The youngest person to be convicted of planning a terrorist attack in the UK identified potential targets in his hometown, began drafting a “guerrilla warfare” manual and tried to obtain a chemical used in terrorist bombings. But the case also focused on the radicalisation process itself, hearing the 16-year-old’s preparations for an attack involved a deliberate effort to dehumanise himself and become like the “living dead”.

The teenager chronicled his regression in a journal, writing “at one point or another I can look back and see if I was any different.” Aged 14, he noted: “I wasn’t always a fascist, my red pilling process was slower than most”, adding that less than two years earlier he advocated “punk rock ideals and Marxism”.

The trial heard much about his ideology – an amalgam of neo-Nazism, Satanism and misanthropy, allied to the belief that a collapse of civilisation should be “accelerated” through acts of violence and criminality.

He was first interviewed by police in autumn 2017, when his school reported a Twitter account he used to express support for the outlawed British neo-Nazi group National Action and posed for a photo with ex-English Defence League leader, Tommy Robinson.

The boy, who cannot be identified because of his age, promised to close the profile and he spent time with the government de-radicalisation scheme, Prevent. But rather than moderating his behaviour, he set out to immerse himself in extreme right-wing literature and online networks.

“A fascist has an obligation to absorb a lot of words,” he recorded.

His immersion came at a time of exceptional depravity. National Action had been banned in 2016, but had generated several small British spin-offs, some of which sought to imitate the militant American group, Atomwaffen Division.

The origins of this network were in an online neo-Nazi forum, but by the time it closed in 2017 fascists from around the world were already migrating to new platforms. These digital spaces promote an increasingly berserk world view that proclaims hatred of all, worships a pantheon of “saints” comprising various terrorists and murderers, and demands a commitment to the destruction of society through so-called “accelerationism”.

Online channels can gain thousands of followers, all using a shared vocabulary and set of references, although there are disputes over people’s ideological commitment or supernatural beliefs, in which Adolf Hitler is often regarded as a divinity.

Central influences include the American neo-Nazi James Mason, who has been convicted of indecent images offences involving a child, and individuals associated with the occult organisation Order of Nine Angles – described by the prosecution as the “most prominent and recognisable link between Satanism and the extreme right”.

The result is a culture in which deviancy and criminality are encouraged – sexual violence and paedophilia are constant themes – with anything justified as long as it is thought to destabilise society and defy what is characterised as slavish morality.

The Durham teenager absorbed these ideas, reading any recommended books and discussing them in his journal, gradually following the logic of his ideology towards a planned attack. In October 2018, he wrote that earlier phases of his political activities, such as debating with others, had “accomplished nothing” and merely got him into trouble at school.

“And now here I am an accelerationist,” he added.

The boy actively sought to alter himself in line with the texts he read and included the instruction “shed empathy” on a list of things to do. He adopted an online pseudonym, speaking constantly with other neo-Nazis, telling a forum that his Satanic belief system involved programming oneself to lose any feelings of guilt – becoming the living dead in the process.

“I believe there is primal enjoyment to be had in sadism,” he wrote in his journal, stating: “How wonderful it is to be an amoral individual”.

He set his sights on his hometown of Durham, searching for synagogues and compiling a list of local places “worth attacking”. He collected explosives manuals and also tried to secure a dangerous chemical from a fellow extremist in the United States.

When the boy was arrested outside his home in March, detectives found a coded note in his pocket, saying: “Killing is probably easier than your paranoid mind thinks. You’re just not used to it. Most were caught because they got sloppy.”

At trial, the boy denied being a neo-Nazi, saying his writings were an extremist “alter ego” generated by feelings of social isolation and created in order to shock others and find a sense of belonging online. He told jurors his political beliefs were “centre right” and that he had a poster on his bedroom wall signed by Nigel Farage.

Prosecutors said the boy was lying to the jury about the fake “persona” and that his actions were not confined to diaries or the internet. They originally alleged that he sexually touched a child as part of his preparations for an attack, saying it was a deliberate “desensitisation technique”, although claims about his sexual conduct were ruled inadmissible during pre-trial hearings and will now be heard in a youth court.

Teenagers Oskar Dunn-Koczorowski and Michal Szewczuk pleaded guilty to terror offences

According to police, eight terrorist plots inspired by right-wing ideologies have been stopped since March 2017. They say there is a “spectrum” of such ideologies that have the potential to generate violence, with the variant adopted by the Durham defendant regarded as perhaps the most extreme of all.

He is now the fourth teenager to be convicted of terrorism offences in the UK over the past year, in which the same set of influences – accelerationism and Satanism – have been central.

One of the many troubling aspects of this case is that a child traversed the full spectrum of right-wing extremism before he had even left school.

BBC News

Nasty Michael O’Neill, aged 61, had ‘Hitler number’ tattoo but claimed it was his PIN

Michael O'Neill made a racist claim about singer Taylor Swift and a black child (Image: Plymouth Live/Mirror)

Michael O’Neill made a racist claim about singer Taylor Swift and a black child (Image: Plymouth Live/Mirror)

A Nazi made a bizarre racist jibe about Taylor Swift and a black child during a hate campaign on Facebook and Twitter.

White supremacist Michael O’Neill, aged 61, posted a picture of the pop star with her arm around the youngster and claimed she could catch Down’s Syndrome.

O’Neill told a court that a tattoo of the number 1488 – linked to Hitler – was nothing to do with Nazis and was just a reminder of his PIN.

He also briefly sang the anthem “Flower of Scotland” from the witness stand during his trial.

The jury saw more than 100 bizarre and offensive Facebook posts and tweets from between 2015 and 2018 at Plymouth Crown Court.

O’Neill, of Redhill Close, Ernesettle, pleaded not guilty to eight counts of distributing written material on social media likely to stir up racial hatred.

He also denied two similar counts of incitement to religious hatred.

O’Neill was convicted by unanimous verdicts after a four-day trial on all the racial counts but cleared on the two religious counts.

Judge James Townsend released him on bail to be sentenced on December 13 with the aid of a probation report.

But he warned: “All options are open. Given his record of racially-aggravated matters, the starting point is an immediate prison sentence.”

The court heard that O’Neill was continually blocked by the social media giants for posting offensive material.

But he created five Facebook and three Twitter accounts under slightly different names so he could go on spouting filth.

He posted a picture of Taylor Swift with her arm around a black child. It included a close-up image of her hand on shoulder.

O’Neill commented: “Don’t touch the little blacky, you might get Down’s Syndrome.”

O’Neill admitted posting a picture of an axe-wielding Viking, but struggled to explain why he had attached the slogan: “It is time to rise up and cleanse our lands”.

O’Neill, who grew up in Birmingham, also posted a message about Pakistani Muslims.

He added: “The entire tribe needs eradicating, wiped off the face of the Earth like wiping s**t off your shoe.”

O’Neill took to the stand to deny that he had a tattoo of the Nazi slogan 1488 – insisting it was his PIN.

He said that he had the ink done years ago because he kept forgetting the number.

O’Neill said he did not know of its significance in far-right ideology until he joined Facebook four years ago.

The ‘Fourteen words’ represent a white supremacist slogan while 88 refers to the position of the letters HH in the alphabet – standing for Heil Hitler.

He said: “I thought it was the date of a battle, like 1066.”

Unbelievably O’Neill sought to explain away twin SS lightning bolts tattooed on his chest, saying they were Norse symbols. He added he was awaiting for a third bolt to be added.

O’Neill had a particular dislike for the London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who is Muslim.

He added that he had been involved in a spat on Twitter, saying the Labour politician had called him “every name under the sun.”

But O’Neill posted a story about Mr Khan linking him with rising crime rates.

He added the slogan: “Fetch the petrol.”

O’Neill admitted: “I should not have written it.”

He claimed a mixture of poor memory, ignorance, being drunk and having a dark sense of humour were behind many of his posts.

The defendant admitted he became angry as a former fisherman confined to his home by injury.

O’Neill compared his humour with the edgy satire of Jo Brand – who once called on people to attack Boris Johnson with acid rather than milkshakes.

Seeking to explain why he had posted a message which seems to celebrate a news story of a Scottish man attacking an immigrant, he started to sing the patriotic song “Flower of Scotland”.

He denied inciting anyone to take up violence against racist or religious groups.

Prosecuting barrister Simon Burns put it to him that the books in the house showed that he was well-read rather than naive.

O’Neill replied: “Being well-read does not make you a Nazi, in the same way as voting for Brexit does not make you a Nazi.”

He added that he was not a member of any particular group, but had described himself as a “National Socialist”, which is where the German abbreviation of Nazi originates.

Plymouth Herald

Sam Whiteley said he was only buying an E-cigarette refill when he got involved in the Yorkshire Patriots demonstration

Sam Whiteley at Kirklees Magistrates’ Court

A protester was arrested after performing a Nazi salute during a far-right demonstration in Dewsbury.

Police were forced to use pepper spray on Sam Whiteley when he raised his right arm straight in the air then tried to run off.

The 24-year-old was one of seven people arrested by officers during the Yorkshire Patriots demonstration.

He pleaded guilty to using threatening words or behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress.

Hundreds of West Yorkshire Police officers were deployed to watch over two demonstrations in the town centre on October 12.

These were staged by the Yorkshire Patriots and a counter demonstration involving members of the Stand Up To Racism groups and the Kirklees Anti-Fascist Assembly.

At around 1pm 50 Patriots set off chanting Tommy Robinson’s name and “we want out country back!”

Police were with the demonstrators on Market Place when their attention was drawn to Whiteley.

Prosecutor Alex Bozman said: “They saw Mr Whiteley, who was part of the protest, trying to leave the area which was being cordoned.

“It was explained to him that he was not allowed to leave at that time to prevent a breach of the peace because the officers didn’t want the two groups to become confrontational.

“He pushed his way into the cordon and began a Nazi salute, raising his right hand up pointing to the sky, and putting his left hand horizontally.

“He said ‘f***k off’ and ran off and was detained after a short foot chase.

“The officers used PAVA spray and arrested him.”

Despite hostilities between the two groups police managed to ensure that they did not clash with each other on the day.

In a statement West Yorkshire Police later said that the protests passed off ‘without major incident’ with only seven arrests made – most on suspicion of minor public order offences.

Whiteley claimed to Kirklees magistrates that he was only in town to do some shopping.

He said: “I’m not affiliated with any of these groups.

“I went there for some E-liquid for my E-cigarette and said: ‘What’s going on?’ and looked at the Yorkshire Patriots.

“I was trying to get out when the police van came in front and (police) said : ‘You’re not going anywhere ‘.

“There were many people walking past and I was saying: ‘Hold up, how come these are allowed to come past and I’m staying here?'”

Whiteley said that an officer grabbed hold of him as he tried to walk past and he responded by pushing him away.

He told magistrates: “That’s when I did that stupid stuff which I admit was stupid.”

Magistrates fined Whiteley, of Jackroyd Lane in Mirfield, £113.

He will have to pay £85 court costs and £32 victim surcharge.

Chairman of the bench Wayne Perriman said to him: “It’s expensive being silly – just think next time.”

The Examiner

A racist who attacked a woman and made threats to kill another and to stab a third has also admitted he threatened to damage a mosque.

Declan Moorhouse, 21, is due to be sentenced for offences including common assault, harassing a woman and a man, and sending a message threatening to kill another woman.

He is also awaiting sentence for threatening to start fires on two other occasions, once to a house and on a later date to vehicles.

All of those offences happened between September and November last year.

At Shrewsbury Crown Court yesterday Moorhouse changed his plea on another matter of threatening to damage Telford Central Mosque to guilty.

He made that threat to a probation officer in a meeting on April 8.

Judge Anthony Lowe said that Moorhouse’s crimes were linked to “different behavioural traits” including racist ideas and issues around the breakdown of a relationship.

Judge Lowe adjourned the case to November 29, so that a psychiatric report on Moorhouse can be updated before he is sentenced.

Moorhouse’s representative Rob Edwards conceded that the threshold for a jail sentence had been crossed, but said that if Moorhouse went to prison he would be unlikely to address properly his mental health and behavioural issues and the chances of “breaking the cycle of offending” would be lower.

Moorhouse will be sentenced for 10 offences in all, including the threat to the mosque in April, and the five crimes from October last year including harassment, making threats and damaging a wall.

Another three relate to his threat to and assault of a woman on September 14 last year, and the final offence of threatening to burn vehicles relates to November 1.

Moorhouse, of Lovell Close, Shifnal, remains in custody.

Shropshire Star

Morgan Seales and Gabriele Longo held “extreme right-wing beliefs” the court heard

Two men who encouraged copycat terror attacks after shootings in New Zealand have been jailed.

Morgan Seales and Gabriele Longo discussed doing something similar to the attacks on mosques in Christchurch which claimed 51 lives in March.

They were convicted of encouraging terrorism and other offences after a trial at Leeds Crown Court.

Seales, from South Shields, was jailed for four years. Longo, from Crawley, West Sussex, was given a six-year term.

The court heard the pair published extreme right-wing statements encouraging terrorism on a WhatsApp group called Christian White Militia.

‘Despicable acts’

Counter-terror police arrested Seales, 20, from Turner Avenue, South Shields, shortly after the New Zealand attacks, when suspicions were raised about his online activities.

Longo, 26, of Burdock Close, Crawley, was arrested the following month after he was identified from Seales’ mobile phone records.

As well as encouraging terrorism, the pair were also found guilty of possessing material for terrorist purposes and collecting or making a record of information useful in the preparation of an act of terrorism.

Longo was also found guilty of disseminating terrorist publications.

The court was told Seales suffered from a personality disorder and had a “very difficult childhood” in which he battled anxiety and depression with the aid of children’s services but had “fallen through the net” of adult support services.

‘Threat to Muslims’

Judge Tom Bayliss QC said Longo was “something of an enigma” as little was known about him but he was satisfied he was “deeply radicalised”.

He added: “Both of you were in danger of indoctrinating others in that group chat. There were some very young people, some as young as 14.

“Your activity posed not only a threat to Muslims who were your potential victims but also a threat to everyone in our democratic society.”

After the sentencing hearing, Det Ch Supt Martin Snowden, head of counter terrorism policing north east, said “despicable acts” were encouraged under the “banner of right-wing ideology”.

He added: “It is apparent from the examination of both individuals’ mobile phones that they regularly participated in online chats and made postings that reflect their extreme beliefs, their beliefs developing and evolving over time through research and connecting with like-minded individuals.”

BBC News

The sick and twisted man “kept demanding” more pictures from the schoolgirl

The Gatwick Airport worker asked the teenage girl if she fancied him

A self-confessed “dirty old man” from South Croydon sent a schoolgirl sexually explicit Facebook messages, wanted to know if she was sleeping with boys and asked if she fancied him .

Andrew Rogers, from Wilson Close, which is just off Bartlett Street, started messaging the girl shortly before her 15th birthday.

The 55-year-old, who works at Gatwick Airport, had met the girl once before when she was 10.

Jonathan Rogers, prosecuting, said Rogers promised the girl money or an iPhone, and told her to show how much she wanted them by sending him pictures of herself.

In one exchange, Rogers referred to himself as a “dirty old man” and called her a “dirty schoolgirl.”

He also wanted to know if she was sleeping with boys, whether she fancied him, and whether she had seen “c**k” before.

Mr Rogers said: “It’s clear from these messages he knew exactly how old she was.

“He repeatedly asked her to show him how much she loved him and how much she missed him, by sending him ‘a nice photo.’

“The messages became increasingly concerning.”

The disturbing messages were discovered by the girl’s mum, at their family home in Liverpool, and police were alerted, as reported by our sister site the Liverpool Echo.

Rogers initially denied any wrongdoing.

He appeared at Liverpool Crown Court charged with sexual communication with a child and changed his plea to guilty as his trial was about to get underway.

Jonathan Rosen, defending, admitted Rogers had “a problem which needs to be addressed.”

“He is deeply ashamed and apologetic about his actions,” said Mr Rosen.

The girl’s mum, in her impact statement, said Rogers’ behaviour had had a “devastating effect” on her family.

It had led to the teenager, now 17, self-harming and threatening to commit suicide.

She added: “She should be going out and enjoying herself, instead she’s angry and depressed.”

Balding Rogers – who hung his head throughout most of the proceedings – was jailed for a total of 23 weeks.

He was also given a sexual harm prevention order and put on the sex offenders’ register for seven years.

Judge Denis Watson, QC, said: “The communications via Facebook messaging had an increasingly sexual theme to them.

“You made repeated requests for photos. Although she sent them, you weren’t satisfied with those and kept demanding others.

“I have absolutely no doubt you wanted a sexual pose.

“These were linked to offers by you of providing her with money, a phone, or both.

“Parts of this came close to grooming.”

Speaking afterwards, the girl’s mum said: “I hope this will encourage other young girls to open up and come forward.

“There must be hundreds of kids this has happened to who are too quiet or too frightened to say anything.”

An NSPCC spokesperson said: “Rogers’ predatory targeting of this vulnerable young girl has left her with serious emotional and mental scars which will take significant time to heal.

“The NSPCC works with victims of child abuse and their families to help them work through their trauma and we hope this girl is receiving all appropriate support.

“Rogers’ repulsive behaviour highlights the need for robust legislation to crack down on websites and social media platforms that leave young people exposed to paedophiles. We urge the Government to do all it can to ensure tech firms are held responsible for our children’s safety.”

My London

Thanks to Football Lads & Lasses

Two men who came together online to promote their shared extreme right wing mind-set have today (Monday October 21) been found guilty of offences under the Terrorism Act.

26 year old Gabriele Longo of Burdock Close, Crawley and 20 year old Morgan Seales of Turner Avenue, South Shields, have both been found guilty of encouraging terrorism, possessing material for terrorist purposes and collecting or making a record of information useful in the preparation of an act of terrorism.

The jury at Leeds Crown Court also found Longo guilty of disseminating terrorist publications.

The arrests of Longo and Seales followed an investigation by Counter Terrorism Policing North East, supported by CTP South East, Northumbria and Sussex Police.

After concerns were raised about Seales’ online activity, he was arrested in March this year, and, following the granting of a warrant of further detention, was charged in April.

Following examination of Seales’ mobile phone, a further person (Longo) was identified as having posted concerning material online. As a result, Longo was arrested in early April and subsequently charged.

Detective Chief Superintendent Martin Snowden is Head of Counter Terrorism Policing North East. He said: “It is apparent from the examination of both individuals’ mobile phones that they regularly participated in online chats and made postings that reflect their extreme right wing beliefs, their beliefs developing and evolving over time through research and connecting with like-minded individuals.

“Longo also went as far as encouraging others to carry out despicable acts under the banner of the extreme right wing ideology.

“With the enduring terrorist threat, it is now more important than ever that everyone plays their part in tackling terrorism.

“Action Counters Terrorism (ACT) is encouraging communities across the country to help the police tackle terrorism and save lives by reporting suspicious behaviour and activity, including the posting and sharing of material of concern you may have seen online.

“Every day, officers from the Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit trawl the Internet, looking for extremist material but thousands of reports each year come from members of the public who flag up their concerns regarding online posts.

“If you see or hear something unusual or suspicious trust your instincts and ACT by reporting it in confidence at or, in an emergency, dial 999.”

Longo and Seales will be sentenced on Wednesday, October 23.

Counter Terrorism Police