The Echo has learnt a meeting of up to 20 people recently took place at a founding event put on by the local organiser in a city pub.
A Facebook page has also been set up for members from Exeter.
The webpage describes the group as "peacefully protesting against militant Islam".
It claims: "This group will protest and support the English Defence League in protests across England towards any acts of Islamic extremism directed at English people."
It claims the group is not racist and has members who are white, black, Indian and Chinese.
But the English Defence League has been linked to football hooliganism and violence. The meeting took place at the city's Mill on the Exe pub — without the pub managers being aware of it.
Kate Beck, manager of the pub, in Bonhay Road, said: "I was only made aware of who they were after they left.
"One of our regular customers said to me 'do you realise who they are in the garden?'.
"The group name did not mean anything to me, but my husband had heard of it.
"We had no idea they were in the pub garden. They certainly did not mention anything."
She added: "I was gutted when I found out. I am totally anti that sort of thing.
"I would not welcome them in the pub in the future if I knew about it.
"If we became aware of a meeting going on we would ask them to leave.
"We welcome people from all countries here, we have a lot of customers who are Chinese and foreign students."
A briefing for members of the Labour Party in the city states: "We leafleted St James's Park in the run-up to the General Election and received a good response.
"We will be looking to leaflet the ground sometime in the new season to undercut any support for the EDL."
The Echo recently revealed anti-BNP graffiti was daubed on the road near the Twisted Oak near Ide after it allowed the party to hold meetings.