoyle, who claimed to live outside Glasgow, on 5 August 2015.
Waugh wrote: “There are a couple of NA guys down that way. If you stay in touch there might be something active eventually.”
Waugh also told Aberfoyle he was: “Trying to get Scotland up and running” and offered to provide stickers.
Aberfoyle asked what was expected of members and HaggiSS replied: “Anything really, it’s up to you how committed you become. Anything from handing out fliers and stickers to joining us on flash demos.
“I’m trying to arrange some sort of meeting between interested people in the central belt to compliment our Northern crew (about 8 people). Right now we are mostly learning from our English comrades in regards to activism though so we are not really organised yet.”
Waugh also used the forum to cultivate international links. He offered masks to a Lithuanian fascist who was involved with an extreme far right group called Skydas.
In a conversation with a Bulgarian fascist, Waugh told him he was based in the “NE” area of Scotland.
He was also in contact with Antipodean Resistance in Australia. In an exchange on 6 July 2017, HaggiSS talked about how Police Scotland handled demos.
He wrote: “Police in Scotland are usually really courteous and understand the reds cause all the trouble, but go to Glasgow (our biggest city) and they will go out their way to be assholes to you.”
After National Action was proscribed in 2016, Waugh sought to distance himself from the group but became involved with Scottish Dawn despite acknowledging members of a proscribed group may be involved.
In one exchange, he denied that Scottish Dawn was a continuation of National Action, stating they took “a drastically different approach”.
Waugh was involved with Scottish Dawn but claimed not to be its leader.
He actively promoted Scottish Dawn by asking a contact to advertise the new group on Stormfront, another neo-Nazi website.
National Action was founded in 2013 by Ben Raymond and Alex Davies.
The organisation said that all Jewish and non-white people would have to go.
Waugh was named by Hope Not Hate as a National Action leader in Scotland.
He has denied the allegations and threatened to take legal action.
He said: “The allegations stated and implied are false and irrelevant.”
Iron March and neo-Nazi forums
The online forum Iron March was used by some of the world’s most dangerous neo-Nazis for around six years. They included America’s notorious Atomwaffen Division (AWD) which has been linked to eight murders.
AWD sees violence as the only way of bringing about the lawless, apocalyptic conditions it believes are needed to wipe out non-white races.
AWD rose to prominence through Iron March. In the UK members of an AWD offshoot – the Sonnenkrieg (Sun War) Division 9 were jailed for terrorism offences in 2019.
Iron March first appeared in 2010 and went offline in 2017 but only after spawning various fascist organisations in the US and Europe. It shut down without warning or explanation two years prior to being hacked.
On 6 November 2019 data about more than one thousand of Iron March’s users appeared suddenly online. The leak was posted anonymously online by someone called “antifa-data”.
Many users bragged about connections with Azov Battalion, an extreme-right Ukrainian ‘Special Operations Regiment’, accused by the UN of numerous war crimes during the Donbass Conflict.
The UK’s own National Action, which Antipodean Resistance hailed as “the greatest of all”, actively recruited and organised through the forum.
Three years since Iron March disappeared from the internet, its influence remains.
Research published by open-source investigators at Bellingcat shows that many of its old users posting on new neo-Nazi forums, the Twitter alternative, Gab, and the anti-LGBT Kiwi Farms.
Others organise on private chats like Discord. The groups who used Iron March to organise have adapted and remain active.
National Action and its final solution
National Action was founded in 2013 by Ben Raymond and Alex Davies.
The organisation was openly genocidal and said that all Jewish and non-white people would have to go. In one document it declared: “It is with glee that we will enact the final solution across Europe.”
During one speech a senior National Action member said they would ensure that “traitors” ended up “hanging from lampposts“.
National Action said online: “We are the white jihad” and it developed into a secretive network across the UK with a small cell in Scotland.
In June 2016 an official National Action Twitter account celebrated the murder of Jo Cox MP, stating: “Don’t let this man’s sacrifice go in vain,” and “Only 649 MPs to go #WhiteJihad.”
The UK government banned National Action in December 2016, saying that the group was “concerned in terrorism” and describing it as “virulently racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic”.
It became the first far-right group to be proscribed in this country since World War Two.
Members of National Action have since been found guilty of an array of offences including the possession of bomb-making manuals and a plot to kill Labour MP, Rosie Cooper.
This story was published in tandem with the Daily Record.