‘Fascist’ teenager attempted to make 3D gun and drew up plans for storage bunker in terror plot, court hears

Matthew Cronjager, 18, arrested after unknowingly communicating with undercover police officer

A “fascist” teenager attempted to make a 3D gun and drew up plans for a storage bunker as part of a far-right terror plot, a court has heard.

Matthew Cronjager, 18, is accused of preparing acts of terrorism and running a social media channel that encouraged attacks.

He denies the charges but on the first day of his trial on Tuesday, he admitted four separate offences of possessing information useful to a terrorist.

Prosecutor Alistair Richardson told the Old Bailey that Mr Cronjager held “fascist beliefs” and hated Jews, Muslims, non-white people and the LGBT+ community.

“He wanted to bring about his own revolution, based on his own racist ideology,” Mr Richardson told jurors.

“To that end, he sought to produce a firearm using a 3D printer, he made plans for storage of firearms in preparation for his violent acts, and he provided instructions and funds to others in order to secure the manufacture of a firearm.”

The court heard that Mr Cronjager was unknowingly communicating with an undercover police officer, and was arrested in December.

Mr Richardson said that examinations of the defendant’s iPhone, laptop and USB devices showed that he had been “obtaining manuals to help him prepare” and had downloaded a large volume of extreme right-wing propaganda.

Material found on his devices including the footage of the Christchurch mosque shootings, where Brenton Tarrant murdered 51 Muslim victims in March 2019.

Mr Cronjager also possessed material containing instructions to create improvised explosives, incendiary devices, homemade guns, ammunition and silencers.

The jury was shown a video downloaded in September 2019, which showed ammunition being loaded and had subtitles saying the “tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants”.

“When it’s all said and done you will be asked what you did in this time of peril. You’ll be able to rejoice that you did it for them, the future of our race,” the subtitles continue. “We will not sit idly by while we are dismantled and replaced.”

Mr Richardson said the material found “clearly demonstrated the defendant’s support for the extreme right-wing cause, and his commitment to violence to bring about his ideology”.

“In furtherance of his cause, he set up an online library where he and those of a like mind could store their propaganda and their terrorist manuals,” he added.

The alleged library was a channel on the encrypted Telegram messaging application, which the court heard “provided a service to others” that enabled them to obtain terrorist documents and encouraged attacks.

Mr Cronjager, of Ingatestone in Essex, denies preparing acts of terrorism and disseminating terrorist publications. The trial continues.

The Independent

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