What we know about Jo Cox's killer Thomas Mair

Published June 19th, 2016 - 09:51 GMT
An undated photo of Thomas Mair, the 52-year-old part-time gardener accused of killing a pro-immigration UK lawmaker.
An undated photo of Thomas Mair, the 52-year-old part-time gardener accused of killing a pro-immigration UK lawmaker.

On Thursday, Jo Cox, a 41-year-old member of British Parliament who supported multi-culturalism and the welcoming of Syrian refugees to Europe was killed by suspect Thomas Mair, a 52-year-old part-time gardener who appears to have been motivated by far-right nationalistic and anti-immigration beliefs.  

Here's what we know so far about Mair:  

He may have been mentally-ill

Mair's brother told The Daily Telegraph that Mair had "a history of mental illness" and had spoken of receiving "psychotherapy and medication." 

He was 'quiet' and a 'loner' 

Neighbors told CNN that Mair was a loner and a "quiet" man who kept to himself most of the time, and didn't appear to have a regular job. 

He was intensely nationalistic 

Mair reportedly shouted some variation of the phrase "Britain first" as he killed Cox on Thursday in West Yorkshire. Britain First is an anti-immigration, far-right political party in the UK. What's more, when asked Saturday in court to state his name, Cox said: "My name is death to traitors, freedom for Britain." A neighbor of Mair's said he once taught English to immigrants

He may have been anti-Islam

In the 1980's, Mair was a subscriber to a South African magazine published by a pro-apartheid group. That group, The White Rhino Club, describes the magazine as being opposed to "multi-cultural societies" and "expansionist Islam," according to The Telegraph. The West Yorkshire Police said in a statement that they were investigating whether Mair had ties to extremist groups. 

He appears to have supported a neo-Nazi group

Mair was a long-time supporter of the neo-Nazi National Alliance group, according to records obtained by the US nonprofit Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). Mair purchased manuals from the National Alliance on how to build homemade guns and manufacture explosives, according to SPLC documents. Over the years, Mair spent over $600 on various materials produced by the group. 

Mair killed Cox about a week before a UK referendum on whether Britain would remain in the European Union (EU), or make a "Brexit" and leave the Union. Cox supported Britain remaining in the EU. Cox also had a history of supporting the rights of Muslim immigrants and refugees in Britain, which may also have motivated Mair's deadly attack.  

-HS 


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