Far-right Scot admits terror charges over replica machine gun
A Glasgow man who joined a far-right online group and shared a video on how to make a replica sub-machine gun has admitted terror charges.
James Farrell, 32, shared racist and neo-Nazi views with other members of the Oaken Hearth group.
He posted offensive comments and photos about black and Jewish people and then posted a clip on how to make “the ultimate DIY machine pistol”.
He admitted charges under the Terrorism Act at the High Court in Glasgow.
The ex-security guard was identified by a police operation investigating Oaken Hearth.
Farrell was arrested at his family home in Priesthill after being caught by posting a picture of a right-wing book with his dog in the background.
He admitted posting the clip which he found “edgy and cool” with instructions on how to construct the replica firearm.
This was said to have been a “direct or indirect encouragement” to the “commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism”.
The charge further stated Farrell was “reckless” as to whether the conduct had an effect.
The court heard that Farrell hooked up with the group via the chat app Telegram in March 2021, with the user name Jabz.
The group discussed terrorist killers such as Brenton Tarrant, who murdered 51 people at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. in 2019.
Farrell stated at one point: “It is about time someone firebombed a synagogue.”
The group went on to talk about making firearms using 3D printers.
Farrell then shared a link titled: “The Box Tube MAC-11 – The Ultimate DIY machine pistol”.
The court heard “by solely following” the instructions, a non-firing replica sub-machine pistol could be made.
Further alterations – needing “skills and firearms knowledge” – would be needed for it to discharge bullets.
However, prosecutor Graeme Jessop told the court: “Any replica built using these instructions would be intimidating to anyone that was presented with it.
“It would have a very similar appearance to the machine pistol it is based on.”
Farrell remained a member, but his replies eventually became “few and far apart”.
The Oaken Hearth group was investigated by the North East Counter Terrorism Unit in England. An undercover officer was able to become part of the group and confirmed the topics of discussion and mindset of its member.
Five people were arrested on 1 May 2021 for terrorist and firearms offences with three being part of Oaken Hearth.
A mobile phone was seized which contained chats from Oaken Hearth which led to Farrell being identified.
In October 2021, his home was then raided under the Terrorism Act.
The same dog and bronze axes spotted in the photo he posted were found in the property.
The books as well as other “far right literature” and neo-Nazi flags were seized.
Lord Clark told Farrell the offence was “a serious and indeed a dangerous matter”.
He continued his bail and Farrell will be sentenced next month.
The conviction was welcomed by Det Ch Supt Stuart Houston, the head of Police Scotland’s organised crime and counter terrorism unit.
He said: “Farrell not only expressed views which are totally unacceptable in a civilised society but his actions in sharing material of this nature had the potential of significantly endangering the public.
“His conviction is testament to the work of Police Scotland officers and shows the value of working in partnership with our colleagues in counter-terrorism policing across the UK.”